28 Nov Make Your Presence The Present – Digital Detox Challenge
Our Digital Detox Challenge series is designed to find inspiring ways to introduce a bit of online:offline balance in your life. We hope there’s a challenge that inspires you to give logging-off a go!
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, gift guides and special offers inundating our TV screens (and our social media feeds) this seems the perfect time to launch our latest digital detox challenge! This year we’re all about remembering that what your loved ones want most from you in the holidays is your presence, not to see you continually distracted by your smartphone screen.
We’re challenging all of you to completely log-off from smartphones, tablets and all digital devices for two full days over Christmas – Christmas Day and Boxing Day – and to focus completely on the family and friends you have around you at that time. We know it won’t be easy so we’ve got a few tips on how to make it work;
#1 Hide your phones away!
All research tells us that people stick best to resolutions when temptation is removed from their sight. In the same way that when you start a healthy eating regime you’d rid your fridge of all unhealthy options, it’s going to be a lot easier for you if your smartphone simply isn’t visible. When you start your digital detox challenge lock all your phones in a drawer or hide them in a bag in another room. On our digital detox holidays we take all phones and digital devices off our guests and keep them hidden until the last day. They all report how much easier this makes it for them!
#2 Announce your digital detox challenge
We know that one of the things that stresses out our guests in advance of our digital detox retreats is the worry that someone won’t be able to get hold of them, or the concern that people will think they’re being ignored! So we suggest you tell everyone about your digital detox challenge and that you’re going to be hunkering down with your family and switching off from social media and smartphones over Christmas.
Post something on social media, ring or text your friends, reassure them that you haven’t dropped off the planet, you just want to take some time offline. That way you’ll be able to focus on the positive aspect of digital detoxing without the anxiety and FOMO.
#3 Keep yourself busy
Let’s face it, Christmas isn’t a hard time to find something to do apart from being on a smartphone screen. There’s a whole heap of eating, drinking and TV distractions available. But with many of our digital detox retreat guests reporting that they use their phones to distract them from uncomfortable or difficult feelings, what happens if all the relatives who’ve taken up residence in your home suddenly start to annoy you and you find your fingers twitching for a bit of escape?
We suggest that getting out for a walk in the fresh air is your No.1 plan. Take yourself off outside, take others with you, take a dog! Let nature and the outdoors act as a natural stress relief. Afterwards, get lost in a good book, try a jigsaw puzzle or volunteer to do the washing-up! All are mindful activities which will focus you in the present and relieve anxiety.
#4 Remind yourself why you’re doing it
We’ve become a nation of smartphone addicts with 6 in 10 UK adults admitting to being ‘hooked’ on their phones. At the same time 40% of us have said that in the last year they have felt ignored by a friend or relative who was engrossed in their device. One of the strands of our digital detox manifesto is that we believe real-life relationships always trump virtual ones. So let’s show our loved ones that they matter to us by logging off for Christmas and focusing on them. We know that when people do a digital detox they report increased happiness levels and greater connection with those around them, and what better time to discover this?
Join in with our digital detox festive challenge and stop those around you feeling ignored while you scroll on your phone this Christmas. Good luck, and let us know if you plan to do it, and how you got on, using the #PresenceNotPresents hashtag online!