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Cat Meffan

WHY WE ALL NEED A DIGITAL DETOX

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Technology, and more specifically social media, isn’t going anywhere any time soon, so we all need to make sure we’re doing the most we can to adapt in this slightly crazy world and take care of our mental health. It’s time for a digital detox and here’s how and why.

There are many wonderful things that come with social media (just think baby goat videos and the gif of Dawson crying), but there are also negatives. The addiction that comes with owning a phone, tablet or laptop. Never REALLY switching off from the online world and being obsessed with what other people are doing with their lives. Now, I’m not saying that we’re all necessarily like that, but whether you only check your emails or you’re a die hard Instagram scroller, the likelihood is that you’re addicted to your phone and you don’t even know it. That’s why you need a digital detox.

ME & MY TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION:

I don’t have any notifications turned on for emails or social media (I weirdly never have, which I’m so pleased about) and I may not check my phone anywhere near as much as I used to, but I’m still addicted to what’s going on in that small rectangular bundle of tech in some ways. I love going back to my parents house, as they have phones of course, but when they come in the door the phones are pretty much down and they actually talk. It’s a constant reminder that even as a yoga teacher and someone who values human connection so so much, I need to put my phone down more.

Rob and I have a few rules in the house that we try our best to stick to, but sometimes I think we all need a day or more to fully disconnect. Rob and I don’t have phones at the dinner table or in the bedroom and we try to put our phones down at 8pm in the evening – the latter is much harder than it sounds as we both work freelance/from home, so daytime/evening/weekend all role into one.

With temptation literally in your pocket, I, more than some maybe, can understand how tricky it is to switch off. And be honest with yourself here. I used to get defensive about these sorts of conversations, saying that I had to be on my phone for work, but now I can look back and see that I was just obsessed with the online world.

HOW TO DO A DIGITAL DETOX:

This weekend I’m off to teach my UK yoga retreat in Somerset where there is no wifi, no 3G/4G network and a very small about of phone signal – the kind of signal that you only get in the corner someone else’s bathroom! Last year when I did this same retreat I was stressing a little about not being able to do emails or update my social channels, but this year I can’t wait. I’m craving that time to fully embrace being with like-minded humans, teaching the practice that I love so much, spending time in nature and relaxing.

I’m not saying that you need to go on a yoga retreat to get this disconnect from technology and reconnect with yourself, but it does help to go somewhere that doesn’t have internet connection. Most hotels and AirBnBs these days have wifi, so I totally understand that it’s hard to escape, when temptation is right there, but I urge you at least leave your phone at home for a couple of days each month. Go for a long walk with friends, family, a loved one or a pet and look up. Notice everything around you and connect with what’s going on with the world right outside your eyes, rather than through a phone.

A digital detox can be extremely beneficial to ease the mind and to help settle any stress or anxiety. An the key is to start small and build it slowly if it’s something you want to add into your daily routine. Depending on how hands-on-phone you are, maybe you just start with charging your phone over night in a different room so that you aren’t tempted to look at it as soon as you wake up. Maybe you’ve already got that side of things down, so it’s time to go away for the weekend and leave your phone at home. Notice any excuses coming into your mind when you think of doing something like that – what if the car breaks down, what if something goes wrong, what if someone needs to get hold of me etc. If you’re worried about those sorts of things, just ask your partner to have their phone with them for emergencies. Voila!

DIGITAL DETOX IN SUMMARY:

I think it’s time for many of us to admit that we have a little obsession and that it’s not healthy. Bit by bit we need to form healthier habits if we want to have a good relationship with social media and technology in the years to come, as it won’t be going anywhere!

And if you do fancy a yoga retreat, check out my ones here! 😉

Love, Cat x

 

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