Recently something amazing happened – I signed up for a digital detox challenge and actually followed through! I fully admit that I am too plugged in and have a very hard time stepping away from my phone. I’d been feeling called to limit my tech-time at night but couldn’t force myself to do it.
The premise of this 5-day digital detox was unplugging for at least an hour before bed and replacing tech-time with activities to reconnect you to you (journaling, baths, meditation, earlier bedtime). It sounds easy enough, right? No screens for one hour. It. Is. Harder. Than. You. Think. (at least for me!)
The first night I shut down the computer and put my phone in airplane mode around 8pm and by 8:02pm I was itching for my phone. I knew it would be a challenge but I didn’t expect it to be this extreme. I took a book from the ever-growing pile on my nightstand and started reading. But I kept looking over at the phone and willing it to just turn itself on and open up to Instagram. I typically finalize my blog posts on Monday nights and felt panic about not being able to proof it one last night before it was published. At one point I had to sit on my hands to stop them from reaching for my phone before my brain could stop them. (I wish I was kidding about this one.) But I made it and I actually slept better than I had in a long time.
I decided to add an extra challenge to my challenge and not peek at my phone for an hour in the morning. I am at the point where I turn my alarm off and open Instagram, email, and/or Facebook for some early morning scrolling. What a jarring way to start the day! And I keep telling myself that I don’t have time to establish a mindful morning routine. I don’t have time because I’m wasting time scrolling!
I replaced mindless scrolling with short meditation, pulling a Miracles Now card and sipping hot water with lemon. I immediately noticed a shift in my energy. I moved through the rest of the morning feeling energized and calm.
Each day of my digital detox got easier and easier. I was falling asleep faster, sleeping more deeply, and spending more quality time with my family and with myself. By the last day I found myself wanting to unplug hours before it was time. I felt like I gained hours and hours of extra time in the day. I felt spacious, ease, and clarity.
And then the challenge ended and so did my space, ease and clarity. I went right back to my tech-filled ways almost immediately and opened the door to distraction. Why? Because it is hard not to. I am growing an online business and that makes me feel like I need to be online ALL. THE. TIME. Plus I love connecting with high-vibe people.
But I also love reading, cuddling with Scout and Andrew, and the feeling of leaving my phone behind and leaving the house. My digital detox helped me see the importance of unplugging to reconnect to myself. As hard as it is, I am committing to less tech-time and more me-time. I am going to make a conscious effort to log out after dinner and just be. I also really want to reclaim those precious minutes in the morning when I could be meditating, moving my body, slowing eating breakfast, or even getting a few more minutes of sleep. But I’m allowing for the occasional early morning or late night blogging or social media scrolling without guilt. One night of blogging doesn’t need to be “bad” or lead to every night.
Do you need a little digital detox? Tonight is the full moon and what better time to disconnect?! Get the scoop on the full moon from my go-to astrologer, Danielle Mercurio. (And then unplug and go look at the moon!)