Slowing down in life has never really been something I thought of doing, well, not for a while anyways. I enjoy the busy, hectic life I lead, even though I constantly moan about it, all with good intentions though ya know. The thought of detoxing of any sort, although sounds great, has never been something that crossed my mind until very recently. I was having a chat with my aunt who happens to suffer from insomnia and after discussing the detrimental effects that come with it, I came to the conclusion that I also (from time to time) suffer from it too. She then went on to ask me if I ever took my eyes or mind off my devices, being my phone and my laptop and I replied with a ‘no’, I don’t ever switch off my phone unless it just dies because my battery runs out. So this got me thinking, if I am long overdue for a break. I am so used to keeping up with life through my fingertips, answering emails, checking my Instagram feed, Snapchatting away that these behaviours just become part of every day life.
So, after taking some advice from my aunt, I sat down, grabbed a pen and my notebook and jotted down points for digital detoxing. It felt so good to just sit there and write my thoughts rather than doing it on my laptop as it kind of defeated the purpose. At the end of it, my notebook was a complete mess (I have the worst handwriting ever!), but I had gathered a few things that I wanted to share with you all. After implementing these tips myself, I can hand on heart say that it was one of the best things I did. Read on to find out what they are…..
Figure out what it is you want from the detox – Is it stress-relief? Is it improved sleep? Is it time to spend with family and friends? For whatever reason, determine what the priority is, and then plan round it. When you day involves curling up on the sofa with one of your favourite books, spending quality time with people you love or simply enjoying a nice walk in the park, it makes you less likely to wish you was answering emails or calls or scrolling through Twitter.
Prepare for withdrawals – That urge to check your phone is strong, I do understand, I’ve been there. Boredom and anxiety may kick in and you’re itching to pick it up and have a quick look. Don’t do it, leave it on the other side of the room, far away from reach. After a couple of hours or so, you’ll be fine and that feeling of not being connected should be quite enjoyable.
Do the prep in advance – Let people around you know that you will be offline for while just so they don’t reach out to missing person’s helpline. Set your emails with an autoreply to get back to someone within three days, there is no need for an explanation. For emergencies, maybe get yourself a ‘pay as you go’ sim to use as an emergency number just in case someone does need to get hold of you.
Don’t fear missing out –Ahh, FOMO, it is one of them tough ones. But instead of worrying about what you’re going to miss out on, why not allow yourself to enjoy missing out on demands from others. When do you actually log in and switch on again, you’ll realise what you missed out on wasn’t significant at all.
It’s definitely not easy to fully unplug yourself from the digital world, I’ve got to admit, it was damn hard to get use to at first especially when most of my world revolves around being on call, on emails and on social. I almost felt that part of me still needed to be connected, especially for emergencies, so taking detoxes isn’t something I will be doing regularly, but it is crucial that I do disconnect at certain points just to rethink and gather thoughts and at least, I now have ways to make it easier for me.
Have you taken a digital detox before, and if yes, how was it? I’d love to hear you experiences.
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