• Brettney Douglas-Al Hindi

Five Reasons Why Unplugging At Least One Day A Week Can Bring More Ease Into Your Life

It's hard to believe that we are about a week shy of our one-year pandemic anniversary. So much has changed, while a lot has stayed the same. One thing I know for sure is that at this point, we are all "zoomed-out."The coronavirus outbreak has not only changed the way that we connect and interact with others, but also the way that we work. While the transition to work from home comes with some flexibility, it also comes with a laundry list of challenges. We have a lot on our plates these days from: prolonged workdays, multitasking (taking care of household tasks/childcare/virtual learning with the little(s) for instance.), lacking motivation/productivity, and burnout from jam-packed schedules filled with hours of video calls.

We thought the struggle was real before, but honey, it just got turned up a couple of notches.

The need for more rest, pause, joy, pleasure, and ease is at an all-time high.

With today being National Day of Unplugging, and Spring Equinox just around the corner; I was inspired to be more consistent and intentional with my self-care practices and do a social media detox at least one day per week.

I need more time to check in with myself, instead of living vicariously through other people's online personas and having FOMO (fear of missing out) over their perfectly curated content. When I began to really think about it, I realized I was spending way too much time aimlessly scrolling on Facebook and Instagram trying to keep up with the Joneses; while not being fully present in my own life.

How embarrassing.

Let's face it, we're all guilty of that in some way.

We are obsessed with knowing other folk's business, or at least having something to do to occupy our time when we've got nothing else better to do, or just need a mental break or distraction from our day-to-day activities.

We are not machines.

Being "on" all day, every day, for hours at a time is not healthy for your mind, body, or spirit; and can have long-lasting effects that can be detrimental to your overall wellbeing if you are not careful.

Taking a much-needed reprieve or break from technology/electronics can be the answer for reducing your stress levels, improve your mental health, and free up more time to devote to other things.

Here are a few reasons why you should implement less screen time in your daily routine:

1. To recover and unwind from your day

We are all so overly stimulated with so much going on in the world already; between the news, current events, and our social media timelines, it's an overload of information coming at us in all directions. Surfing the web, hopping on calls back to back, checking the notifications on our phones every time they alert us; it's a lot for our brains to handle; not to mention the overall tension that it puts on our bodies. The point that I'm making is that we need to mentally and physically unpack from the happenings of our day, and recharge from all the hustle and bustle.

2. Reclaim your time

Believe it or not, we're wasting precious time consumed by technology. The digital world is literally taking over our lives, and we've got to work hard to take some of that time back. Put a timer on your phone to limit screen time. uninstall apps that you are on for too long, or simply put your phone on DND (do not disturb), and instead do something else that doesn't require you to be on it. After your workday is finished, shut down your laptop/computer and literally disconnect, and get lost in an activity that doesn't expend too much mental energy so that you can relax. Go for a walk/jog/hike, do something active like take an art/dance class or do something else that interests you. Catch up with a friend for some socially distanced fun, or simply do nothing; whatever floats your boat, just unplug.

3. Devote more time to your mental health

Drown out all of the noise, and tap in. Get still, get quiet. Do a mental check-in to see how you're feeling. Write down five things you love about yourself, and three things you are grateful for. Move your body. Practice mindfulness while you're washing the dishes, or eating a meal. Get grounded, be present.

4. To become more focused, and productive

In a perfect world, we'd only have a 32-hour workweek, which would not only increase productivity, but would boost employee morale, and greatly improve the workplace culture; but that's a story for another day. In the meantime, let's focus on what we can control at the moment and that is ourselves. To lighten your load, try taking small breaks during your workday to just breathe and recharge. Put away your phone/tablet while you work. It is difficult to get anything done when you are being distracted by your to-do-lists and everyone else's issues. Not to mention, the feeling of getting overwhelmed by everything you have to get done, with no end in sight. I've found that when I have my phone at arm's reach, I'm likely to check text messages or social, and before I know it, what was supposed to be five minutes turns into 30 and now I have to take a minute to recalibrate and get my head back in the game. Don't be like me, sis. Focus on one task at a time.

5. Less pressure, more ease.

Living in this digital era is a scary and dangerous place. What used to be a nice escape from reality has become an addiction. We're all on this rat race to be the best, look the best, make the most money, and flaunt our seemingly perfect lives to the masses; while feeling empty on the inside. There's this imaginary pressure to be everything to everyone, be at the height of our careers, and wear multiple hats, all while not letting anyone see us break a sweat. It is exhausting; the pressure to perform, to succeed, and to live up to society's expectations of "living your best life." After you've logged out of your Instagram account, who are you really?! Are you who you "post," to be, or are you putting on a facade to look good to other people?! If the people you are following do not motivate you to be better, or are not in alignment with who you want to become; detach. If who you are online versus offline are two different characters, and neither one of them brings you joy or ease, I kindly suggest that you reevaluate what it is that you want out of life and start making some changes.

I challenge you all to be more conscious of what you are consuming; not just in your physical body but in your mental, spiritual, and emotional bodies as well. Get clear about what you want to manifest, and let go of anything and anyone that is no longer serving you, so that you can make space for what is meant for you.

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