Mindful Living

Digital Detox

Digital Detox Vidya Sury

There is a reason why I am posting this later than I meant to. I took a digital detox. “What, are you crazy?” you might wonder. With four blogs in the A to Z Challenge, I was laughing my head off to discover that in two days, I had done eight posts plus my regular client work and I felt tired. Luckily, there was a weekend after the alphabet “B” but nevertheless, Life offline took precedence over everything else.

I just had to do a digital detox

So it is no coincidence that I chose this for D, because I think everyone needs one at periodic intervals.

Sometimes, we just have to disconnect to reconnect

Technology practically rules our life today, and we have to manage it mindfully

Here are some things that are working for me:

  • I take breaks consciously
  • I do not feel obliged to respond to emails as soon as they show up in my mailbox – in fact I cleaned out my mailbox, purging all the clutter sitting there. I use a different email to subscribe to newsletters.
  • I avoid multi-tasking and try to do one thing at a time to keep me focused
  • I step away from my desk or wherever I sit during the day. Sitting is the new smoking – the less you sit, the longer you will live.
  • I silence my phone. I have set different ringtones for three of my most frequent callers so I know who is calling.
  • I shake up my routine and do things differently. This is as simple as taking a different route to places I regularly go to, waking up 15 minutes earlier, sleeping earlier, and so on to manage my time productively
  • I simplify my to-do list and prioritize over the must-do things for the day
  • I unplug every once in a while. I spend less screen time. The overload of devices we live with these days can be so overwhelming – phones, tablets, TV, computer. I don’t want to be held captive by technology. Of course, our electricity providers are a great help by simply doling out long power outages. I focus on conversations and laughter with family, friends and neighbors. I read a book. I take walks. And when I get back to work, it feels good.
  • I do not eat at my desk. Yes, I used to be guilty of this. But one day, spilling coffee on the keyboard was my wakeup call. I was disgusted with myself. I now use my lunch breaks at a mindful mini-break from the day’s busyness. I eat mindfully, enjoying my food, noticing its texture, color and taste. When I return to work, I feel refreshed.

When I get back to technology, I try and do it with awareness – my posture, my breathing. Did you know there’s something called email apnea? We involuntarily suspend our breathing when we handle email. This irregularity makes the body acidic as we retain carbon dioxide and builds up stress in the body.

Tune in to your breath  and you’ll be surprised at what you will find. When I first started breathwalking, I was surprised to realize that even though I walked regularly, my breathing was not really modulated. Correcting this helped me feel much better.

Do this now:

  • When you’re going through a busy day, just pause for a moment and consciously breathe.
  • Take three deep breaths in –out, in-out, in-out.
  • Try and extend your breath. This communicates with your parasympathetic nervous system, which fights stress and calms you down, helping you think clearly and feel relaxed.

Take a good look at how you use technology and consider how you can make things easier for you and stress less. Don’t answer the phone when you’re enjoying a meal. Don’t work and watch TV at the same time. Our brain just can’t handle it forever. Try paying full attention to what you are doing – in fact, single-task!

Do you need a digital detox?

Here’s a fun infographic from livestrong.com to help you decide. What’s your score?

Digital Detox Vidya Sury

 

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Kathryn Trask
    April 6, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Great idea to take digital breaks, love being away from it so as to come back fresh. Or I take a morning or afternoon off. When I have visitors it might be a whole day with no digital interaction.
    Kathryn Trask recently posted…Eclectic Reading.My Profile

  • Reply
    Damyanti
    April 6, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    I need a detox. This May, I guess!

  • Reply
    Kala Ravi
    April 6, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Vidya, I need you to be my fairy God-mum, will you be? I need these reminders so crucially….I have virtually suspended my normal life! Plus the AToZ Challenge for which I am inadequately prepared…all taking a toll on me…waiting for April do get over! A digital, a health, and whatever detox there is, I need it. I loved the thoughts you shared here, I was actually doing the deep breaths while reading. Your images are so good, they speak volumes of the thought that went into selecting them.
    Thanks Vidya.
    Kala Ravi recently posted…Eclectic Interior StyleMy Profile

  • Reply
    My Era
    April 6, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Email Apnea is something I’d never heard of and I’m hoping I don’t have it. But since you’ve piqued my curiosity, I shall surely read more about it.
    Love your strategy to invest a conscious effort is digital detox while working in the digital age. I keep running errands and chasing my child in between so that helps me take frequent breaks.
    A to Z Challenge can cause a lot of stress. It being my first time, I have been overwhelmed by the minute Monday noon arrived. So I have decided to take it easy and not be obsessed with the quantity.
    Absolutely loved this post 😀
    My Era recently posted…ExpectationsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mars
    April 6, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I really must do more of this, more of the time… but hey let’s get through the challenge first!

    It’s a bit tricky as I run my business online (in addition to the day job which also uses IT heavily) however I have a camper van so plan to get a bit more balance back in my life next month!

    Mars xx
    Mars recently posted…E is for Experimentation and ErrorsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Dahlia
    April 6, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Just one blog and I desperately need the digital detox – i really dont know how you manage 4 blogs! Wow! I am off to do your bidding and indulge in some detox 🙂

    Be back soon to read and lead a mindful life – great going 🙂
    Dahlia recently posted…E = Eye to EyeMy Profile

  • Reply
    themoonstone
    April 6, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Digital breaks is definitely required. I liked that you equated sitting to smoking, and the health hazards are so true..Most of us, who end up working for long hours on the laptop, do this frequently. And 8 posts in 2 days !!! WOW !
    themoonstone recently posted…Purposeless on PurposeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 6, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      Asha, I am smiling over my own folly of 4 blogs which means 4 posts daily. Planning and preparing are not overrated. I am organized at work, but blogging, I fly by the seat of my pants. Still, loving it! So far I am up to date.

      Thank you for coming by!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Coffee MeditationMy Profile

  • Reply
    Inderpreet Kaur Uppal
    April 6, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    I just scored my self and I need to cut back. I have tried to stop eating at my desk but I still munch at times…. this was so needed to be read. Just to make me hear it!! Detox needed now!
    Inderpreet Kaur Uppal recently posted…Elated #atozchallengeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Live and Learn
    April 6, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    The survey touched upon it, but we don’t blink as much when starting at a screen and that causes our eyes to be irritated. This is a problem for me and another good reason to do a digital detox.

    When this challenge is over, you should write a blog about writing 4 blogs during it. Most of us cannot imagine how it could be done and be able to do anything else.

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    April 6, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Excellent advice! I scored well on the test, though I was eating lunch while reading this. At least I’m at the dining room table with my laptop. And I refuse to spend every minute staring at a cell phone. In fact, my phone is “dumb” and cannot even read emojis. ~grin~ Be well.
    Darla M Sands recently posted…E is for Ego LikenessMy Profile

  • Reply
    Guilie Castillo
    April 6, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Absolutely true, Vidya… So much of our lives now revolve around the digital world—the computer, the phone, even music and TV is streamed—that it’s easy to forget there’s a whole world out there waiting for us to interact with it. My digital detox comes in the form of my absolute favorite D word 😀 Spending time with my dogs, whether it’s in the backyard or at the beach or a walk in the Curaçao wilderness, is what helps me reconnect with the ‘real’ world. Even so, I think I’ll be putting these tips you shared to very good use. (Especially this month 😀 )

    Thank you for being you, Vidya! You make the world better.
    Guilie Castillo recently posted…A-Z of #Dog Rescue: Easy Street — #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    April 7, 2016 at 12:00 am

    I need to cut back. I am glued to my laptop for almost all waking hours. If it’s not laptop then it’s phone. But I have done DD consciously / unconsciously for a few days and it does wonders for the mental make-up.
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Elation #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  • Reply
    Debbie D
    April 7, 2016 at 5:09 am

    YES! I’m in dire need of a digital detox right now, but if I do that, I’ll fall even further behind. Sigh……
    Will be glad when the month is over. This pace is much too hectic for my lazy-ass self. 🙂
    Debbie D recently posted…LETTER D is for DALMATIAN | #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Birgit
    April 10, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    I had a horrible time with my iPad last week after I did an update and fell so behind. So I took a detox when I didn’t want to. Yesterday I had to do so much running around and my mom has been needing more attention. You are right about the detox. I seem to be on this more than ever. I think it is a good thing to step back on occasion and see the real world

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 11, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Ugh! I remember that update – it just wouldn’t happen the first time around and kept showing errors! When finally it happened, it pretended I had to set it up all over again. Warm hug to your Mom, Birgit and wishing you a wonderful week ahead!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…BreathWalkingMy Profile

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