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There’s no escaping the fact that our modern-day world now revolves around a primarily digital landscape. From our phones, to our computers, recording applications, television, means of communication, learning, collaboration, and beyond… it’s now just something we have accepted into the fabric of our daily lives.
And that definitely goes for musicians, for better or worse. It’s no surprise that we often feel bogged down, tapped out with screen time, and crave a break and return to a simpler, more analog lifestyle; especially when it comes to eking out a bit of inspiration to write.
So because we know the digitalization of our world isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and nor is the stress that comes along with it, here are some ways you can detox from your devices to help you recharge and get back to basics right now.
*And please enjoy these digital detoxifying sanctuaries by multidisciplinary graphic designer and illustrator, Mo.
Set aside time every day away from technology.
Not every day is the same, but I think it’s reasonable for the majority of people to be able to set aside at least an hour a day with no devices. Whether that is the hour before bed while you’re winding down, your breakfast or lunch break, during a daily meditation or exercise, or another period of time during the day that you consciously make a point to detach from screens, it does a lot of good to take a departure from the blue light, mindless social media doom-scrolling, and app refreshing, never giving ourselves some time to just… be.
Plan time to be out in nature and get some sun.
Sunlight is essential to human health in more ways than one, and the need to connect with nature is something deep within our human makeup. But with the rise of all things digital, we have all found ourselves more and more attached to our computers, desks, and the indoors. Break the cycle and schedule some time out in nature!
There’s nothing like the feeling of the sun on your face, wind in your hair, and calming effects of the Earth. Take a walk at the park, rent a kayak at a nearby beach or lake, go hiking, whatever is accessible to you to help you enjoy some time outdoors. (And maybe even without internet access for a short time… if you dare!)
Write with good ol’ fashioned pen and paper.
It seems as though everything is done on our phones, computers, or tablets these days, but there’s something so special about writing the old school way. Journaling is something very calming for a lot of people. Taking 15 minutes a day to honestly capture the things happening in your life, organize your thoughts, jot down some goals, note some milestones, and manifest the things you want most in life.
From a music standpoint, it’s fun to take it back to this medium to write songs, and even create lead sheets like the greats used to do. Hey, maybe those pieces of paper will be worth something some day!
Get moving: Play a sport you love or make exercise a regular part of your life.
The rise in seated screen work has also led to limitations in daily movement for our generation. It’s more important than ever to make sure you’re getting the blood flowing and giving your body the things it needs to be healthy. Try to get up and move around a little bit every hour while you’re working, and find creative ways to factor exercise into your lifestyle.
You can join a local recreational sports league, become a member of a gym or club, or schedule meet ups with friends to kick a ball around or have a catch! If you prefer a more solo-style activity, you can explore your neighborhood on foot, by bike, scooter, skateboard, even rollerblade!
Try something new.
Whether it’s a craft, going somewhere you’ve never been, or taking up a new hobby, newness is always great for the brain! Especially when it keeps your hands full (literally), new activities are such a fun way to calm your mind from the digital overload. I have tried everything from pottery and cooking classes, to renting ATVs and paddleboards, to booking a daytrip somewhere nearby I’ve never been, and I have yet to not reflect positively on all the new experiences I make the time to include in my life as often as possible.
Read a book.
You can buy used paperback or hardcover books for literally cents on the dollar these days. Discover a classic, learn something new, or even just spend some time skimming through the pages for words or phrases that inspire you. There’s something about ink on a page that really soothes the mind, plus you might find a topic or author that opens something up inside of you, whether personally or creatively!
Experience someone else’s art.
You can go to a museum, a friend’s show, or even a simple street fair. It’s so inspiring to see someone doing what they love and sharing their gifts with the world. Hey, it may even give you some new ideas for your own music too!
Spend quality time with loved ones (and put the phones away).
Nothing is weirder than seeing a group of people out together while everyone has their heads buried in their phones. Wake up and smell the roses, people! Life is short. Relationships are everything. Make time for the people you love, the people you miss, and the people you want to know.
Phones down, attention up. Share a drink, a meal, a walk, or even an afternoon, and really enjoy the company of your fellow digital-detoxing humans!
Don’t stop here!
Continue learning with hundreds of lessons on songwriting, mixing, recording and production, composing, beat making, and more on Soundfly, with artist-led courses by Kimbra, Jlin, Kiefer, RJD2, and of course, Com Truise: Mid-Fi Synthwave Slow-Motion Funk.