Digital detox

Disconnect to reconnect

Digital detox holiday

It seems as though we can no longer escape it: Everywhere we look, we’re constantly confronted with technology, whether it’s our computer screens, tablets, smartphones or roadside advertising. We are expected to be reachable at all hours of the day, not only by our employers but also our friends and family. There is no avoiding the incessant input of information and we have come to accept this as our new normal. 

Although it is also exciting to have this wealth of information at our fingertips and this deepened connection to one another via social media, it also comes at a price, burdening not only our physical health but also our mental well-being. Even relationships with our loved ones and, most importantly, to ourselves have started to suffer. In recent years, new wellness programmes have been developed to meet the rising demand to help people disconnect from their devices to reconnect with themselves.  

The pursuit of mindfulness

As we become more aware of the problem at hand, we discover new ways to react. People are now seeking to unplug from their devices and learn to be more present in the moment. Ultimately, this has led to the rise in popularity of digital detox holidays.


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What is smartphone and social media addiction?

Usually we associate addictions with things like alcohol and not necessarily chatting to a friend or keeping a device powered on. However, addiction is the compulsive use of a substance, using it to feel better, do better, or even just when giving in to (peer) pressure.
An addiction becomes a problem when we are no longer able to control the urges and cravings, possibly derailing our lifestyle to accommodate this addiction. Another defining characteristic of an addiction, is needing the particular vice more and more in order to get the same initial result.

Objectively, there is a certain “high” to getting lots of likes on a picture we post on social media, the positive feedback from comments, or the excitement of watching guilty pleasure videos on streaming services. It feels like a harmless hobby at first, as you’re learning something new or interacting with friends. However, these habits and hobbies are, in many cases, negatively impacting our lives and engulfing significant portions of our days (and nights).  

Impacts on our physical health

“I can stop at any time”, “I need it for work”, and “I’m waiting for an important call”. These are some of few things we tell ourselves on a regular basis as we try to convince ourselves we don’t have a problem as well as excuse our cravings. Health organizations are becoming increasingly concerned with the effects that screen time and social media addiction have on our lives. Some of the consequences may not even seem so obvious at first, as the activities we pursue on our devices are seemingly benign: essentially, we’re spending time reading, communicating with others, playing games that challenge our intellect, or simply winding down after a long day.

Short term: lack of quality sleep

The most direct and possibly most discussed impact is that on our sleep. Many experts have talked about the effect of blue light from our screens on our sleep patterns. Our brains and bodies are wired to start producing melatonin when we sense the nighttime approaching, in other words when the sun begins to set and the world around us grows darker. Our internal clock is dependent on these natural cues, which are now disrupted by, primarily, the blue light emitted from our screen which our bodies perceive as bright “daylight”. The primal parts of our brains which have not yet caught up with the pace of our technological evolution are no longer receiving the “it’s nighttime” cues and our sleep patterns are being disrupted.  

 

 

Long term: problems with memory, appetite, and more

The disturbances may seem minor at first, but if disturbed for longer periods of time, this could affect how the body regulates hormones that are essential to our physical well-being. Sleep is vital to so many systems in our body that regulate appetite, neurological processes such as the storage of memory and knowledge, rebuilding muscle and tissues, as well as high blood pressure and diabetes, just to name a few.  

There are also indirect consequences of our smartphone addictions. Whatever time we spend on our devices, it is usually while we sit or lie, meaning we are getting less exercise than we might have gotten in the past. Lack of physical activity can also lead to weight gain as well as weaken systems like the musculoskeletal system, circulatory system, and more.

Impacts on our mental well-being

When we don’t get a good night’s sleep, we tend to feel the repercussions throughout the following day: we wake up drowsy or in a less-than-cheerful mood, our cognitive abilities are slower, we’re less creative, we’re easily irritable, we eat more, make poor decisions, tend to be influenced more by our emotions, we’re less driven to exercise, and through being tired we spend more time being seated and binging on screen time or social media that got us there in the first place. This tends to be a vicious cycle.

Seeking perfection

The impact on our mental health doesn’t stop there. It is a natural part of our inner drive to wish to compete and improve our lives, and even show others that we are doing well. With the dawn of social media, we were able to show off all aspects of our lives, while being able to edit out the parts we dislike. That’s a two-way street: we’re starting to believe that the grass truly is greener on the other side, though we take little time to realize that it’s probably just a filter. We see the seemingly perfect lives from others, whether it’s a friend or influencer, and we begin to pick apart what is wrong with ourselves or our lives, even though we might actually be happy as we are. This has led mental health issues to rise significantly, as many are starting to feel less and less satisfied with their lives.

 

 

 

Constant alertness

People are constantly able to reach us. The days of land-line telephones and snail mail are long gone, where if you were out of the house people would just have to try to reach you again later. Nobody expected you to be reachable at all hours of the day. That has changed as we are now constantly near a device that allows us to check e-mail, send text messages, and call at any given time. We are expected to pick up the phone whenever it rings or write back as soon as we receive a notification. And we have come to expect the same in return, particularly if we see that a message has been sent and read. There is no more down time, no time to switch off and have “me” or “we” time. It has even gotten to the point where this constant interaction is invading our ultimate time to recuperate: our holidays.


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Make the change: fight screen and social media addiction

Why is digital detox so important?

In seeking greater mindfulness and controlling the amount of time we spend on smartphones and social media, we are regaining control of our health. You will begin to relax more and sleep better, possibly helping you reverse some of those negative impacts on your health and well-being. But it also has the added bonus of freeing up time for new hobbies and nurturing your relationships. It is possible to learn new things and cultivate habits that will make you healthier than you ever were before, by finding time to cook healthy meals, workout, or meditate. Ultimately, it is about taking control and living your best life!

Digital detox holidays for lasting change

This is not a new trend. Experts have noticed that people not only need to switch off, but they are looking for a way to learn to cope with these influences and to re-center themselves, to finally break away from addictions to smartphones and social media. Like with many other addictions, it’s not always easy to take the first steps and it can sometimes be an overwhelming task to figure out where to begin. And when you do finally set down the device, what are you going to do to fill the time so that you don’t easily reach for it again? 

A great solution is to take a digital detox holiday! Not only will you be around like-minded people, but you will also be surrounded by experts and hotel staff who are there to support you on your quest for greater mindfulness. The programmes include great activities, such as yoga and hikes to get you in touch with yourself or with nature, or treatments to help you completely relax. You will learn techniques to help you in your day-to-day home routine to maintain the mindfulness techniques and habits you have learned on your holiday. Find your next digital detox holiday below!

Physical and mental health consultations

You can treat any holiday as a digital detox holiday by leaving your phone in your room and going out and exploring or taking part in activities like yoga or hikes. However, specialized digital detox holidays have been designed to help you kick that phone addiction once and for all.

Most packages will start you off with a medical consultation either with a doctor or mental health specialist to help gage the effect your habits have on your health as well as to better help you achieve your goals. These experts can help you identify stressors in your life and the activities and appointments in the programme will help you develop healthy coping techniques.

Practice mindfulness through digital detox

One of the most important tools that will be discussed during these holidays is mindfulness and how becoming self-aware will help you get the most out of your social media detox. Our lives are filled with external and internal influences that both positively and negatively influence our well-being. In learning to more keenly tune into these, you will be able to strengthen your mental health and become more impervious to negative influences, ultimately allowing you to be true to yourself and your needs without giving into vices for instant gratification or to escape. Most programmes will use practices such as yoga or meditation to help you get in touch with your inner self and teach you to be more mindful.

Relaxing and recharging with spa treatments

No spa programme would be complete without some time for relaxation with treatments such as massages, peelings, body wraps, aroma therapy and so much more! Allow yourself to be pampered in the beautiful spas so that you feel as great on the outside as you do on the inside. Each treatment has been chosen by digital detox experts to help you unwind find serenity.

Our digital detox spas and resorts will leave you feeling inspired to be your best self and live your best life. Book one of our digital detox retreats today!


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