The term digital wellness has been popping up more and more recently as a sub-topic under the umbrella term, ‘wellness.’
Wellness is now a $4.3 trillion industry, according to the Global Wellness Institute. And it’s growing every day. People are beginning to heavily invest not only in their education but in their wellbeing as well. Through Instagram, some influencers have even become mental wellness advocates by encouraging their followers to “treat themselves” and providing tips on “self-care.” Their recommendations can include anything from a bath bomb to a journaling exercise or a new candle to a silent retreat in Bali. Wellness is booming.
The steady increase of focusing one’s attention inward online has led to the rise of wellness spaces popping up in major metropolitan areas. In New York City alone you can find Chillhouse (a modern destination for self-care) and The Assemblage (a co-working space for those who believe in doing well by doing good). There’s also meditation hubs like MNDFL and Inscape bringing mindfulness to the masses. And it doesn’t stop there — corporate brands are finally catching on. Companies of all sizes are beginning to piggy-back onto the idea of investing in company culture by investing in their employees’ wellbeing. Many companies have started to implement separate rooms where employees can go to meditate, nap, or just be in a quiet space without distraction.
A considerable part of this boom is because many of us, if not all, are constantly plugged into technology 24/7. In today’s society, everything we do for work and our personal lives is connected to our phones and computers. We are overwhelmed by the vast amount of media there is to consume daily, yet we continue to partake in the endless scroll as much as the next person.
That’s where digital wellness comes in. Bubble baths aside, self-care and wellbeing could be just one tech-free day away. If you’re finding yourself checking social media consistently throughout the day and aimlessly scrolling, the next step in your wellness journey may be a digital detox (although it isn’t easy). As a digital wellness expert and soon-to-be-certified coach, I’m well aware of how addicted people can be to their smartphones (I was too). Going cold turkey is likely not going to be the answer and could cause anxiety rather than help alleviate stress.
So, here’s how you wean off slowly and explore cultivating a healthier relationship with technology:
- Create a morning routine. Wake up your body and mind before checking your phone (because once you open a social media app that sets the tone for the entire day). I cannot stress this discipline enough.
- Partner up. If you can find a friend to get on board, it will be much easier for both of you to stay committed. Sit down with a friend and create boundaries (like when you will/won’t check social media each day). Then hold each other accountable and reward yourselves every week you successfully stick to your plan.
- Work out and unplug. Do you bring your phone into your workout class? Even if your phone isn’t visible, you will still feel an energetic pull to check it or also experience digital FOMO. Working out is a great time for self-care, so I encourage you to leave your phone in your locker.
- Charge your phone outside the bedroom. The bedroom is for sleep and sex–no phones should be allowed to interrupt either of those activities. Period.
- Take yourself on a date. It’s time for your first mini “digital detox.” Put your phone on airplane mode (in case you need Google Maps) and pick an activity that brings you joy. It could be a movie, dinner, or even a dance party. Whatever you do, take at least 2-3 hours to enjoy the disconnect and see how connected you end up feeling after.
Once you have completed some (or maybe all!) of these steps, you can begin extending your time away from your phone whenever you see fit. Work your way up from half a day to even 24 hours and then maybe to a whole week! You’ll be amazed by what it can do for your mind, body, and soul.
Hop on the digital wellness trend and hop off the endless scroll of trending news. A healthier life awaits you (bath bomb optional).
Content courtesy of Liana Pavane, digital wellness expert and founder of TTYL—a tech-free community dedicated to human connection.
CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR, LIANA PAVANE
Liana founded TTYL in 2018 to help people have a healthier relationship with technology and social media. Since launching, she has been featured on NY1, Bedford + Bowery, The Joy List, the SHIPS podcast, and more for her work in digital wellness.
As a professional community builder, Liana believes in the power of unplugging and living in the present moment. Her tech-free events have been hosted at prominent spaces such as Athleta, Showfields, The Assemblage, The Phluid Project, and Tijuana Picnic.
Liana is also a born and raised New Yorker who studied theatre at Ithaca College. When she’s not growing her business or hosting an event, you can find Liana networking with like-minded people or finding joy away from her phone.