We are a screen-addicted nation. According to recent statistics, UK adults spend around three quarters of their waking hours glued to some form of screen – be it their laptop, television screen or smartphone. The effects of this increased screen usage are palpable, and it is only natural that people are looking for a way out. With this in mind, what is a digital detox and how could it help?

What is a Digital Detox?

The term ‘digital detox’ has been in some form of usage for over two decades, but it is only in the last few years that the term has found its cultural moment. As the name suggests, a digital detox is a purposeful break from using internet-connected or otherwise electronic devices. 

With smartphones now essentially an extension of ourselves, the intertwining of self and technology is tighter and deeper than ever before – and the effects are measurable. A digital detox is a break designed to improve our physical and mental health; how, though?

Why are Digital Detoxes Important?

Digital detoxes are a direct intervention between us and the allure of our devices. Our screens can become catalysts for addiction, whether to the attention we receive on social media, the gambling-style mechanics of mobile games or the monitoring of our work inboxes. Screen time has been linked to increased risk of anxiety and depression, while the physical effects of blue light stimulation later in the evening can actively interrupt sleeping patterns.

The Best Places to Take a Digital Detox

National Parks

The obvious choice for a digital detox getaway is the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty closest to your doorstep. The UK’s national parks are sprawling tracts of incredible land, with even more incredible landscapes. From the sleepy hills and sublime height of Yr Wyddfa in Wales to the craggy peaks of the Cairngorms in Scotland, there are countless areas to pitch up a tent and bask in the utter peace of the UK’s countryside.

Remote Cabins

For longer and more comfortable retreats, there is the natural allure of the remote cabin. There’s something uniquely magical about the idea of living out a humble week or two in a tiny home, taking in the quietude of your remote surroundings and giving yourself completely to the simplest of tasks. 

This kind of experience is much more accessible than it might seem, and can even be achieved in national parks as above. For example, lodges for sale in North Wales give you the chance to escape, off-grid, to bask in the beauty of Yr Wyddfa without the temporariness of a tent set-up.

Mediterranean Retreats

While domestic digital detoxes are far more accessible for the average person, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from looking farther and wider for disconnected bliss. There are rural Mediterranean destinations that enjoy some of the best food, weather and culture you will find in the western hemisphere, and without a charging point or WiFi router in sight.

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