DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT – YOUR GUIDE TO A DIGITAL DETOX
As I mentioned in a previous post, when I first decided to take a digital detox – I thought my biggest issue would be staying offline. Turns out, it’s been even harder to come back! Because what I found in the pause was so magical it’s been a challenge to overcome the idea that I will lose it, and instead lean in to a NEW WAY of alignment and what feels good for me in how to use the platform, amidst some of the digital chaos. I have been getting a lot of questions about HOW I stayed off socials for three weeks (I just want to let that land…how wild is it that we can’t comprehend how we wouldn’t be able to use an app for less than a month?!) and what I learned through this period so I thought I would share with you all here in case it serves you to take your own pause. Seriously, I know it sounds scary but I cannot recommend it enough.
We are so CONSUMED by consuming…and it really can f*ck with your head when left unchecked. Being plugged in every day scrolling past highlight reel after highlight reel – it becomes pretty impossible for our brain to distinguish what is real and what is not. It’s SO EASY to feel like your life is lame compared to the girl with the million followers travelling to a new location every week. But let me let you in on something not so secret…those perfectly posed and captured “candid” photos, do not encompass a whole life. I know plenty of people, high following or not, who’s social media feed does not represent what is REALLY going on out of shot – and although I try and keep it #humanAF – this includes myself at times.
Let me also just say – there is also be something super powerful about being online and having an online community. Some of my now greatest friends I have connected with online…and truly found my TRIBE in the online space, through group programs, challenges, free groups and online sacred spaces. It can keep you connected to people that aren’t in your city, and open up yourself up to beautiful connections around the globe. It can be full to the brim of inspiration and packed full off goodness to inspire and uplift. Just like anything, it’s about knowing what works for YOU, setting boundaries to honour yourself and knowing when to step away and when to step in, protecting your energy and choosing you.
A digital detox doesn’t even have to be a break – it can be an audit of who and what you’re consuming. If it doesn’t uplift you, inspire you or make you feel good – it’s gotta go. Whatever you decide – I would strongly recommend being highly conscious, ceremonial and intentional about what you engage with online. Search out the real, the raw and the inspirational. BUT FIRST – CREATE. Create what’s on your heart, stay in your lane and only seek to be better than the person YOU were yesterday. Ultimately, it comes down to CONSCIOUSLY, ceremonially and INTENTIONALLY choosing what and who we engage with, learn from and connect to, rather than by default.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU NEED A SOCIAL BREAK
You’re spending WAY too much time online, and as a result everything else in your life is slipping
You feel bummed out when you do open the apps, finding your comparing to everyone else
You feel a little lost or disconnected to your message, because there is so much noise in everyone else’s
Feeling drained and out of alignment, experiencing burn out symptoms and fatigue
You couldn’t imagine going a day without it #addicted
You rely on it for any human connection
You feel the pressure of needing to post every day, and fret when you don’t
You refresh the app a million times after posting a pic to see the likes and comments
You know more about everyone else’s life than your own
You exceed your data every month from watching insta stories and videos of cats on YouTube
HOW TO STAY OFFLINE
Tap in to your WHY. Why are you choosing to take this time for you? What do you hope to gain by the end? Write this out and put it somewhere you can see it to keep yourself motivated.
Delete the apps off your phone. Seriously. Out of sight, out of mind. When I kept reaching for my phone on autopilot, the only thing that stopped me from opening the apps those first few days were that they weren’t there. It really is a habit! You will be astounded how often your hand just reaches for your phone. Become aware of WHY you are reaching for it. I noticed it was every time I was bored, procrastinating, or avoiding something (whether it be a task or an emotion)…and get comfortable being uncomfortable in sitting with that. Use this time to stop avoiding, and start LISTENING to your inner wisdom.
Staying offline on your computer takes a LITTLE more self control to avoid typing Facebook in the search bar on autopilot. Remove these from your history, your bookmarks and anywhere you’re likely to see them. If you do type it out of habit, close the window IMMEDIATELY…and don’t beat yourself up about it. Refer to step one xo
WHAT ELSE TO DO TO SUPPORT YOURSELF IN THIS TIME
During my social detox, I took it as a time to also look at what I was leaning on for distractions or to suppress emotions, or as a crutch/vice of some kind. The first thing that became apparent was coffee, so I ditched that off and replaced it with Cacao. The result? Better sleep, a more grounded and centered approach to the day and less anxiety.
The next was FOOD. Although I eat a plant based diet, and am pretty good with not binging…I did notice I would snack. A lot. In a ‘I’m just going to eat this because I’m bored and it will fill some time and give me a happy boost’ way. I had felt I had been slipping a little too so I did a cleanse through Sol Cleanse https://solcleanse.com/ – I did the warm cleanse because Winter in Aus, and this did me a world of good…despite being super uncomfortable. I mean…no socials, no coffee and no solid food. Stripping all that back I had no choice but to take a real good look inwards and face off with some stuff that was holding me back.
I took my workouts offline too, getting out of the gym loop and in to nature…going for long walks and yoga in the park, accompanied with some visualisations. You can find some beautiful yoga rituals here: https://www.youtube.com/user/essenceoflivingtv , and I often use this priming ritual in the morning to get my mind right for the day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXbUFgqjMdk&t=2s
Speaking of, a morning ritual is SO important. You can find some more info on morning rituals in my free 7 Ways To Empowerment here: https://kirstenmorrison.co/resources/
Take long baths with Epsom Salts to draw away any negative energy
Eat healthy, drink lots of water. Support your physical body in this time.
Read some inspirational books. Currently on my read list: You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
Catch up with loved ones – IN PERSON. Take this time to really connect. Be present.
Journal – write out what is coming up for you and really sit with it. Allow it to come out without judgement, just be curious to what is showing up for you. Facing off with what we have been avoiding can be uncomfortable, but it’s so worth it.
Take a soul sabbatical in nature, take a road trip, go explore. Just get off the screen and in to the world. Do anything that brings you joy and requires your full presence.
WHY ITS SO IMPORTANT AND WHAT I LEARNED
I poured my heart out here on what I learned and how it impacted me, so give it a read: https://kirstenmorrison.co/hello-is-this-thing-on/
If you do decide to take your own social break, I would love to hear from you and what you learn! You can hit me up here: https://kirstenmorrison.co/contact/
[image source: The Soul Echo]