If you feel like you never fully check out from the digital world, you’re not alone! Picking up our iPhone to refresh our email and Instagram feed has become a second nature reflex, and it keeps us constantly thinking about our to-do list, work assignments, articles to read, trips to plan, shopping to be done, etc. Needless to say, it’s exhausting! Our team tried out a little experiment to see how our routine (and mood) would be affected if we left our iPhone at the door in the evening until we turned out the lights. We were amazed to see the positive impact that checking out for a few hours made. Read ahead for the full scoop!

We Cooked a Healthy Dinner

We have always had the rule, ‘no phones at the table’, but expanding this to no phones after 5:30 took this to a new level.  The minutes of time each evening that we devote to our phones add up, and it takes away from the time we could be allocating to cooking a healthy dinner. On days when we’re exhausted from work, it can be an easy default to order in a not-so-healthy option or make a quick meal that includes processed ingredients. Without our phones in hand to waste time away, we felt motivated to try out a new healthy and delicious recipe. 

We Enjoyed Quality Conversations

We’re all guilty of half focused conversations with our significant other or friends while simultaneously having our phones in hand. Or even worse, of sitting in the same room with someone, both on phones not speaking to each other. Day after day of this can lead to feeling disconnected to the people you care about most. With a glass of wine in one hand and no phone in the other, we enjoyed a relaxing evening catching up on each other’s days and dreaming up fun summer vacation plans. It was really nice to actually connect instead of having a distracted conversation.  Note, this is especially important with children, they are looking to their parents for constant reassurance and attention.  When we are half playing with them and half playing on our phone it doesn’t go unnoticed, even in their little eyes.

We Enjoyed the Outdoors

After dinner/ kids’ bedtime, instead of lounging on the couch, we decided to take a phone-less evening stroll around the neighborhood. After being on all day (whether at work or parenting), this stroll was very relaxing and an instant mood booster. It is also a great way to spend time with our families and/ or pets without being interrupted by dings announcing new texts and emails.  Plus, you can get in those last steps of the day for some additional calorie burning!  We miss walking home from our neighborhood restaurants in NYC, but there isn’t any reason we can’t get the same benefit right here in Houston!

We Actually Decompressed

One of the biggest issues with having our phones constantly by our side is that we never actually fully let go of the day. Over days, weeks, and months of never truly decompressing, stress and anxiety start to build. Also, while platforms like Instagram can be inspiring, constantly seeing pictures of other people’s lives can make us feel insecure about our accomplishments, travel plans, and everything else. By setting aside a window of time to be iPhone free, we allow ourselves to appreciate those around us and truly decompress. Yes, it’s easier said than done,  but we found that it’s totally worth it!

We Finally Started a New Book

Mindless Instagram scrolling and email refreshing while in bed is one of our worst iPhone habits and it has been proven to delay falling asleep naturally. (Apparently staring at a bright screen prevents your body from producing melatonin that naturally tells your body it is time for bed.) So, instead of turning out the lights early, we find ourselves staying awake into the wee hours making mental notes of everything we need to get done the next day. Without our phones in bed, we enjoyed winding down with a good book while a candle burned on our nightstand. We turned off the lights about an hour earlier than usual and felt very refreshed in the morning!

Have you tried a detox from your iPhone? We would love to hear how it affected your mood and routine in the comments below!