Succotash at the Studio
Are you anxious, depressed or feel like you can't get everything done? Is time flying by too fast or you don't know where to begin? A digital detox might be the answer. In today's world we are so plugged in and everything moves at the speed of light, social media does not help. We mindlessly scroll and avoid being bored, we are often victims of how many likes and comments someone makes in a virtual world. We are bombarded by too many images and stimulus that as humans we were not made to process.
Let's be real, technology makes the world go round and it does have its time and place. We just need to be more cognizant of how we use it. What if we took a break and slowed down? Got offline for a bit so we could get back online in a healthy way? Try practicing mindfulness. Meditation does a mind and body good. Here are a dozen easy ways to incorporate mindfulness, we call them "mindfulness to go" tips:
1. no smart phones at the table - this goes for meetings in an office, at restaurants and at the dinner table at home.
2. limit email to 2xs a day only - avoid checking and scrolling multiple times an hour. Multitasking is a lie, we are not focused and ineffective when trying to.
3. start a journal - learn to document without a picture posted to social media
4. practice gratitude - before you go to bed, write down one thing you are grateful for. It is a nice way to unwind, be positive and who knows you might find one or two more things to be thankful for each day. its just for you, not the whole world.
5. mindfulness through making - take a creative class, learn something new, use your hands for making, not typing.
6. have a party where people leave their smartphones in a bowl by the front door - have an "i wonder" moment instead of looking the answer up immediately
7. write a letter - connect with someone instead of by text or email.
8. limit screen time on your smartphone, TV, iPad, and computer - replace these with one hour of listening to music, reading, or walking. Social media will still be there when you get back.
9. spend more time with your four legged friends - I bet if your furry friends are like mine, they would appreciate some more time with you. Go outside for a walk, play more or just a scratch on the head or chin is all they want from you. Do they want to be instafamous or do you?
10. say no and don't over commit - we are never going to be perfect, its overrated anyway. You will have more time and when you do spend time with others it will be more meaningful.
11. travel and unplug - take a trip and set your away message on your email, only take a few pictures, resist posting to social media and better yet, don't have data or roaming! Immerse yourself even if it is a car trip or weekend get away.
12. practice silence and calm - ten minutes or half an hour to start. meditate and stare into space, you don't have to close your eyes or repeat some mantra (that can come later) just for now, be alone with your thoughts. No music, no talking, no reading, no watching, no thinking, just staring and peacefully slowing down your breathing for a few minutes. you will be amazed at how calm you feel.
Bonus points: Try 7 days of being offline - experiment with a week of analogue adventures. Start with TV, ipad, give up social media for lent! Of course you may have to check email for your job. That's ok. Just start with one thing and see how it feels. Let us know what happens. Keep in touch!