We now live in an environment where people talk more through phones and iPads than face to face. As a self confessed social media nerd I know that my phone has become an extension of my arm, but I’ve learned the importance of putting it down and switching off.
When I first started the blog I was pretty overwhelmed by the whole thing. I was new to blogging and social media in general, I wasn’t just creating a blog I was learning all the tricks to go with it.
I said yes to every opportunity that came my way not realizing that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything and have time for yourself. It wouldn’t be unusual for me to sit up writing, creating, learning until 1am (yes, even on weekdays) but it wasn’t sustainable, I was wired going to bed, unable to switch off. This really disrupted my sleep and I can tell you that I was never a bad sleeper so I knew the root of the cause. This led me to seek ways to switch off and disconnect from the digital world and thankfully I have changed! Researching ways to manage my own social media like scheduling or by simply chipping away at posts instead of spending hours on one!
Here’s my 5 best tips for disconnecting from the digital world:
#1 Colouring books
Kind of old news now but adult colouring books exploded onto the scene last year as a great way to destress the mind. Put the gadgets away and let your creative side run wild, it’s amazing how relaxing it is! I especially find it great before bed as it’s so therapeutic and can help you drift off into a lovely deep sleep! Ban all gadgets from the bedroom and keep the colouring book beside your bed instead.
#2 Make friends with the outdoors
There is no better way to have a digital detox than getting outside for camping, running or even just walking. Being outdoors is in our DNA and it’s proven to help lower your blood pressure and boost your immune system.We’re blessed in Ireland with stunning landscapes and open plains so why not get out and enjoy it. Go to the back of beyond where there is no signal and enjoy time relaxing/exploring with family and friends.
#3 Get Lost in a book
Not an audio book or a podcast unfortunately! The idea is to step away from your phone, I mean an “actual” book. People tend to believe that they don’t have time to read but there is so much time in the day, especially if you remove your phone from the equation. If you use public transport then use that time to read, or ban phones in the bedroom and instead read your book before bed, I guarantee you will drift off a lot easier. Goodreads is a great app to use as you can set a goal of how many books you want to get through for the year, get some friends to do the same or start a book club!
#4 Get some Headspace
With everyone leading busier lives than ever before, it can be hard to find time to relax and get some peace and quiet. Meditating can be a great way to pull yourself out of the moment to really find your zen. Even though it goes against this whole blog post, I love the Headspace app. If you’re using this make sure your phone is out of hands reach. Going for a walk can be another way to gather your thoughts, leave the phone at home and get some fresh air. If you want something different then a flotation tank can be a fantastic way of getting out of a busy routine and Planet Earth really! Harvest Moon in Dublin 2 is the place to do this.
# 5 Put a pen to paper
Journaling can be a fun way to relax, you can write down fond memories or key events in your life without relying on social media. In book shops such as Easons or Hodges Figgis, there are tons of great books for documenting parts of your life. It could be recipes of writing a gratitude diary, have a look at see what catches your eye. When I travelled in Asia I didn’t have a phone at all for 3 months, but I documented the journey in a diary, I wrote something every single day and it was pretty comforting, like I was talking to my nearest and dearest.
There are so many ways to disconnect from technology for some peace of mind. I love the internet and how the we are constantly evolving but sometimes you just need to switch off. If you think about it we do almost everything on our phones these days, it won’t do you harm to go without for a few hours, everything will still be there when you log back in!