October 30, 2017 Be Well Challenge Health & Happiness Challenge No. 8 As much as I love my phone, my computer and the fact that I have a job that operates 100% online, technology can be exhausting. Can we all agree on that? I feel lucky to grow up in a generation where I can literally find anything I need within a few seconds and be constantly updated with what my friends are doing, but on the flip side, I also like not knowing. It’s refreshing to actually meet up with a friend in person and have to ask what they’ve been up to. Rather than starting every conversation with “omg, I saw that you tried XYZ restaurant on Insta Stories! How was it?!”. So, this week’s challenge is to take a break from technology. Health & Happiness Challenge No. 8 Take a Digital Detox This one is especially tough for me because, like I said, my business operates online and on social media and completely disconnecting for long stretches of time isn’t exactly a good business plan. I can’t unplug from technology all together, but it’s so necessary for my brain to shut down and escape for a bit each day. I find that the older I get, the more I crave quiet, relaxing time sans technology. But, let’s be real—we all kind of need technology in some form or fashion for our jobs work or simply communicating with family. Technology is great when it comes to the essentials like this and that’s not the break I’m talking about. I’m talking about the mindless hours we (definitely me) spend browsing Instagram, shopping my favorite online retailers or perusing Pinterest or Facebook. This can easily lead to negative thinking and comparison, which is a real downer. Even the constant barrage of text messages can sometimes wear me out! So, how can you cut back without going completely off the grid?! Here’s a few ways that I take a mini digital detox in my own life. When you’re out with friends, turn your phone on silent and stick it in your bag. When you’re at home, turn it on silent and put it in your room. In both situations, it’s out of sight and out of mind. At family events, we’ve instituted a phone stack of sorts. My sister will walk around with a basket collecting everyone’s phones (and setting them to silent), so that we can sit down and enjoy our meal with real conversation. Ironically, we’ve found that it’s the grandparents who are most hesitant to put their phones away—haha! Instead of hopping on your computer at the end of the day to browse social media or shop, put on your running shoes and head out the door for a quick walk—yes, without your headphones. I love listening to neighborhood and city sounds, and find it to be particularly grounding. I’m always more alert and aware of my surroundings when I do this, and for me, that’s so important. It gives me time to be alone with my thoughts. While that might seem scary, I think it’s super healthy and good to have that alone time for yourself. Some of my best creative ideas have come to me while I’m out walking without my phone! Or, if you’re at home, reach for a book instead of your phone or computer when you get bored! I’ve been reading more the past two years and it’s such a nice escape! Reading also has the added bonus of teaching me something I didn’t already know. So, no, I’m not asking you to give up tech completely, but try to only use it when it’s absolutely necessary this week and see how you feel after the break. If you’re really feeling wild, why not try turning your phone off for a whole weekend? Just make sure to tell your closest family and friends what you’re up to so they don’t get worried when they don’t hear from you for two whole days! Do you find that you use technology too much? How do you try to cut back on a daily basis? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks too! BTW, 3 things to look for in a healthy relationship, and 20 ways to treat people better.