What is a digital fast? Simply it’s a period of time where you don’t use any of your electronic digital devices. That means no phone, no tablet, no computer, no TV, no video games, nothing digital. Go to a time and place when there was no digital device to distract you.
Have you ever taken a digital fast?
Does this feel impossible with your life or job? I hear you, I have clients who I’ve discussed this and who look at me like I’ve got four heads. I totally get it, it’s hard to take a digital fast these fast-paced days.
However, even a few hours or a half day of a digital fast can produce amazing results. I had a client who didn’t know if she could do this but she set a goal to try it. She planned “me time” for herself, rested, and read a book. She was beaming with excitement and renewed energy when she came back from her mini 4 hour digital fast. She was blown away at how well she felt how rested and how less stress she felt. Client win!
Digital fasting can be an amazing way to improve your health.
Here’s what science says are benefits:
- regain a sense of peace
- reduce stress
- reduce anxiety
- reduce depression,
- enhance your focus
- increase productivity
- improve your sleep
- help with positive connections with people in your life.
Another benefit by taking a digital fast - you can find more time for the things that actually bring you joy and peace and comfort.
How to do a digital fast?
First carve out a time that will actually work for digital fast. Time where you may be more naturally less connected. Start out with something small maybe a few hours maybe a half a day.
Even better, if you can find an entire day or if you’re going on a vacation somewhere remote and you don’t have access to the Internet fantastic.
The idea is that you want to create success is to find a place where you can do this easily and then put your devices in a place where you can’t access them easily or be tempted.
Second, have a plan for the day. Doing things that take you away from your devices. Things like, a walk, a hike, going somewhere engaging in something, volunteering, sitting in nature, visiting with another human without digital devices, reading, writing, …
Third, after you’ve completed your digital fast, take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate what you’ve done this for yourself. Take time to notice how you feel, how your relationships, what might be some new routines with less digital devices.
How do you know if it’s time for digital fast?
- Feelings of depression or anxiety after you check your social media
- Feel like you’re checking your phone every few minutes
- Those fake fuzzy/buzzy in your pocket or where you keep your phone
- Disrupted or trouble with sleep
- Find yourself to socially withdrawing
- Someone has commented about your phone use
- Have a hard time concentrating and staying focused
- Insecure about where you are in life
- Imposter syndrome
- Feeling like you have to immediately respond to texts/slack/teams/email messages.
- A lack of boundaries between work and home
Any of these can be a sign that a break from your digital devices would be a healthy choice.
What are your thoughts about a digital fast? How does this resonate?
A glimpse into my most recent digital fast. In May, Bill and I took our yearly long weekend getaway for our anniversary. We intentionally planned for a digital detox after we arrived. We used our phones and email to communicate this to those who might be effected. After arriving via phone navigation, we put our phones on a dresser and left them. The first few hours were a challenge, we commented on how silly it was that we kept looking/feeling for our phones. It was late on Friday and there was zero need to check work, social media the weather or news. We had a great time just talking, walking, gazing at the fire pit, reading and just enjoying being together. What a precious gift. By Monday when we were to return we didn’t really feel the need to use our phones or social media.
I hope your willing to try a digital fast. It can have amazing persona health benefits. It can be fantastic for relationships. I want you to be happy and resilient to live your amazing life. I’d love to chat and connect with you if you’ve done this or have ideas how to do this.
If you or someone you know would like support and building resiliency, please reach out and contact me. You can also forward this to them or even provide an e-mail introduction. I provide a safe place to explore your life and business. My clients inspire me when they share their wins.
PS. I have space for 2 clients in my coaching practice in August. If that's you, please contact me here, use the form at the bottom. Then let's have a conversation to see how I may be of support for you.
Teresa – Planning my next digital fast in July.
PS. Please excuse any typos, typing with a broken wrist.
Teresa Q. Bitner, M.Ed., PMP, PCC - Resiliency, Change and Loss Coach
Partnering with those who have been knocked down my life and want to build resiliency and move forward and live a bold life.
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