I am so excited, I am off to a yoga festival this weekend! 3 whole days of yoga, chanting, spiritual talks and lots of dancing. It's also a perfect time for a digital detox; I am going to turn my phone off for the entire time I'm there. If you have been reading my blog for a while you may know that last year I ran a digital detox retreat in the Caribbean, it was amazing! All the guests had to hand in their technology and give up contact with the outside world for 5 days. We did diary writing on the beach before breakfast, meditation walks and had life coaching sessions gazing out to the turquoise Caribbean sea.
Why would you want to do a digital detox?
Over the years our obsession with technology, being on line constantly, has become a bit of an addiction. With access being so immediate it's easy to feel pressure to respond to messages immediately and a fear of missing out can be created if social media is not constantly checked. This all increases stress levels and can make it hard to focus on one thing at a time, reducing productivity.
Problems in relationships also occur when the person you are with is left feeling like they don't have your full attention.
Allowing yourself a break from it all and switching off will help you:
- Sleep better
- Focus your attention on the person/people you are with
- Enjoy the moment
- Have space to think clearly and in perspective
- Be creative
How to prepare
It's important to prepare before the big switch off or it can cause you more stress worrying about people trying to get in touch with you.
- Set your out of office and voice mail to say you are out of reach until X and will not be checking messages.
- Leave an alternative emergency contact if it's a work matter and warn the person who may be contacted!
- See if the place you are going to has a land line and give that to family just in case of emergencies, only if you feel you will be worried about that.
- Plan beforehand to get all your important things done/ emails sent before to avoid any sudden thoughts of things you forgot to do.
- Plan something fun to do, away from a screen....out doors if the weather is nice!
Whilst you are switched off it's a great time to contemplate your life, how you feel it is going and what you have learnt. Take a note book and pen and work through the following questions:
In the past year.... • What have I achieved? • What have I learnt? • What do I want to stop doing? • What do I want to continue doing? • What would I love to create in my life? • What do I need to do to make that happen and when am I going to do it?
How long is a good length for a detox?
If you can manage a few days you'll really get a lot of benefit from it. Initially it can be hard but once you give up the idea of checking on line all the time you relax into the moment and what you are doing.
However even a day or a few hours in the evening will help. Obviously you won't need to do all the preparation above for a short time.
Switching off a few hours before bedtime will help you sleep.
It might seem crazy even having to discuss this at all but when you look around at people on their phones, even at a dinner table or whilst walking down a busy street you can see how addicted a lot of us are!
Summer time is a perfect time for a digital detox as you are more likely to be going on holiday/ having weekends away. Take advantage of this opportunity and allow yourself the luxury to relax.