A few months ago I was visiting New York, sitting in a cafe having a session with one of my clients. She was sharing how she generally didn't have the time to take baths, read books, or fully unpack and move into her new apartment. She was having trouble sleeping, woke up late and struggled to have a relaxed breakfast in the morning.
This is not an unusual problem - most of us are rushing out of the house in the morning, and struggle to find the time to read real paper books.
I asked her, "What are some activities you do in the hours after work and before bed?" The answer included things such as checking her phone, watching youtube videos and shows on the internet.
Many of us don't realize how stimulating computer screens really are...but, have you ever been half asleep on the couch, ready for bed, then check your phone to put on your alarm clock and suddenly half an hour has passed while you are on instagram and you realize you are totally awake again?
I know I've been there. But I've also realized the value in turning off my devices in order to reclaim more time and space in my life.
Just last weekend I devoted an entire day to a "digital detox". My partner, Michael, and I turned off our cell phones and computers. Without our computers or phones to distract us, we rediscovered:
- The nature surrounding our house
- Telling stories that we never heard from each other before
- Singing and writing new songs
It was so refreshing to have one whole day to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect to my immediate surroundings.
What would you do if you had a day with no technology?
Would you take out the sketchbook gathering dust in your closet? Go on that bike ride you've been meaning to go on for ages? Or what about taking out one of those unused recipe books to cook a delicious new meal?
Here are four tips to "digitally detox' on a daily basis:
1. Get a real alarm clock with soothing nature sounds. When your phone is your alarm clock, it is the last thing you see before bed and the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. There is a huge temptation to check your emails, facebook or instagram any time you look at your phone. So why not avoid the time drain and turn off your phone at a reasonable hour? I bought an alarm clock a few months ago and now start my day to the sound of running water. It's been a huge shift in my life to save the energy I would have drained looking at my phone.
2. Install flux on your computer for the occasional night time use. Download this software to save your eyes when you do have to look at your screen after dark. It syncs with your location to change the color tone of your computer screen after sunset. Instead of staring at a glaring white screen, you'll be looking at candlelight tones and avoid overstimulating your eyes.
3. Check email for only 30 minutes twice a day and commit to writing back to the emails you open right away. (instead of constantly checking your phone as new emails come in) This is pretty straightforward. Set aside time to sit down and check your emails. Put a timer on to give yourself thirty minutes to be fully present with the emails, write back to each one you open, and then log out to focus on other work.
4. Turn off all devices - computers and cell phones by 8 pm. (Or at least two hours before you plan to go to bed) Give your body a break from technology to wind down in the evening. When you turn off computers and phones, your body will be able to tune to the natural energies surrounding you such as - the sun setting and fall asleep more easily.
When you try these tips, you may notice you suddenly have the time to:
- Take a bath
- Wake up fresh and early and have enough time to make breakfast and eat it at home (as opposed to the car)
- Clean and organize your home
- Read books
- Connect with someone you love
- Fall asleep easier and sleep through the night.
For more tips, dowunload my 4-Day Self Care Reset.
Is technology a drain in your life? What activities would you do that you haven't had the "time" for? Try these digital detox tips and let me know how they turn out! I'd love to hear from you in the comments below...
With love, Meredith
About the Author:
Meredith Rom empowers women to access self-love and divine feminine wisdom through yoga, coaching, and writing.