The benefits of a digital detox

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Three years ago I opened a Snapchat account and slowly got addicted to watching bloggers and celebs talk about their triumphs and insecurities. One morning on my day off I had planned to film two Youtube videos, meal prep and clean the apartment. I made my morning ritual cup of Lyons tea and sat back in bed to catch up on social media…. this Alice fell down the social media rabbit hole. I emerged like I had just woken from a sedated sleep only to realise that I had been watching Snapchat for four hours!

I jumped out of bed like I had just received an alarming phonecall. When I realised it was already 12 o clock and I hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet, brushed my teeth or got dressed instead I had voluntarily watched strangers for hours on this time suck app! I continued watching women bad mouthing other women, Instagram stars stroking their egos, endless amount of bloggers pitching products and talking to their cats …. I mean total and utter shit. I took up my phone and deleted the app immediately and have never returned. This was a wakeup call about how much time I waste on social media and here’s what I did to ensure that I didn’t fall down that rabbit hole ever again.

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The internet is one of the most helpful things to have ever been invented, when you need to find a good place to eat, catch up with a friend or research something on the go it really is a convenient tool. But the constant noise and notifications can be so distracting and when we allow, it can be the biggest daily time suck. On nights when we vow to go to sleep early but get caught reading post after post coming up on our Facebook feed and wake up exhausted the next day only to vow never to stay up on our phone again. Today I’m going to share some of the tips I have followed over the last few years that have helped me to avoid the time wasting apps of social media.

Switch off at night:

Having your phone next to your bed when you go to sleep is one of those things we all do. Most of us use our phones as our alarm clocks. But if you like to charge your phone at night then try to charge it away from your bed. This habit is amazing at helping you focus on falling asleep and stops you reaching for your phone when you can’t doze off. Taking in new information before you sleep awakens the brain. So try to switch your phone on silent and face down so notifications or light will not wake you from your slumber. Trust me whatever it is can wait till the morning.

Social media content cleanse:

Social media is noisy and alot of the actual content we would like to see and read is getting caught up in those endless sponsored posts and fashion and beauty hauls. So cleanse the content you see on a daily basis. Unfollow the websites, bloggers and Facebook groups that dont interest you anymore, I also do this with Youtube, if a certain bloggers content comes up in my feed and I have no interest in watching that piece I take note, if I do it a second time I unsubscribe from that blogger. This is something I do on a regular basis, I cater my own news feed to what interests me at this current moment. Which for me is sustainable and ethical fashion, slow living, zero waste, ways I can reuse reduce recycle. So basically reading topics and watching videos that can actual make a difference.

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Email and newsletter subscriptions:

When I started my Capsule wardrobe almost three years ago one of the first things I did was unsubscribe from the many fashion websites, emails and newsletters that came to my inbox. This is one easy step to block out all the promotion and markdown information about items I did not need in my wardrobe and life. Do I miss them? no, did they add value to my style? no! Building a capsule wardrobe is all about recognising what you actually need and want instead of being mislead by fashion marketing. In that simple ‘unsubscribe’ button is the capsule wardrobe you have always dreamed of, but that my friends is a whole other capsule video or blog post.

Save it for later:

Facebook has this little save icon (pin) that allows you to save posts and videos giving you the opportunity to watch it later. Now before I continue I choose this with intention I don’t just save any old thing popping up in my feed. I use it more like a daily newspaper and save it for when I have time like a Saturday morning reading list, it might be a post about a new eco friendly brand I haven’t heard of, an interesting read on The Guardian or a new healthy recipe I would like to try. So instead of dropping everything right there and then to read something I pin it and come back to it later. Funnily enough when it comes to reading those links I often unpin ones that don’t interest me anymore. This is an interesting exercise that can teach you how often you stop and read something that maybe isn’t even that engaging but it was just the headline that drew you in.

 Turn off notifications:

Finally we all have busy lives, hectic daily commutes, stressful days at work the last thing we need is our phones going off every 2 seconds with What’s app *dings*, Facebook *beeps* and email notifications. Turn them off, allocate a time of the day that you check your social media. Take your head out of your phone and be present, put your phone down and enjoy that coffee with your friend. Freeing yourself of your mobile device will be the best thing you ever do to reach those goals that you have always talked about. Disconnect to connect. What digital habits do you practice that help you be more productive?

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