5 Hacks to Restore Balance in a Digital World

Try giving technology a break on Digital Wellness Day

Students using digital devices.

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The digital world offers so much to all. From connecting you to friends and family to providing instant solutions, being online offers convenience, connectivity, and saves time.  But there is another side to living digitally. 

Spending time on line may become addictive, disruptive, and could lead to anxiety and depression, according to the University of Washington. Too much time spent on digital devices may also hijack your ability to think and your creativity. 

“We're short-circuiting our ability to be creative — to push against the obvious, which tends to happen when we're idle, bored, or not focusing intently on a specific concept,” professor and author Adam Alter told yahoo!news.

As a result, there is a need for more awareness about the downside of digital living, as well as solutions to find balance while using technology. This is the goal of the annual Digital Wellness Day that falls on May 5, 2023. 

Seminars and tools that day will offer free resources to students, teachers, parents, and employers so they can have a more mindful approach to technology. Last year, according to the organizers of Digital Wellness Day, they reached over seven million people in 36 countries.

Their new concept, called Digital Flourishing®, illustrates how to achieve balance with digital technology in multiple areas of life. The goal is to achieve digital wellness, opening up avenues to physical, mental, and spiritual health. 

Here are five tips that may help you to practice digital wellness and restore balance and creativity in your life. 

Become aware of your online habits
Developing balance starts with awareness. This begins with knowing how much time you are spending in your digital world and how easily you can become distracted by pings, emails, and calls, advises a blog on Timely

In fact, if you are working on a task and are distracted by a message or notification, it may take up to 23 minutes to refocus on the task at hand. This lost time adds up, so keep track of your digital habits.

Make a plan
People who spend more than two hours daily on social media have lower self-esteem than those do not, cautions the University of Washington. Give your mental health a boost and prepare a plan to limit time spent on social media.

This is especially important for teens and young adults. Some 90 percent of college students compare themselves to their peers 15 minutes after waking, leading to negative feelings even before they get out of bed. This is a good segue into the next tip!

Don’t look at your phone when you wake up
Many people scroll through their messages or read those negative news headlines as soon as they open their eyes each morning. Give yourself a break for an hour or so, suggests The Good Trade blog.  Instead, use this special time to appreciate the positive. Stretch, walk, meditate, or connect with those in your home. A screen-free morning is also healthy as it may reduce eye strain.

Make your interactions meaningful
Be positive when you are connecting online with others. This is the relationship part of the Flourishing Wheel. Strive for having meaningful interactions by showing people support.  Social media was developed to foster community, so use it to compliment others and to develop honest and worthwhile interactions. 

Organize your digital life
Save time and feel less cluttered by organizing your digital life, recommends The Good Trade. This way you can make technology work for you instead of you being a slave to it. One suggestion is to prioritize apps and folders in order of importance. Delete those apps on your phone that you do not use and move up the essential ones, like your workout app. Another suggestion is to aim for a zero inbox. Less clutter may make you feel calmer! 

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