How to digital detox in 2023

Comfort & joy | How to digital detox

By Harriet Pritchard

How to digital detox in 2023

Digital Detox

We can all be guilty of it. ‘Just one more email from the bath’, ‘I’ll just check Instagram before I get out of bed’, and - let’s be honest - ‘if I’m on the toilet I might as well be scrolling’. The post-pandemic hybrid working model has played its part in our screen addictions. A 2022 survey revealed that over half those surveyed feel their screen time has increased compared to pre-pandemic and more than a quarter now look at screens for more than 14 hours a day.

Fourteen. Hours.

In a world where being glued to our devices is considered the norm, how do we rebuild our blue-light boundaries and gift ourselves a digital detox?

Keep track of screen time and set usage limits

An hour glass sand timer

Almost all phones allow you to monitor how much time you’re spending looking at your screen. You can usually find this function under ‘Setting’>’Screen Time’. Checking how much time per day you spend on your phone is not about shaming yourself - it is a practice in awareness.

Often, we’re scrolling without being fully conscious of it. Having a look at your ‘Screen Time’ provides insight into your screen behaviours. If you don’t like the number you see, you might want to consider setting up usage limits for specific time-draining apps.

Disable notifications

An iPhone with multiple notifications

The average smart phone user receives over 40 phone notifications per day. That’s over 40 individual buzzes, dings, beeps, or pops. There may be certain apps you are unwilling to mute - it’s also quite possible you don’t need to hear from DuoLingo 12 times a day. The point is, not all notifications are buzzed equally. Become aware of your notifications. If it’s something you could do without hearing, take a second to turn off future similar notifications.

Allocate dedicated non screen activities

A no-phones chalk drawing on pavement

Dream with me here - imagine your fifteen-minute coffee break spent without your phone *gasps* - I know, I know. That might be too big a leap for some of us. Your coffee break might not be your non-screen activity of choice, but finding out what is, could be the perfect way to break your screen routine.

This might be an hour of knitting, podcast listening, baking, break dancing, yoga, tai chi, having a bath or bee keeping. Whatever it may be, be creative and be sure that your device doesn’t accidentally-on-purpose find its way into your bee covered hands.

Make bed a no-screen zone

A woman drinking tea in light blue pyjamas in bed

For many of us, our phone is our alarm clock. This places our screen very conveniently/ inconveniently within arm’s length during the night. Establishing a blue-screen-free bedtime routine will not only help you to digital detox journey, but also help your overall sleep hygiene. Replace your screen time with healthy sleep habits – sleepy tea, super soft pyjamas, a good book – and feel the true benefits of a digital-free night.


Our personal devices help us keep things in control. They remind us of dentist appointments, keep track of our shopping lists and provide us with hilarious memes to get through Mondays. But, like all good things - it's easy to get carried away. By practicing these small adjustments in your routine, you can reclaim your blue-light boundaries and keep your device usage at a healthy level.