There’s a lot of risk for relapse hidden in the phone. Your dealer’s number is there. You know how to access them on Facebook. You could call up an old drinking buddy and make plans, without calling anyone else. Silently, on Instagram, you can find illegal drugs for sale. If you are prone to compulsive sexual behaviors, there is an entire universe of dating apps which could pose problems to you, especially if you aren’t ready to date or be in a relationship yet. The temptations hidden just beyond the reach of your passcode are tempting. It’s time for a digital detox. Increasingly, we are attached to our phones multiple hours of the day. We can spend an entire work day’s worth of hours on our phones without realizing any time has passed. App after app, notification after notification, we are honed into our screens once more, blinded by the stimulating blue light behind the screen. Taking a digital detox is a good practice for recovery. Recovery teaches you that you don’t need to be stimulated by something every hour of the day. You also learn in recovery that when difficult emotions arise or any kind of stress, you don’t have to turn to an external source to get that internal validation of comfort. Instead, you can turn to your tools and resources you’ve gained through treatment to bring yourself back to center and cope on your own. A digital detox is really a metaphor for getting back to the basics you learn in recovery- being in touch with yourself, with your environment, and practicing self-awareness. Here are some tips for taking a digital detox.
- Move your phone out of your room at night: Many people are using their phones as their alarm clock. Having the phone in close proximity late at night and first thing in the morning can be too tempting for using it. Instead, buy a simple watch or an alarm clock to rely on the time. Keeping your phone out of sight keeps your phone out of mind. You’ll become less reliant on your phone and less tempted to engage with it.
- If you work with your phone, limit your notifications: You could easily spend an entire day turning off notifications or checking everything you are being notified about. For a few hours a day, turn off notifications entirely by entering a Do Not Disturb state. Spend this time meditating, reflecting on gratitude, or getting outside to put your feet in the grass and look up at the sky.
- Take a break from social media: Other than text messages and email, there are few apps more enticing than social media. In order to stay away from social media, temporarily disable your account or have a friend change your password. Mindfully notice how you are tempted to engage in social media and pay attention to when those urges arise.
Oceanfront Recovery offers a unique men’s executive treatment program for working professionals who need to stay accountable in their jobs. Each day, men have an opportunity to engage with their computers and phones for work, then spend time engaged in treatment and therapy, changing their brains and their body. For information on our residential treatment programs, call us today: 877.279.1777