[As a doctor] the best use of my time is face to face with people so the less I am in front of a computer the better
Dr Karina Stewart, co-founder of Kamalaya spa in Thailand, has some handy tips that will help you switch off
If you find yourself checking your emails before you’ve wiped the sleep from your eyes, you’ve updated your social media before you’ve had a shower, and then you spent the rest of the day hunched over a laptop, maybe you need to learn how to do a digital detox? Kamalaya is just one of the resorts that is now helping its guests power down with a digital detox. So Karina Stewart offers some tips that you can try at home.
Schedule Email Time
When you have work emails, personal emails and social media messages it’s not hard to feel swamped. And Karine Stewart says that this affects her too: “I have to keep reminding myself to set limits in order to keep a healthy balance. [As a doctor] the best use of my time is face to face with people so the less I am in front of a computer the better. Check emails at set times throughout the day rather than letting them interrupt you all day long. My team supports me by notifying me of any urgent emails via text message. This way I avoid the need to check my emails constantly and it helps me to feel less interrupted.”
Socialise IRL (In Real Life)
If you’ve liked a friend’s photo on Facebook; Instagrammed your breakfast and shared a video on YouTube with your partner (who is on the sofa looking at their device), maybe you both need to have a time out? Stewart says how important it is to do your socializing in real life, not through the small screen. She says we should: “make commitments regarding our usage which will enhance the many aspects of our health including our relationships and quality of life.”
Go Old School
Put a hold on checking your emails as soon as you wake. “I don’t use devices early in the morning or after 8pm at night,” says Karina Stewart. If you find yourself going straight from switching off your mobile alarm clock to checking your inbox, Stewart suggests using an old-fashioned alarm clock. “Create some me-time for any meditation, exercise, yoga that you may wish to engage in before beginning work,” she adds.
Find A Digital Free Zone
If you find it difficult to switch off, find somewhere where you won’t be able to switch on. At the Kamalaya resort, the team has created smartphone-free areas, but you can create your own. Book a massage, hit the pool or choose a coffee shop that doesn’t have wifi.
If you’ve opened your inbox to find 300 emails waiting to be answered, don’t panic, Stewart suggests that you try this deep breathing technique. Start by inhaling slowly through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Repeat this technique 10 times. It will instantly calm you down and make you feel ready to take on the world or your inbox.