Over the weekend, I unplugged for four days.
Four whole days of no email, no Facebook, no internet, no chatting, no television, and no checking messages.
At first it was really hard. I had to shut off data and move all the online apps off the home screen of my smart phone and my iPad so I wouldn’t be tempted. I still reflexively picked up my phone or iPad every twenty minutes at first, even though I didn’t give in and check. I substituted a few habits to make it easier: playing solitaire, reading, and actually calling people I hadn’t talked to in a long time to have real live conversations.
After a while, I started to get the hang of it. I dusted and cleaned the first floor of my apartment from top to bottom. I organized some storage. I reorganized my bedroom. I sat on the couch looking out at the ocean. I took a nap.
Eventually, I started to remember what I liked to do before being constantly connected. I went for a drive to get ice cream and look at a different patch of the ocean. I found a local wildlife sanctuary and hiked on trails. I found a quiet space to meditate outside. I walked around town. I visited with people in person. I invited my roommate to a grand reopening of the local hardware store, and we had a blast participating in the scavenger hunt and other contests.
I kept all the things that delighted, intrigued, and interested me to myself or only shared them with the people physically present. I didn’t post my newest gluten free recipe success, share my find at the hardware store or upload a picture of the six deer hanging out nearby while I meditated in the woods.
I just lived in the moment, disconnected.
It wasn’t easy at first, but it really started to grow on me. I really started enjoying myself. I got a little sad about going back to work on Monday and having to plug back in. It was a delightful surprise on Monday when I discovered that catching up and getting through my to-do list was pretty easy because I was refreshed and focused.
This experience really taught me something – my business didn’t fall apart while I took a break. Neither did my family. Even better, it turned out that being disconnected boosted my relaxation levels significantly, elevated my mood, and increased my productivity when I went back to work.
My daily self-care practices like eating well, meditating, self-Reiki, yoga, exercise, journalling, reading spiritual books, etc… were just not enough. They couldn’t cut through the chronic stress of being constantly connected. Unplugging made all the difference. I am definitely going to be unplugging more often. How about you?
Do you need a space where you can lean into just being? Read about the Heart & Soul Circle on May 19th that’s coming together where you can do just that.