Phones have become a significant part of everyday life. Having extended far beyond the ability to call and receive texts to a much broader degree of functionality, phones increase many’s reliance on these devices throughout each day.
However, for those in recovery, one’s phone can also be an unending source of stress. Even with the potential dangers of overusing one’s phone, it is still incredibly difficult to detach oneself from its regular use. It is common to constantly struggle to separate from the addictiveness of these devices.
Getting away from phones can be a necessary practice to mitigate unnecessary stress. Learning to detach oneself from one’s phone can be a core skill throughout one’s recovery journey.
Understanding the Need to Detach
While phones have their potential benefits by helping those in recovery stay connected with supports and explore new online communities, they can also be detrimental to the recovery process depending on how they are used. Detaching from one’s phone does not mean that an individual needs to up-end their usual means of communication. They can still use their phone daily if needed. Rather, detaching from one’s device means learning to put it down when it is not necessary, eliminating excess time scrolling.
One’s phone can hold all of one’s social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and much more. While staying connected is essential, excess social media can create a number of hurdles in one’s recovery.
For some, it can cause an individual to judge themselves unfairly in comparison to others. These unfair comparisons can cause an individual to belittle their own accomplishments or introduce doubt, shame, or guilt by unfairly judging themselves.
These expectations can be wholly detrimental, introducing an incredible amount of stress in one’s daily life. The overuse of social media can also lead an individual to begin judging one’s self-worth not by one’s accomplishments but by how many likes a post gets. This can place one’s agency and self-image counterproductively in the hands of a digital public.
Likewise, too much time surfing on one’s phone can also lead to habits such as “doomscrolling.” Doomscrolling is the practice of continuously sifting through negative news stories, even if reading such headlines and articles is actively upsetting.
Even scrolling through community posts or reading through arguments fall under this category. Yet, it can also be difficult to stop scrolling, leading an individual to adopt a steady state of frustration or sadness into one’s day. This can make it more challenging to maintain an optimistic outlook on one’s own life.
How to Put Down the Phone
Putting down one’s phone and filling one’s time with other activities is essential for maintaining a healthy worldview. This can be greatly beneficial to one’s mental health by omitting unfair judgments or depressing content. While challenging, there are a few strategies one can employ to distance oneself from their phones, including:
#1. Practice Intent
Before pulling out one’s phone, first, ask oneself what the reason behind its use is in the current situation. For example, pulling out one’s phone because they need to make a phone call to a friend, family, or support member or make appointments is perfectly justified.
However, if an individual pulls out their phone because they are bored or feel a compulsive urge to check social media, this opens a dangerous gate to surfing without intent. Without intent, there can be no goals to accomplish, and thus no indication on when one should be finished with the device. This can lead to open-ended scrolling sessions and prolonged usage.
#2. Mute Notifications
Some individuals may not feel the compulsive urge to check their phones but still find themselves suffering from a device’s negative effects. When a notification pops up, one may check it, and with numerous apps constantly dinging one’s phone, it can be easy to find oneself always being called back to check. By muting these notifications, one can better maintain their own schedule, only checking when one has the time and intent to do so.
Deleting distracting apps or moving them off of the immediate home screen can also benefit an individual. If an individual checks a text message, they can also be distracted by the other possibilities their phone has, thinking that since the phone is already open, they may as well open social media. However, this can still have plenty of negative effects. Keeping these apps out of immediate view can help minimize their unnecessary or compulsive use.
#3. Keep it Out of the Bedroom
Lastly, scrolling before bed can not just be unhealthy but can also compromise one’s entire sleep schedule, leading to inconsistent rest or going to bed angry. By keeping one’s phone out of the bedroom and charging it in another place entirely, an individual can quell the urge to check one’s phone while improving the quality of sleep obtained every night.
Getting away from your phone and detaching from social media can be essential in creating a healthier daily life. At Everlast Recovery Centers, we understand the impact our phones have on our daily lives and are prepared to help you begin to separate yourself from your devices throughout your own recovery journey. Whether you are taking your first step into detox or residential treatment or are looking to explore your struggles with mental health disorders, we are prepared to personalize your time with us to fit your unique needs and goals. Individual and group therapy, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and much more, all backed with an intimate and home-like atmosphere filled with caring peers and staff, can all be used to help you find the best way to fill your time with effective and healthy daily strategies. For more information on how we can help you, call us today at (866) 388-6925.