For all the people that know me, they will know that I am constantly glued to my phone, forever keeping connected to my friends using Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and a slave to my e-mails.
It was when I booked to do a detox holiday that I decided not only was I going to do a juice detox diet, (which I will tell you all about in another post) I was also going to do a digital detox, not connecting to the internet or going online at all. It was actually this area that I felt was going to be harder for me. It was for 5 days and nights and I honestly can’t remember the last time I wasn’t connected for more than a night and that was not out of choice, but because there was no internet access in Namibia when I was on holiday there!
My challenge was made more difficult as the resort I stayed at had wifi, so it would have been very easy to get access and keep in touch with people, but I stayed strong and I am so glad I did and this is why:
Being switched off from social media and e-mails gives you freedom to completely relax and have down time away from every day life. You are not tied to other people or work. You don’t need to be constantly available. If you need to be contactable, you can give people the details of where you are staying, this ensures that they will really only contact you in a true emergency.
2) Self reflection
Having time away from technology gives you space to think about yourself and life. It gives you time to reflect and think deeply, rather than being constantly distracted with the beep of your phone.
3) Focusing on the present
When you are glued to your phone, you are not focusing on what you are currently doing or the people you are currently with. Allowing yourself time away from technology allows you to better connect with the people you are currently spending time with and supports you to live in the moment. You can have better, more in depth conversations.
4) Me time
You can give yourself dedicated time to evaluate your current situation, your goals, your ambitions and your relationships and focus on yourself. You spend your time for you, rather than for posting on social media. You can spend your time more wisely on things you really want to be doing, including relaxing and recharging (recharging yourself, not your devices!!)
5) Amazing sleep
When you are not connected to technology all day and constantly at your screen, you might find that you sleep a lot better. When you have not been glued to a screen all day, it can often have the effect of allowing you a more peaceful sleep. This is certainly what happened to me. I can’t say this is the only reason as there could have been other factors, but I certainly felt like it played a major part.
I am so pleased that I tried this, I feel like I connected better with the people I met on my holiday as I was fully engaged with them rather than having half an eye on my phone all the time. It really allowed me some great time out to reflect and I slept amazingly well. I hope it has also had a longer term effect of helping me reduce my social media time. Now I am back I am cutting the social media time out of my morning routine and will look at it later in the day when I have time instead. I am also going to make a big effort to keep my phone away when I am out with friends and focus on being fully present in the moment, rather than being attached to my phone. It really seems to have helped me and I encourage you to try it.
I know it is not possible for everyone to stay in a health resort for 5 days, but you could consider doing your own detox over a weekend at home. Try switching off all technology for 2 nights and 3 days and see what impact it has on the quality of your weekend.
Let me know if you have ever done this, or whether you think it would be useful in the comments below.