Boost Your Mental Health With These Digital Detox Steps

We're looking at screens more than ever. With more and more of our daily lives taking place in a virtual setting, many of us are feeling the side effects of digital burnout. Fortunately, there are a few ways that we can take a step back, help heal our eyes and soothe our systems.

Besides just closing your laptop forever, a simple way to give your brain a break is by making sure that your screens are organized. Goop recommends using apps and other tools to keep your desktop looking clean and clear, thus making you less likely to compulsively check your various apps. The outlet also suggests checking out the accounts that you rarely interact with on Instagram. By clicking your following list, you can organize by the accounts you want to continue following. If you haven't interacted with their posts or stories in over two months, it's time to unfollow. Giving you a cleaner screen from the get-go, you'll feel less compelled to consistently check your technology.

Of course, you can always opt for "Do Not Disturb" mode as well or take a "Do Not Disturb" vacation by taking a few days off of social media. Kelsey Patel, reiki and  mindfulness coach, told the outlet that she takes weekends off of Instagram. "It has been the most restorative practice for me to be able to have a weekend off and then reset for Monday," she explained.

Ditch the screen while you eat

A simple way to incorporate a digital detox involves taking manageable steps to wean off of your social media and screen dependency. Health recommends starting by leaving your phone in another room during meals or anytime that you're eating. Setting yourself up for a more mindful munching experience can make a difference in your stress levels while also giving your eyes and brain a break from the glare of the screen. Plus, it can make a difference in our familial relationships. Elisabeth LaMotte, a licensed clinical social worker and founder of the DC Counseling and Psychotherapy Center tells the outlet that, "The more energy we direct toward our devices, the less energy we're directing toward whoever is in the room with us."

The same sentiment rings true when it's time to go to sleep. The pull of social media or checking emails can derail our energy and keep us wound up for hours on end. The outlet suggests banning technology from your bedroom for better sleep, a better relationship and a better state of mind. Instead, grab a book to divert your attention and give your eyes a rest from staring at blue light — especially before you hit the hay.

Lastly, turn off your push notifications that can quickly divert your energy away from more important things. Incorporate new activities like painting, walking or meditating to connect more deeply with yourself rather than constantly being at the beck and call of the outside world.