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Drop Off The Grid For a Digital Detox

Digital devices may provide us with pertinent information that we need to stay safe and healthy, as well as much-needed social connection, but they have their drawbacks. Adults spend around 100 hours each week interacting with media, which can cause information overload and fatigue.

Consider a digital detox during a staycation or getaway. Put down your devices, relax, and decompress. It could be an opportunity to revamp your digital habits and make room for more real-world interactions and explorations.

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01Detach from all things digital

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The first step is unhooking from all your digital devices, and that includes phones, laptops, and wearables — anything that connects to the internet. Experts suggest starting small during a staycation, and adjusting to detoxification in 15-minute increments throughout the day. Work your way up from there. After several days, you’ll reach a full, no-connection day. Once you’ve proven to yourself that you can do it, try incorporating a weekly “zero-digital day” into your life.

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02Try some trial runs at home

man eating sushi

If you’re dedicated to a gadget-free getaway, but the thought of being away from your digital device causes you serious anxiety, it may help to try some trial runs first. Leave your phone behind when stepping away to the gym, a cafe, or the grocery store. Before meals, place it out of reach and resist the temptation to check it until you’ve completed your meal.

These trial runs make it much easier to unplug for extended periods, and they allow you to start appreciating the freedom you have when you aren’t scrolling through your device every five minutes.

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03Control your own detox

person putting laptop in bag

In the digital age, travelers can find exactly what they’re looking for when it comes to R&R sans digital device. If you’re more of a control-your-own destiny type, there are simple ways to achieve your goal at home or in new surroundings.

Mute or get rid of apps that do nothing for your state of mind. Turn off notifications and internet connections and store devices where you don’t have easy access to them. Plan trips to destinations that will keep your attention and help you resist the temptation to log in, such as parks, outdoor festivals, and places that prohibit digital devices.

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04Avoid public internet connections

woman arms outstretched mountain view

You don’t necessarily have to find the most remote place on the planet to achieve digital detox success. Wi-fi hotspots are mostly available around museums, markets, and cafes. To resist temptation, head to a natural setting, such as a national park or recreational area.

Most of these major attractions have a visitor center where you can connect if you need to, but other than that, you’re free from any digital interruptions. You can fill your time hiking, soaking up some sunshine, or going for a swim instead of checking your phone every few minutes.

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05Try new, tech-free experiences

people cooking in cooking class

To keep your mind off of your digital anchor, make a bucket list of tech-free activities you’d like to try out and create an itinerary to make them happen. If camping and the outdoors aren’t your top choices for a restful getaway, join a tour that highlights your interests instead.

You’ll find a vast selection of culinary classes, immersive walking tours, and food and wine tastings around the world. If you’re into the arts, sign up for a guided street-art or installation art tour. Leave your device behind. You’ll find that you’re more present in the experience without it.

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06Poor connectivity is a plus

woman biking

Finding beautiful holiday destinations with not-so-great connectivity and poor phone signals makes it easier to hold fast to your detox goals.

One study found that Brecon, Wales in the UK is one of the best spots on the globe to achieve digital-free bliss — for lots of reasons other than its slow internet speeds. Not only will you find stunning landscapes to explore there, but Brecon is famous for its glass blowers, architecture, and historical contributions, as well as its museums, cafes, and bustling marketplace.

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07Use a paper map to find your way around

woman in car holding map looking outside window

Most people have become accustomed to finding their destination through a phone app. It’s probably safe to say that some travelers have never really had to rely solely on a paper map or guidebook. Not only is this old-school method of traveling a fun and exciting way to plan your routes and highlight points of interest, but it also keeps you off of your phone.

swissmediavision / Getty Images

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08Travel with like-minded people

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Hardcore device lovers may need more than good intentions to disconnect from their cyber tethers for a while. One method that’s surging in popularity is to book a group detox adventure. Many travel companies feature these digital-free tours where you can travel alongside like-minded sojourners who are also seeking freedom from devices.

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09Plan a full-on health retreat

couple in massage bed

Some travel accommodations assist with your device-free quest, offering services like confiscating digitals at the check-in desk. People who feel intensely attached to their phones may find it too overwhelming to focus solely on cutting down their screen time. Instead, why not plan a health retreat for your body, mind, and spirit at a device-free spa?

Some wellness retreats confiscate your digital gadgets at check-in, then return them when your stay is over. These health resorts provide regenerative and holistic treatments and specialized diets for your physical body and teach helpful methods for relieving day-to-day stresses to use when you return home.

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10Visualize long term goals

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Unplugging from digital devices, even temporarily, is a conscientious decision that will pay off in the long run, according to mental health experts. Taking time away from a device not only helps with stress, anxiety, and depression, but it allows you to gain perspective so that you can change unhealthy digital habits.

You’ll have the opportunity to reset your brain, refresh your psyche, and establish boundaries. Plus, you’ll find more time for relationships and activities you enjoy.

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