Tired or stressed? Maybe it’s time for a digital detox

Tired or stressed? Maybe it’s time for a digital detox

Video Courtesy of Sister Circle TV

Cell phones and other digital devices can be a great way to keep up with the news and stay connected with friends and family, but using one excessively can increase your stress levels, negatively impact sleep and limit the amount of quality time you spend with your significant other.
Research shows the average American spends more than four hours a day using a smartphone. If that’s you, it might worth considering a digital detox, something many health experts recommend and a practice that’s becoming more popular in the digital age.

Time away

A digital detox is a period of time when a person refrains from using digital devices such as smartphones, TVs, computers, tablets and social media sites. Experts say digital detoxes can translate into more enriching interactions with others and a healthy reset of your inner psyche.
“Spending too much time on mobile devices can be a form of procrastination and a distraction from the things that matter most to us,” says Heather Partridge, a behavioral health counselor at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Holmestown Road in Myrtle Beach. “It’s important to ask yourself, ‘What are you missing out on during those four hours that you’re on the phone every day?’”
Tech devices have been linked to an increase in stress and anxiety, and research shows using such devices at bedtime can result in shorter sleep cycles and increased bouts of insomnia.
A digital detox can improve mental well-being, relieve stress and help strengthen bonds with others, Partridge says.

Is it time?

Consider a digital detox if:

  • You’re “phubbing” (snubbing by using your phone) family members with phone in hand when you could be spending quality time together.
  • Your phone is the first and last thing you see on a daily basis.
  • You freak out when you’ve forgotten your phone during a trip away from the house.
  • You turn to your phone when you’re bored and spend time mindlessly scrolling through social media.
  • You’re staying up late surfing the Internet on your smartphone and compromising quality sleep time.
  • You’re obsessive about checking your phone for texts and the number of likes a social media post has received.

Completely detaching for a period of time may not be realistic for people whose phones are important to their livelihood, but some separation could be beneficial. It’s about setting healthy boundaries and using the device in ways that enhance both emotional and physical well-being, Partridge says.
“Moderation is key,” she adds. “Set limits and boundaries. There is a great benefit to regularly doing a digital detox.”

Better alternatives

Here are some ideas for a healthy digital detox:

  • Focus on self-care, such as treating yourself to a long bath or meditation instead of spending time scrolling, swiping and browsing.
  • Practice mindfulness; be fully present in every moment and recognize and appreciate everything around you.
  • Replace the time you waste on your phone with learning a new hobby such as playing the guitar or painting.
  • Create boundaries such as limiting the amount of time you spend answering work emails once you’re home.
  • Commit to no electronics at the dinner table.
  • Keep the phone out of your bedroom and instead try reading a book or magazine in the minutes before you drift off to sleep.
  • Use an alarm clock to wake you in the morning rather than depending on your phone.
  • Join your kids outside to shoot hoops, play catch or ride bicycles.

Detaching digitally might make you feel uneasy initially, but it can be a refreshing and rewarding experience when it’s all said and done. It can help you improve your mental health, become more personable, deepen relationships and sleep better.

‘High-Church Pentecostal’ leader J. Delano Ellis dies at 75

‘High-Church Pentecostal’ leader J. Delano Ellis dies at 75


Bishop J. Delano Ellis. Photo courtesy of Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops

Bishop J. Delano Ellis II, a Black church official who started Pentecostal organizations and emphasized ecumenism, died over the weekend.

He was 75 and died after a recent hospitalization.

“While you share your love, concern and prayers with us, God and Bishop Ellis had another plan,” the Rev. Sabrina J. Ellis, who co-pastored Pentecostal Church of Christ in Cleveland with her husband, said in a Facebook post on Saturday (Sept. 19). “My husband made his transition this morning. Please continue to pray for us in this season.”

Over the course of his career, the Philadelphia native was a teacher, pastor and a chief of chaplains in the U.S. Air Force Civil Air Patrol.

But J. Delano Ellis was also among a group of “High-Church Pentecostal” clerics who in the 1990s became known for adorning their necks with Roman collars, wearing priestly garments with links to their African heritage and reciting the Nicene Creed. They were part of a trend that reshaped a portion of American Black religion.

“Traditionally … the Pentecostal church maintained its ardor but was never really known for its order,” the bishop, then president of the United Pentecostal Churches of Christ, told Religion News Service in 1995. “What we’re discovering … is that order is not blasphemous. Order best represents God.”

At that time, Ellis’ denomination had joined with two other groups, Pilgrim Assemblies International and Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship, for the first Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops. They supported women ministers, which was a departure from some traditions. At their conference’s closing ceremony, Ellis and other bishops wore fuchsia zucchettos, or skullcaps, and episcopal rings, religious wear reminiscent of Roman Catholic bishops.

Bishop J. Delano Ellis visits with Pope John Paul II in 1991. Photo courtesy of Bishop J. Delano Ellis

Ellis’ ecumenical work included several visits to the Vatican during St. John Paul II’s papacy, including one in 2000 where he led 160 delegates on a pilgrimage in hopes of building closer ties with the Catholic Church.

He retired in 2014 from the role of national chief of chaplains for the Civil Air Patrol, according to a bio on his ministry’s website.

Ellis was recalled as a key leader by members of the Church of God in Christ, a denomination he served for more than 35 years, and other faith leaders.

“Bishop Ellis was the consummate churchman. He was a wise counselor, dedicated servant, and a wealth of information that was helpful to generations of preachers, pastors and bishops,” said Bishop Talbert W. Swan II, leader of COGIC’s Nova Scotia jurisdiction. “He was a mentor, a friend, and a church father. He will be sorely missed.”

African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Vashti McKenzie, a Texas-based leader, responded to Sabrina Ellis’ announcement of her husband’s death.

“Time will not dull his legacy,” McKenzie commented on Facebook, “you and his sons and daughters in the faith will flesh out the rest.”

In 2004, Ellis had to step down from his leadership of the United Pentecostal Churches of Christ for health reasons.

But a couple of years later, he and more than a dozen other bishops started the Pentecostal Churches of Christ after he recovered from leukemia.

At the time, Ellis marveled at the convocation that came three years after he was preparing for his death.

“It was not a lack of faith in God’s ability to heal. It wasn’t that,” Ellis said. “It was more of a belief that maybe God was finished with me.”

About two weeks before his death, his last public appearance was in Cleveland, at a dedication ceremony naming a portion of an avenue in his honor. His family said he was hospitalized less than 24 hours later, a local Fox news station reported.

“I’ve got one thing to say,” he told the crowd at the Sept. 6 ceremony, “to God be the glory.”