Happy New Year!! You may have noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet here on the blog and on social media over the holiday season. Without really planning to, I ended up logging offline for the past couple of weeks and taking some much needed time to reconnect with the real world and it felt amazing! It started on Christmas day – I really wanted to post something but I was hosting brunch for my family that morning and was a bit ill prepared so the second I woke up I started cleaning and cooking. All while I was prepping I kept thinking about posting a Christmas greeting and started feeling guilty that I didn’t plan what to post in advance. Then the doorbell rang and one by one my family members started showing up. It was so fun to see everyone and catch up and before I knew it, I forgot all about my phone! We ate waffles, my nieces and nephews helped me bake a cake and the whole family watched a movie together. Connecting with my loved ones reminded me that life is so much richer offline.
I also realized that the constant pressure to check my social feeds every 5 seconds or post amazing content each day often generates way too much unnecessary anxiety. Whether it’s checking my phone as soon as I wake up to feeling guilty when I don’t have a pretty picture to post or when I can’t find time to reply to my 55 latest comments, there’s always this sense of obligation to be “on” 24/7. It’s like a vicious cycle and sometimes it makes my brain hurt! So I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s totally ok to give yourself permission to unplug and do a digital detox from time to time. Here are a few of my top tips to help make the process easier.
- Turn off notifications on all of your social accounts. Each time a notification pops-up our knee jerk reaction is to check our phones immediately so by turning these off you’ll eliminate constant pressure to stay glued to your device. Try establishing one two set times per day to check your feeds – that way you’re in total control of how and when you access your social media.
- Never bring your phone to bed! So many of us keep our phones by the bedside and check our feeds before going to sleep but did you know that looking at the blue LED light that your phone emits can disrupt your ability to fall asleep? If you can avoid looking at your phone for at least 30 minutes before bedtime, you’ll sleep better and getting a good night’s sleep will help increase your productivity the next day.
- Along those same lines, try to get through your morning routine without looking at your feeds. The morning is when we feel the most motivated so don’t disrupt that momentum by getting sucked into social media. So instead of checking your phone as soon as you wake up, think about your goals, experience moments of mindfulness as you start your day and use all that positive energy to tackle your most important tasks for the morning.
- If you go out to eat, keep your phone tucked away in your pocket or purse the entire time and instead, focus your attention on your dining companion and engage yourself fully in conversation. These moments will always feel much more meaningful than keeping up with what everyone else is doing on Instagram.
- Challenge yourself to log off all of your social media accounts for a full day to experience the joy of life offline. If you can make this a habit, the anxiety will disappear and you’ll feel so liberated each time you unplug!
Photos by Carol Dronsfield