Considering the title of this blog post, it seems rather ironic that I am sitting here on my laptop typing it out. The laptop undoubtedly being a part of the technology that I'm suggesting we need a break from. Rest assured that once my thoughts are on paper (metaphorically), I will shut this laptop and enjoy some time to myself.
You see, we are in a day and age when technology is ubiquitous. Most of us don't even fall asleep without knowing our phone is nearby incase we need it (it's our alarm clock right?). It's honestly hard to imagine a life without technology and although I long for the days that were simpler and I wasn't connected 24/7, it's almost impossible to forget technology completely.
Being connected to a device constantly has ill effects on our wellbeing including (but not limited to):
- cognitive losses
- expectations of instant gratification
- vision loss
- headaches, migraines
- neck strain
- lack of movement and/or exercise
I can honestly say I have felt most of these at some point due to my almost constant use of my cell phone or laptop. I am so grateful that I have access to the world through a simple device, but sometimes I do need a break to reconnect with myself, my happiness, and who I am without the world watching.
How to Break-Up with Technology (if only for a moment):
1) Choose 1 day of the week that you can leave your phone at home or locked in a safe! For me, Sundays seem to work best because I don't have business to do that day. It is the day that I have chosen as a rest day, a day to get things done, and a day that no one needs to urgently get a hold of me.
2) Spend time with nature. I know this is so cliché but bear with me, nature heals your soul. It resets your mindset and allows so much room for perspective and to breathe and to ponder life. I've never once left a hike feeling like I have wasted my time or that I could have been doing something better. There is a peaceful serenity about seeing forests full of trees or hearing water brush up against rocks. It's meditative and it brings you back into the now.
3) Fall back into your hobbies. Remember when you were a kid and you loved to draw chalk all over your parents driveway, trade stickers with your neighbour, or join the summer book club every year at the library because you loved to read so much?? Remember the pure joy of spending your days mindlessly being creative without worry of judgement. Find a hobby that makes you feel that way again. It can be something as simple as putting together a puzzle, or purchasing a sketchbook and just drawing whatever comes to you. Do something you love without fear, without judgement, and without seeing how many post likes it got.
For those of you who are brave:
4) Leave your phone at home. Did I just say that?? You see, I have accidentally left my phone at home a time or two, and by the time I realize it, it's too late to go back and get it. But do you want to know what happens once you get through the initial freak out? You relax. Like really relax. It almost feels risqué, in a sense, to not be at the beck and call of whomever is on the other end of your phone. You become more present in the everyday nuances of life and you surrender gentle flow of your day as opposed to constantly checking the latest on instagramfacebookpinterestyoutubetwitterandwhateverothersocialmedianetworkiswastingyourtime.
So give one or all of these a try and let me know what you think. Do you feel at peace? Do you feel more mindful? Do you feel more anxious?
There was a day and age where we survived without technology, and although we no longer live in that age, we absolutely still have the space to ditch the technology for a moment in our lives and really reconnect with ourselves.