Our brains and bodies need to have breaks from being constantly stimulated or else eventually will burn out. In the past decade we have seen an explosion in technology and social media. Though this use of media now seems ordinary, this can drastically affect us – and the planet – in the long run. Sustainable living is about embracing nature and making conscious decisions to reduce our environmental impact – but how can we devote brain power to decision making when digital media demands all our mental capacity?
You wake up to your alarm on your phone, after you hit snooze a few times you eventually roll over to check your social media for a bit before getting out of bed. As you’re making your breakfast and brushing your teeth… you’re still on your phone. Maybe you’re watching the weather or the news before heading to work. While in the car or the bus you are listening to your favourite song or podcast. You return to scrolling on your phone many times during the workday on your breaks and lunch. After getting home you make some dinner and binge watch the new season of your favourite series on Netflix. Then back to scrolling in bed as your drift off to sleep.
…Not that hard to picture right?
Well it’s probably because this is a regular day for so many of us. With newer phones, and so much time alone (thanks Covid), we have been able to consume media excessively. We know that being constantly online can often can lead to anxiety and depression, but it also can lead to a mental fatigue and reduce our ability to be grounded in our daily activities that also demand attention and decisions.
Digital cleansing and being mindful about digital consumption allow us time to be more present, connect with nature and appreciate what we already have. And, when we remove the pressures of our affluent society, we can perceive living to be simpler, slower, and calmer. We require making space in our mind to think sustainably and consume responsibly in our daily lives.
Of course, the internet gives us so many advantages like quick information, entertainment, and instant communication. And for many of us, our jobs rely on it. However, it’s still important to set limits for yourself and take breaks, what some call a “digital detox”. Let’s take a look at what you can do:
Three things to do now
- Unsubscribe from email chains that you no longer want to follow. This is a great way to stop impulse buys – if you don’t see the sale coming through, then you won’t feel the pressure to buy. It’s especially great to invest your time and social following into brands that are ethical and have a more sustainable impact.
- Remove or change notification settings on your apps. Constantly being bombarded on your phone, laptop and smartwatch is just not healthy.
- Turn on the “Do Not Disturb” setting on your devices to avoid being pinged when trying to focus on specific tasks. If humanity has survived through a world with no phones for centuries, a few hours being offline will surely be ok!
Three habits to take on
- Have lunch away from your desk. If you have time, go for a walk as well. Connecting with nature can ground you for the rest of the day, and also make you more productive.
- Connect with friends and families over a meal or coffee/drink without having any devices with you. Really being present and engaged in a conversation can leave you feeling reenergized.
- Have a night routine where you can indulge in a bit of self-reflection, reading and calmness before getting into bed. Make your bedroom a sanctuary from the never-sleeping digital world, by placing your phone out of reach of the bed.
With the advent of social media and having more than a tv-box and a radio as a source of information, we are hyper aware of what goes on in our global community. We can use this to make informed decisions and care more for our neighbours, but it can also exhaust us from being intentional and making sustainable choices.
As much as we at The Peeled Pantry try to make sustainable products available to you, it also takes your energy and passion to lead an eco-friendly life. We believe digital detoxing brings us closer to sustainable living through increased interaction with human beings and nature, and fewer distractions.