Could going on a digital detox help with your anxiety and stress management plan during the pandemic? Walking away from your electronic devices for a time may initially seem scary, unnecessary, or just plain impossible. Still, it may yield some profound mental health benefits if you give it a try.
In her “Psychology Today” article entitled “Does Your Life Need a Digital Detox?” Goali Saedi Bocci Ph.D. shares the following about the benefits of stepping away from technology:
“Taking time to discover new hobbies, interacting with friends face to face instead of over text, and reacquainting yourself with long-forgotten interests is critical.”
If your stress levels have spiked during the pandemic, it could be worth trying out. A technology detox need not be extreme to make a positive difference. And besides, most people couldn’t take a total technology detox for a week, month, or more due to work and other obligations.
That doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause though. Even a day every week or month where you do an internet detox could make a big difference. You may also find it helpful to avoid technology after a specific time each day or consider deleting social media apps on your phone and only use social media when on a computer. Here are some benefits you will likely experience if you give technology a break.
Digital Detox Provides Rest from the Feeling of Always Being ‘On’
Technology and its demands have made most of us feel like we always have to be stuck in ‘on’ mode. And that’s plain exhausting. No one can sustain that type of approach without it eventually harming their work performance, family life or personal mental and physical health, including their sleep.
Stepping away means you get to take control over when you use technology. Your mind gets a break in the process. Then, you have the mental energy to handle life when you do need to be ‘plugged in’ to technology.
A Serious Safeguard from Burnout
Most of us have experienced burnout enough in life to know what it feels like. And the feeling is quite scary. When you become so worn out from doing tasks you have to complete that you don’t know how you’ll have the physical and mental energy to continue at the same pace, your quality of life plummets in a hurry.
And as your anxiety and stress levels increase over the fear of not sustaining your current or previous pace, your ability to keep going begins to break down. It becomes a downhill cycle that can lead to serious physical or mental health concerns. It can also place your family or job in jeopardy.
By the time you finally begin to feel the effects of burnout, it often seems too late to turn the ship in the opposite direction. It at least becomes challenging to return to your pre-burnout state without a lot of rest, struggle and help from others.
For that reason, it’s vital to have a burnout prevention plan in place. Besides your typical health routine, a phone detox where you back away from technology can significantly help to prevent burnout. And the wonderful thing is it doesn’t take time from your schedule like exercise, for instance. It gives back time so your mind and life can rest and recharge for a while.
A Chance to Focus on the Moment
Some of the most beautiful life moments pass us by while we’re overly focused on technology. We lose time with friends, significant others, children, and grandchildren. Those who value spiritual meditation or prayer often find their time too crowded to focus on those endeavors as well.
It’s entirely possible to be in the same room with someone you care about but completely miss the opportunity to connect with them in a meaningful way because of digital distractions.
For that reason, make a point to put down the phone and read your child a bedtime story, to be genuinely in the moment when you visit with your parents or when you have some much-needed time with your spouse or significant other. These moments have the potential to be far more valuable and life-giving than technology preoccupation could ever be if you make an intentional effort to be fully available.
A Break from Bad News
Do you have the self-control to avoid scrolling through the news feeds on your phone during the pandemic? If you do, good for you. Because it’s easy to get sucked into the latest worldwide and national calamities. And in our fast-paced world, anyone searching can easily find a slew of newly written articles to read any hour of any day.
Over-immersion in the news can be a harmful habit to fall into. Your anxiety levels can quickly spike from everything you read, listen to and watch. Be sure to set healthy limits.
Maybe if you don’t feel ready to switch off all digital connections, at least consider listening to a novel during your commute rather than the news, for example. Even small adjustments could make dealing with anxiety easier and boost your mood in the process.
A digital detox can look however you want it to look. The key is that you harness it in a way that improves your quality of life.
Stress Management Through Counseling
Initiating a digital detox is one of many possible ways of coping with anxiety and stress levels better. Thankfully, there are plenty of other effective ways to deal with anxiety as well. One useful consideration is to get in touch with an anxiety relief therapist in your region.
If you’d like to see what the OC Relationship Center can do to help you on the journey to overcoming anxiety and stress, please reach out to us. We provide anxiety counseling in Newport Beach, CA and anxiety counseling in Mission Viejo, CA. We also offer teletherapy as an option if that would work better given your schedule or due to pandemic-related reasons.
The Relationship Center of Orange County provides a variety of counseling options, including stress counseling.
We serve the following California regions:
- Orange, CA counseling
- Mission Viejo, CA counseling
- Newport Beach, CA counseling
- Riverside, CA counseling
- Ontario, CA Counseling
- Corona, CA counseling
Feel free to reach out to us to schedule an appointment. Scheduling with us is always quick and confidential. Even if you live outside of these regions, we still may be able to assist you through virtual counseling (teletherapy).