Bye bye, phone! 6 steps for starting a realistic digital detox

Ever feel like you're spending more time with your head down looking at your phone than you do actually interacting with people? You're not the only one.

Embarking on a digital detox doesn't mean saying goodbye to your iPhone or tablet forever, but simply cutting out your use of technology at certain times to help you appreciate other things!

Here are a few steps to get you started…

1. Plan it well
If your job/life relies on social media and email, then a full digital detox just won't be realistic, even for a week. So choose your time limits wisely. A no-internet evening every day for a week? A weekend without your smartphone? Whatever you choose, stick to it!

2. Set your boundaries
Maybe you plan to simply cut out social media, or maybe you want to go the whole hog with no TV or internet use. Again, do what's realistic and achievable for you.

3. Make the most of your newfound free time
Plan to meet up with friends or visit someone you haven't see in a while. Face-to-face interaction has so many benefits for our mental health, so get out and get chatting!

4. Enjoy the outdoors
Go for an evening walk or even sit in a café window and people-watch without checking your phone once. You'd be surprised where your thoughts take you!

5. Get reading… and writing
Rather than firing off an email or a Facebook message to a friend, why not write them a letter? Yes, an actual letter. Then post it or even hand-deliver it – it'll be such a novelty for you both! Bonus points if they reply. As for reading, pick up that book you've been meaning to finish and get stuck in.

6. Take stock
After your digital detox is over, take a few minutes to think about how it worked or didn't work for you? Did you hate being off Twitter or did you find it was kind of a relief to be disconnected? Whatever your feelings, we bet you'll come away from it all with a more positive outlook!