‘Digital detox refers to a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic connecting devices such as smartphones and computers. It is regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.’
There comes a point when you reach your limit. Your cup is full. You can no longer take on any more. Your brain cannot process. You aren’t functioning in your most positive nor efficient capacity. You are at the end of your tether.
It is at that point when you can no longer go on. When something has to give. Something has to change.
To continue at full throttle would result in complete and utter burnout.
I reached this point recently.
Following a pretty full on full months where life was throwing all sorts at my from all areas of my life, business and personal, my mind was just about ready for shut down.
My brain just could not physically take on any more information. I was forgetting things. I was starting and not finishing things. I was present but not thinking.
My heart was starting to hurt. I was becoming more sensitive than usual (and I’m a pretty sensitive soul). I didn’t have the capacity to deal with douche-y encounters (which, let’s face are a pretty daily occurrence in regular life).
And let’s not even start on the physical deterioration. I’ve gained weight. I feel sluggish. My skin and hair look crap.
See, burn out affects every part of our lives and selves.
We are just not built for such high levels of sustained stress. As living, feeling beings we need rest, leisure, change of activities and environment. Quite simply, we just need a break.
I reached a tipping point. A moment where I thought to myself “I just don’t want this anymore”.
Tether end was reached.
I went on a digital detox and took a few days off work to head to the seaside and just switch off.
The result was fantastic. I was full in the moment. Sure, at first it felt a little alien not to be waking up and start scrolling through my social feeds on my phone. And yes, it felt weird not to let Twitter know what I was up to.
However, after a day or so I was revelling in not having my phone attached to me. I was marvelling in the moments. It was a bloody revelation!
How to Have a Successful Digital Detox
1. Activate your out-of-office on your emails to let people know you won’t be responding.
2. Deactivate your Facebook. They don’t really let you delete the account so it just deactivates and removes the temptation to check your feed.
3. Delete the social media apps from your smartphone. No more notifications or endless scrolling at bedtime.
4. Leave your smartphone on vibrate only. Or even leave it another room at night.
5. Disable push notifications.
6. Set a minimum length of time for your digital detox.
7. Find a new environment to be in for at least 24 hours. (Time for an outing!)
8. Write, read, play, make, sing – do something that doesn’t involve social media.
9. Let people know beforehand if you think it might let anyone down – managing expectations is key here!
10. Enlist a friend or partner to do the digital detox with you.
11. Wear a watch (if you’re one of those that uses a phone to keep time).
12. Spend time with people in real life for your social fix.
13. Take photos on a camera instead of your smartphone.
14. Play board games (we had a two-nighter Trivial Pursuitsesh. It was epic).
15. Daydream. Allow your mind to wander uninterrupted.
Have you ever had a digital detox?
What tips do you have for a successful time away from social media?