In this day and age, staying off of a screen seems virtually impossible. Whether we’re texting our friends, emailing our coworkers, spending time on social apps, getting our news from phones and computers, or binging the next biggest TV show that’s trending on our feeds, it goes without saying that all this screen time can be exhausting.
So how do we stay well when digital media is the bulk of our lives today?
Below are some tips on how to maintain your wellness while still engaging in digital media. It’s easy to think that the two of these are mutually exclusive. But through digital wellness, you can find the perfect balance that keeps you informed and maintains your mental and emotional wellbeing.
What Is Digital Wellness?
Digital wellness refers to your self-care in relation to your digital consumption in this modern age. This essentially means setting up boundaries for yourself with media so you don’t get burnt out or overwhelmed with technology.
And more importantly, it means improving your healthy relationship with digital media as a whole.
And that’s not even factoring in the last year of the coronavirus lockdown.
eMarketer did a study recently to see just how much the global pandemic affected our screen time. And for children and teens between the ages of 0-17, electronic device use has jumped from 21% to 44%.
While the past year has certainly introduced us to a more surreal living experience, it is clear that digital media isn’t going away any time soon.
So Why is Digital Wellness Important?
Sometimes, looking at your phone feels like a nice way to wind down. But there have actually been reports on increased anxiety due to media consumption. If you already struggle with anxiety in general, then you know that the worst thing that exacerbates your anxiety is avoidance.
But phones and computers offer us exactly that.
So the more time we spend on digital platforms, avoiding the real world, the more anxiety we develop as the world around us will start to feel narrower and scarier in comparison.
Additionally, that kind of refuge that the Internet seemingly provides can become a compulsory and addictive activity for those who suffer from depression. While studies have indicated that it is unclear whether the Internet causes depression or that depressed people are drawn to the Internet, the strain that digital technology causes on our mental health cannot be overlooked.
So if you’re looking to develop a healthier relationship with digital media, below are a couple of tips for you to try out and start practicing digital wellness.
#1 Be intentional with your breaks from the screen
We’ve all been down the rabbit hole that starts with us going on Facebook to check up on our loved ones, then getting sucked into a cute animal videos compilation feed that never seems to end. And while those videos are cute, they can make us lose a severe amount of time, causing us even more stress than before.
So when you’re in front of a screen for leisure, try setting a limit to your screen time.
This might mean setting yourself a timer for ten minutes or even five to wind down. But once that timer goes off, get up, stretch your legs, drink a glass of water, and give your eyes a break from focusing on a screen. This will also give your body a chance to get up and move around, counteracting the sedentary lifestyle that accompanies digital consumption.
#2 Remove all notifications from your phone
The biggest way that big tech companies get you hooked onto the screen is through notifications. Once you hear that ding or feel a vibrating sensation either next to you or somewhere on your body, you’re more likely to stay on your phone, distracted by other things that come up.
Try turning off your notifications completely.
This way, only the essential messages will come through. I mean, do you really need to know that that one person you went to high school with but no longer talk to posted about something on their feed?
#3 Start and end your day without your electronic devices
What’s the first thing you did when you woke up today? If you answered honestly, you probably said you looked at your phone. It’s an easy thing to do and nothing to be ashamed of. But, to practice digital wellness, it might be a habit you want to drop.
Instead of looking at your phone the moment you wake up, try going to the kitchen to get a sip of coffee or tea first.
Better yet, try stretching by the side of your bed and check in with your body to see how you are feeling today. If you know that you’re going to have to look at a screen for most of the day, give yourself a break in the morning and night to decompress and focus on how you’re doing.
#4 Manage your apps
How many apps do you have on your phone? And out of those, how many of them do you actually use? Try going through and deleting unnecessary apps that are just taking up space. This will help to declutter your phone when you do have to look at it and will help you see your phone more as a device of utility.
Additionally, invest in apps that have your best interests in mind.
This might mean downloading an app that provides you guided meditation sessions or an app that tracks your sleeping habits to help you feel well-rested.
There are plenty of tech companies out there that are working to merge digital wellness into their business practice. And by making your phone a space that caters to your wellbeing, you’ll feel safer and more nurtured while spending time on your device.
#5 Curate your social media
There are plenty of positive ways to use social media. But it’s not a bad thing to admit that sometimes, there are people you follow who don’t contribute to your positive perspective of life. Try unfollowing any friends who post negative messages on your feed. Make sure that any groups you are a part of are concerned with your wellbeing, not just trying to sell you a product.
This kind of clean-up is necessary for your mental health.
Taking the time to prioritize your mental health through digital media is not selfish in any way, though we’ve been taught to feel this way. But social media should be a space for connection, not division. So take a moment to recenter your priorities in your digital space.
#6 Try doing a full digital detox entirely
A digital detox refers to a period of time when you refrain from using your electronic devices. This means smartphones, computers, tablets, televisions, and social media. Taking a step back from these allows you the opportunity to focus on real-life interactions with others or even just a moment to check in with yourself.
There’s also no right way to do a digital detox.
You can absolutely find what is going to work best for you. Below are some options and forms of digital detoxes that might fit your lifestyle best:
A digital fast is when you give up all digital devices for a short period of time. This might be no devices for a day or up to one week. If you’re an all-or-nothing kind of person, this could be the route you want to take.
Recurrent digital abstinence is when you pick one day of the week to go device-free. This gives you a routine within your digital wellness and offers you a break on a regular basis.
A specific detox means that a particular app, game, site, or digital tool has been taking up way too much of your time. In this case, try restricting your time on that particular platform or getting rid of it altogether if it’s not healthy for your overall wellbeing.
A social media detox is when you decide to restrict or fully eliminate your social media use for a specific period of time. If you find that you are comparing yourself too much to others or developing a greater level of anxiety because of social media, just take a break. You are more important than the digital representation of your life.
How The Flower Pot Can Help
With a rich and robust selection of carefully vetted products that specialize in nature-based solutions for your optimal health, The Flower Pot can provide you with some remedies to incorporate into your digital wellness routine.
Candles are often overlooked as simple decorations, but they actually have a number of benefits that can improve your mental health.
By creating ambiance, calming the mind, stimulating memory, and supporting restful sleep, candles selected by The Flower Pot can help you set the mood and create a much-needed relaxation sensory experience.
Try out our Cinderose Candle from Boy Smells for an earthy feel that will give you an energizing yet grounding sensation within your immediate environment. Or you might like to try our Queen India Candle from Liha Beauty when setting up your beauty ritual and empowering you to embody all the grace that you are.
Whatever scent jumps out at you, our candle selection can provide you the perfect tool to set the mood, wind down from your screentime, and give you the opportunity to engage in a self-care ritual that places your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing first.
Tinctures make it easy for your to consume botanical, health-boosting chemicals that can help reduce your stress and reconnect with your core.
So if you’re in need of time away from your screen and want a moment to focus on your inner world, try our Anxiety Support Tincture from Homestead Apothecary. You can take it sublingually (under the tongue) or add a few drops to a warm or cold beverage to get the benefits without the potent flavor.
Also, try our Electra Energize Tincture from Cleban & Daughters that will give you the energy boost you need to recover from the screentime you’ve just endured.
Too much screentime and exposure to blue light can disrupt our sleep, reset our internal clocks, and altering our circadian rhythm.
But The Flower Pot is dedicated to providing remedies that support restful sleep, particularly in a culture that pushes us to exhaustion. Our Moon Dust - Dream powder by Moon Juice is a welcome addition to any tea, hot water, or milk beverage and can help restore your body to feel energized for the day ahead.
You can also try our Nocturn Sleep Mist (Aromatherapy Room Spray) from Cleban & Daughters to create the perfect ambiance that will restore your health and provide you a restful night of well-deserved sleep.
There’s no question that technology has its many benefits that have become integral parts of our everyday lives. But taking the time to step back and center yourself away from digital media is something that we can all benefit from as well.
Shifting our culture to value digital wellness will not be an easy, overnight fix.
But through the tips listed above as well as the products that The Flower Pot has to offer, we hope that you can start to prioritize your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing in this modern age.
Just remember that it is never selfish to take the necessary steps to care for your wellbeing.
You are worth more than your productivity and deserve the rest and compassion that digital wellness can provide you.
Whether you are just starting out on your digital wellness journey or needing a pick-me-up in the midst of your practice, The Flower Pot is always happy to provide you with a safe and nurturing space to heal.
At The Flower Pot®, our mission is to create a safe and reliable space for you to explore + experiment with the benefits of botanical medicine. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube and LinkedIn.