After launching Detox Shampoo—our apple cider vinegar-infused cleansing shampoo that detoxes your hair and scalp while offering Keratin to help repair hair—we were inspired to explore other kinds of detoxes. While stuck at home our screen time has skyrocketed, making now a better time than ever to go on a digital detox. To help jumpstart the process, we started practicing gratitude daily with a little help from the Instagram of the Hoffman Process, the personal growth retreat for transformation and development, and its weekly Instagram Lives led by Hoffman Teachers. Still, we’re far from digital detox pros so we went straight to one of our favorite Hoffman Teachers, @therealreginalouise, whose Instagram Lives you’ve probably tuned in to recently.
Writer, childcare advocate, motivational speaker, Regina is the fairy soul godmother everyone needs in their life. She’s the author of “Someone Had Led This Child to Believe,” a memoir about her experience of overcoming neglect in the US foster care system, and “Somebody’s Someone.” Here Regina shares with us the steps to preparing for and doing a digital detox, and how to get the most out of a digital detox right at home.
The Hoffman Teacher's Role
As a relatively new Hoffman Teacher (four years), my role is to show up, prepared and present, for every weeklong Process I am assigned. My highest intentions is to hold the space for students, myself, my teammates and for Spirit to be seen and felt in ways that change the molecules in the room for all involved. My medicine, as a Hoffman teacher, is to listen, to trust, and to be the benevolent witness as each student commits to do her/his work to save their own lives; to encourage the widening of souls and hearts in order to make room for people to go home inside themselves as their best selves. My role is to remind students of the most important element of what it means to be human, which is in my own words: to be good enough and to know it, feel it, believe it and be it.
Preparing for the Detox
The first step of starting a digital detox should be to make a commitment to attaining the value of what is to be gained. Embody the same qualities you would expect from a “good-enough” mother; nurture yourself, be compassionate, align with your intentions and understand that although you may not reach your ultimate goal on the first try, refrain from harshly judging yourself and loving get yourself back in the game. It’s the same game the good-enough mother would do for her children while teaching them to ride a bike; slow, gentle, redirect should a fall occur, lick the wound, encourage some more, and repeat as necessary.
6 Ways to Spend Your Digital Detox
1. Instead of reaching for your phone first thing in the morning, reach, instead, to put both hands together and sit in prayerful contemplation, or meditation.
2. Set up the morning’s activities the night before. Place your iPhone in another room the night before so that it’s not an impulse that can be easily fed.
3. Start a new journal. Make an effort to feel the weight of the pencil/pen/crayon in your hand and take the risk of getting intimate with yourself, if only for five minutes, and then extend your “me-time” to longer and longer times. Perhaps you can set up a competition with the amount of time you’ve spent on social media and digital devices versus being in “real-time” yourself and see if you can find the equivalent of interesting things about yourself and the nature of the environment in which you engage with on the daily.
4. Start a pen pal program with several children who are less fortunate than you and make a commitment to empower them to engage with the written arts/language arts.
5. Take a risk and learn that instrument; write that poetry book; take a poetry class at a local library or meet-up group.
6. Set up a reward system (if you’re that kind of person), and make digital detox a challenge where there is a reward at the end of your time commitment. In the spirit of a “walk-a-thon,” set up a digital-detox-a-thon with a group of friends. Get sponsors, have a set amount of time, prizes, and let the games begin!
Digital Detoxing at Home
Get a scope on what you can do and within the perimeters of that create conditions which support your being offline when it isn’t about work. I can’t think of a better time than now to consider a digital detox. In many ways, our time is our own for the first time EVER, in a way that allows for A LOT of flexibility When you take your lunch break FROM HOME… leave the phone alone. That’s just a place to start.
The “get-away” is all in your head. You need not leave town to get away. Just put the damn thing down, have some guts, set a boundary, get it in, give yourself something to be proud of, cultivate the win you want and go Nike on the shit and Just Do It!
How Long to Detox
If, for example, I spend 15 minutes according to my “screen time” police, then I get to determine, like a BOSS, what is best in terms of a detox. For me, it would be, to go at least two days a week with limited (1 hour) to no digital interaction. I recommend doing a digital detox once a month.
Digital Detox Benefits
A digital detox improves concentration, boosts mental health, reduces stress and bolsters self-esteem (especially if you’re consumed with getting “likes” and basing your entire identity around that).
Digital Detox and Meditation
I’ll go as far to say that the some parts of the brain required to resist the impulse to respond to digital temptation is the same needed to resist the impulse to follow your thoughts in meditation and get “lost” if you will in the tundra of consciousness. Both meditation and detoxing are about self-control and self-regulation practices.