How to: survive a digital detox
You might have seen that I’ve been away this weekend (sorry for all the Instagram seaside spam). A few friends and I went off to the Kent coast for a few days to chill the actual F out, eat a lot and generally enjoy the sunshine. What made it extra special was that where we were staying had zero wifi, a ropey mobile internet connection and a crap ton of wine.
Usually this would send me into some sort of internet-related panic spiral as I’m pretty addicted to my iPhone, laptop and all manner of social media accounts, but it was SO good to be away from it all and give my brain the chance to properly breathe.
I did take my camera so I could share a few snaps with you all post-weekend, but other than that and a few cheeky Instagram shots (and many apologies for being an Instagram food wanker to my friends), it was brilliant to take a bit of a break from the usual NOW, NOW, NOW aspect of emails and social media.
So I thought I’d share a few tips on how to make it through your own digital detox without frantically hunting down your phone. It’s not the easiest of things to do – to be unconnected in a world that is always connected, but it really does give your brain a break. And that’s something I think we all need every now and then.
Plan it out – don’t do it when you know you have deadlines coming out of your ears and a million things that can’t wait. You need to be able to relax and enjoy it (or at least try to enjoy it!), so pick a weekend when you're able to relax and book it into your diary.
Turn off your devices and leave them at home - it's much harder to sneak a peek at Twitter if you don't actually have access to your mobile/iPad/whatever and turning it off definitely removes the temptation to keep checking it 'just in case' something important has come up. If you can, go out for a few hours and leave your phone at home. It's quite liberating to know that you really, really can't look at it, although I did keep having a mini heart attack thinking that I'd lost it somewhere!
Start small - if you don't think you can manage an entire day at first, try for an hour or two with no digital interruptions and work your way up from there.
Do something fun - when my mind is occupied elsewhere, I find it really easy to ignore my phone and just live in the moment. This weekend took my mind off of social media completely - I was too busy riding miniature steam engines (more on this later this week!) and shovelling in ice cream to worry about Twitter. Go for a bike ride, bake some cookies or head out for an afternoon with your girlfriends minus your phone.
Make a 'no phones' rule - My blog wives Grace, Leanne and Sheenie will testify to the fact I'm a bit of an ogre about putting phones away when we meet up for dinner. Once the quick food snaps are taken (I'm not a complete angel!), they go back in our bags so we can actually chat and catch up. I've been to so many dinners/events/meetings where people seem to play on their phones continuously and it's so rude. Blogger dinners are probably the only exception to the rule as we're all there to showcase the evening on our social channels, but other wise, PUT IT AWAY!
Have you tried a digital detox before? What are your top tips for making it through one?
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