5 important tips for a healthier mindset and digital lifestyle

It’s 2024 and with a new year comes new goals, aspirations and a drive for positive change. Many turn to the gym to change their physical health, but often our mental health is overlooked.

5 important tips for a healthier mindset and digital lifestyle. Photo of a girl sat on a bench looking out to the mountains.
Credit: Unsplash

Each new year, focuses turn to new priorities for the months ahead. We all look at what goals we hope to achieve and how we can better ourselves. The phrase “new year, new me” comes up time and time again. However, rarely, does anyone sit down and say “I plan to focus on my mind this year” over their physical health.

Those who do, typically turn to physical exercise because it’s a well-known fact that exercise can positively impact your mind. However, what about taking the gym, or long walks out of the equation? There’s still a lot you can do to impact your mind for the better. Taking a step back from the digital world is a huge one.

That’s not to say you need to cut social media out of your life. For us here at PUSH, social media is one of the best ways for us to spread our name far and wide. Without it, we’d struggle. However, that doesn’t mean that even we can’t make our digital lifestyle healthier in 2024. Smartphones shouldn’t be a crutch.

1. Turn your notifications off

I, myself, refuse to have notifications on my phone. Without them, you’re able to fully switch off from the online world. If you want to ignore the world around you and focus on the here and now, you can. There’s nothing pulling you back in. You have no reason to keep your phone notifications on, nothing is that important.

If someone wants to get hold of you, usually, it can wait. Those who are important to you will have your phone number. They can use that to reach you in the case of an emergency. You don’t need to see your social media account notifications pinging through all day every day. It makes it impossible to switch off if you’re always being dragged in.

When you download a social platform, it’s the norm to allow notifications, but, why? What will you gain from seeing your friend’s social media post the minute they upload it? Seeing it the next day is no different. You can still engage with it the same way you normally would. Try turning your messenger notifications off too. Only allow those close to you to reach out.

2. Switch screens off one hour before you sleep

Arguably, one of the main reasons people struggle to sleep is because they’re so wired to their phones. Spending hours upon end on social media is damaging anyway, but with generations admitting they feel addicted to social media, there’s a real problem. People find it hard to switch off because their bright screens have been glaring for hours.

It’s not only effecting us trying to sleep because of the bright lights, but also because of the content we’re seeing. Our minds are set up to read posts, or watch videos, rather than winding down and relaxing. How can you relax when reading the latest influencer drama? You’ll be thinking about it as you try to sleep; whether you like it or not.

Try turning your phone off, or putting it on silent and out the way. Do this at least one hour before you start to sleep. You’ll be able to break the social connection and will likely fall asleep dreaming instead of thinking about the TikTok you just watched. We’d even say switch off TVs, tablets and laptops too. Try and break away an hour before bedtime.

3. Monitor the impact on your mood and adjust accordingly

One of the worst human habits in my opinion is looking at what upsets us. We’re all guilty of it. Whether it’s stalking an ex, or reading articles about political topics that make us angry. It’s human nature, unfortunately. No matter which end of the scale, we’re all guilty of looking at content which drives us wild.

A suggestion for 2024 is, try to monitor this. As mentioned, it’s part of the human make-up we feel, and this sadly isn’t something you can change. But, you can be more mindful and aware when you’re doing it. Over time, you might find you feel less of a need to look for these things. You might be able to switch off and not let things bother you.

The way to start this, though, is by acknowledging when things are bothering you. If you notice you’re getting irritated by social media, or if it’s getting you down, then it’s time to take a step back. Bring yourself off it and focus on you. Find a way to keep busy without aimlessly scrolling, or, simply limit your screen time.

4. Take breaks

This is important. Digital breaks are vital to everyone. From content creators, to those who work in sales. Everyone needs a break from the online world. This might vary depending on your usage, and your profession. Content creators, for example, may need to take more time off than someone who works in an office.

Both work in a digital world, but they’re different spectrums. One is likely to undergo a lot more criticism online and this can affect them mentally. However, both might find they need to switch off from the screens. Perhaps try turning your devices off for a few hours when you get home to detach yourself from the online world.

If this isn’t enough, you can take longer breaks. You’re in charge, remember. If you want a few months off, then take it. Those with an online following will know that their real fans will stick around and welcome their return. If they don’t, then they’re likely part of the reason you need a digital detox anyway. Allow yourself time to detach.

5. Find a new hobby

The reason this is important is that with many hobbies, you simply don’t have time to be sat on your phone. They give you a focus, and it’s something different from the norm. You’re too preoccupied in something else. Your hobby will be an interest that could have been put on the back-burner for some time. Let yourself finally have that.

Depending on the hobby, you could meet new people. These could become friends. You might learn a new skill and give your mind a healthy break. Whether it’s once a week or more, having some distance from the digital world is good. Just because we live in a digital world, doesn’t mean it must be our everything.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with admitting you need some time away from a screen. It’s not healthy to be glued to it, and as a society we need to push for people to take a step back a little more often. Go outside, find something else to occupy your mind, and you’ll feel much better for it. That’s a goal we recommend for 2024.

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