Are you scrolling on Instagram at night as you fall asleep?
Grabbing your phone as soon as you wake up in the morning?
Checking your phone even though there was no sign of new messages coming in?
Are you feeling over-connected?
There's a good chance that the answer is yes.
"The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug." Pico Iyer
There's no arguing that technology is a wonderful tool and can make magic happen by being connected with people around the world for all kinds of reasons and help us in our every day life, work or travels. It creates freedom but lines get blurry sometimes and we become so attached that we lose somehow bits of that freedom.
Being connected all the time is bad for our productivity, relationships, brain and our connection to others. It is linked to anxiety, depression, stress and fatigue, and impact us physically too as we are usually not moving our bodies while being online. 46 times a day - that's the average number of times a person check his/her phone. We're living on autopilot most of the time and we're not even conscious of our habits.
I spent a week in the mountains recently and the benefits of being in nature, connected to the sun and trees have been plenty. Between social media notifications, scrolling down feeds and other distractions, it can be easy to get lost in the online world and feel like your head is spinning. The result for me was low productivity, feeling drained, short attention span and uninspired. So I headed to the mountains for a mini digital detox. Fresh air, nature, magnificent views, silence, no wifi, just books. Connecting to my body, replenishing my soul. Since I've been back, I've been inspired, creative and more productive. My energy and vibe have been high.
"Doing nothing has become one of the lost luxuries in these hectic times. But doing nothing, even for five minutes, can be rejuvenating. Go for it: You - unplugged."
Unplugging from the online world to spend more time in the real world is essential for our wellbeing. Even though we can't always escape to the mountains or ocean whenever we want, we have the choice to switch off and go for long walks, to put the phone on airplane mode when we want to focus on a project, to do a few sun salutations or stretches when feeling stuck with work instead of reaching for the phone.
Have you ever thought about how it makes you feel in your body and mind, to be connected 24/7?
When was the last time you were completely disconnected from your phone, computer and TV?
"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."
HOW TO UNPLUG?
It's about making a conscious choice of using our devices more mindfully and not let them consume us.
Being present and paying attention to how we use technology and being more mindful of how we spend our days and how our body and mind are feeling. Keeping our phone away as we walk the streets, in public transports and especially while out with friends. Focusing on people and our surroundings, enjoying concerts and sunsets instead of experiencing life through a screen.
Choose one day a week or maybe more realistically just a few hours everyday when you leave your phone switched off. Make it a ritual. It could be on Sundays or evenings for a couple of hours. Find what works for you. Experiment with a "no phone in bed" rule. Keep your phone out of sight at home.
HONOR YOUR TIME
Think about the time you'll create. Use this extra time to connect with yourself, spend time with loved ones, sleep, move your body, create, enjoy a meal and savor the present moment. It will not only give you a break but relax your mind as well. Give yourself one hour in the morning before checking your phone. As your body needs a break from food at night, your mind needs the same. Think about what kind of morning or evening ritual you'd like to create. How do you want to start your day?
When we write our ideal day or reminisce about our best moments in life, I'm pretty sure it doesn't include a phone, TV or computer, but outdoor adventures, exploring the world, belly laughs with friends, stargazing on a hot summer night or working on personal projects. Those are what makes the final cut in our life movie. So why do we spend so much time doing things that don't really matter in the end?
What are your thoughts on this? How do you unplug?
Marisa Ribordy is a Yoga Teacher and Health & Wellness Coach. She is passionate about guiding women to explore their wild dreams, to connect with their bodies and create a life with purpose while embracing a vibrant