Taking some time away from technology is one of the added benefits of being on a retreat

A retreat can be the perfect way to have a digital detox, almost by default. You’re away from the hustle and bustle, you’ve got time to breathe and just ‘be present.’ Smell the flowers, calm the mind. It’s a perfect time – and a really good idea – to ditch the relentless chatter that comes from your devices.

But it’s not just a good idea to stop the noise, it’s actually healthy for you. Want to know why? Here’s how a digital detox can benefit you.

Health benefits

Firstly, do you feel edgy about the idea of leaving your phone behind? When putting your phone away makes you feel anxious, you know it’s probably time to take a break.

A digital detox offers you a chance to reduce your stress in a few ways. Less time spent on social media means less time stressing about how you appear, or events you may be missing out on. Or even the constant scrolling through videos, news, and endless chatter. And social media’s comparison anxiety can limit your enjoyment of even the most magical of experiences.

Your brain produces melatonin when it’s tired, but the light from your phone screen can cause your brain to stay alert

From the fear of missing out (FoMO) to keeping up with a constant stream of notifications, relaxing experiences can easily be undermined or even inhibited by the presence of technology. A proper break from the pixels is just what you need to relax.

Taking time away from technology can also offer you a better chance at sleep. Your brain produces melatonin when it’s tired, but the light from your phone screen can cause your brain to stay alert. This makes it harder for your brain to produce melatonin, and then harder for you to sleep. By taking time away from technology, you allow your brain to naturally produce all the melatonin it needs for some well-earned rest. And relax.

Read on Silver Magazine: How to improve the quality of your sleep

Staying present

Retreats offer a range of memorable experiences, all with the backdrop of whatever stunning locations they are based in. With such beauty and excitement on offer, some may feel the urge to capture their experiences on camera.

Photos can help you remember some incredible moments for years to come. But sometimes, it’s better to just let yourself experience things, rather than seeing everything through a digital lens. Or at the least, reduce this energy output.

Maybe you can just let yourself enjoy the moment.

Stay more present, taking in the world around you in a way screens just don’t allow for. And with a retreat, you’ll have tons of amazing activities to get stuck into, and incredible views you’d hate to miss. Maybe you can just let yourself enjoy the moment.

If you’re someone who loves to capture moments, you could even consider bringing a camera instead of using your phone, so you’re not tempted to start the doom scroll. And just so you know, when you come to one of our retreats, we take photos which we are happy to share with our guests. So maybe you can just, you know, let it go…

Digital detox benefits Silver Retreats - image shows early morning sunrise coming through the trees in a beautiful forest

Making memories

Bringing your loved ones along to a retreat offers you the chance to make lifelong memories together. But you can be distracted or self-involved if you’re staring at your phone half the time. Without the constraints of the screen, you can connect more easily with those around you, sharing special moments and thrilling adventures.

And retreats offer amazing opportunities for exploration. From magnificent mountainous hiking trails to expansive fresh lakes for swimming – these are experiences you do not want to miss out on. And with those you hold dearest there to share in the fun, it’s much more enriching to stay off your phone and enjoy the moment.

Check out our next retreat – 2024 Midsummer trip to West Lexham

Taking the pressure off

A digital detox can come as a breath of fresh air, freeing you from the endless stream of content. But remember, suddenly enforcing a no-phone lifestyle, cold turkey style, can cause stress too.

The last thing you want to do is find yourself stressed out because you’ve imposed a really strict ban on yourself. If it’s going to cause you more aggro to ditch it than keep it, consider reducing your useage, just to give your poor brain a break!

Even during a screen sabbatical, there’s no harm in letting technology help you out when you need it – you don’t have to enforce a total screen ban. Totally restricting your access to your apps and tools, for example, may not be the best way of destressing. And for many of us, being totally away from technology is near impossible.

So don’t beat yourself up if you can’t go full cold turkey. Instead, set realistic expectations. Make a list of what you do and don’t need from your phone, laptop, and other devices. You can use this to plan how to use your technology in a way that prioritises your needs. Maybe turn off notifications for all social media, but allow yourself to take photos. Or maybe simply avoid using digital devices after dinner, to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Find what works best for you, and take a break that truly helps you relax.