You pick up your phone to set the timer for the holiday cookies you’re baking and next thing you know you’re five work emails deep.
You’re not alone if you find yourself spending more time than you want to on your phone from time to time.
“Holidays also offer lots of opportunities for real connection, turning your presence into a present for your family and friends,” says Don Grant, PhD, a media psychologist and national advisor of healthy device management for Newport Healthcare, a national network of mental health care centers for teens and young adults.
One study, for instance, found that you are less likely to engage in empathetic, quality conversations when a mobile device is present.
And, yes, taking a step back from your tech (even temporarily) may be a strategy to reverse some of these things. A small study of a group of college students, for example, linked digital detoxes (even those lasting only a few days) with reports of feeling less anxious and experiencing better mood, productivity, and sleep.
But doing it can be easier said than done.
So how can you disconnect from the digital and plug into the world around you this holiday season?
7 Tips for Disconnecting During the Holidays
Mental health professionals offer the following tips for staying off your phone and more in the moment:
1. Set Boundaries (Physical, Temporal, or Other Ones)
2. Designate Group-Wide, No-Phone Time
3. Turn Off Push Notifications
4. Delete or Hide Tempting Apps
5. Adopt a Delayed Posting Habit
6. Pick Mono-Tasking Over Multitasking
7. Take Fewer Pictures