A How-to Guide on Breaking Up with Your Phone (for the Sake of Your Recovery)

Smartphones are a great way to keep in touch with people, get online, research, and just play and have fun. Sometimes it leads to having a difficult relationship break-up coming that you never wanted to face in recovery. There are myriad issues with phones in recovery. Like anything else, the smartphone’s power can be so all-consuming that all a person wants to do is stare into the abyss of the blue light, glowing screen, and hang out long into the wee hours chatting away. For your recovery shake, it may be better to break up with the phone habit and move away from too much screen time.

Chronic Smartphone Use Effects

Checking a smartphone has a consistent habit of taking you out of your life for a moment. Many may shrug it off but it’s not a harmless distraction from boredom. Smartphones can be a big positive feature, a source of entertainment, and a tool for communication. There are negative effects to be aware of, including:

  • Loss of empathy and connection with others. Texting may be convenient but things get lost in translation so it can be hard to have empathy or connection with others
  • Loss of sleep. People fall asleep with a smartphone in hand and say ‘i didn’t sleep well,’ because they are super connected to technology. Sleep impairs the natural circadian rhythm and cycles of the body causing lack of sleep
  • Loss of focus and ability to do meaningful work. Even though one of the original selling phones of smartphones was their ability to help get work done on the go. This can get to be one of the greatest inhibitors of our productivity
  • Loss of ability to be fully present in life. More people reach for their smartphone first thing in the morning. Don’t worry about the phone, worry more about the scenery and kids than what’s going on inside the phone

Break the Habit

When people are tired of being unable to engage in conversation with friends because everyone is on a smartphone, you begin to realize how sick of things you are and that it’s time to break the habit. While bad news is that chronic smartphone use can impact health in a negative way, it takes work and discipline to get a handle on a habit.

  • Start by measuring time with an app to see how much is wasted on the phone
  • Look at getting a cell phone without internet and move back in time towards a phone that sends simple texts but no social media
  • Have a turn off feature you set every night or a timer that locks you out of social media and the phone after a certain time or certain amount of use
  • Don’t worry about people not getting immediate responses. Work on telling people you are going ‘off the grid’ and will not be available to connect in that way for awhile
  • Remove apps altogether that are true time wasters
  • Read more books, spend time with loved ones, and learn a new hobby to keep hands and

It is easier than people think to get a handle on smartphone use, but it takes time and energy. It also takes focus and determination to make it work. Don’t try to do it all at once. Have accountability partners and friends provide you with the resources and friendship necessary to support you in this new, positive, habit.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.