At the start of 2017, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to detox and get back to the simple stuff in life. I have memories of playing board games with my former teammates on long road trips, of going on long drives through the mountains with the radio up when I was living in Colorado, and of catching up with friends while basking in the warm sun and chatting about everything we wanted to do in life. I love reading, watching a good movie, and reveling in the feeling of having nothing to do or nowhere to be.
What the hell happened?
When I moved to New York everything changed for me. I started my life over and with it came a demanding full-time job, several volunteer groups, multiple volleyball leagues, and a never-ending list of things to do (I have a hard time saying no!). And for years now, it hasn’t bothered me. This is New York. Everyone is busy. Everyone is rushing to the next thing. We’re all overloaded with things to do. There’s an energy here, a hustle, a drive to be more, do more, have more… because without this subconscious push to achieve, you won’t make it here.
But I’ve made it here. It hasn’t always been easy, and a lot of blood, sweat, tears and grit went into everything that I have today, trust me. But I’m 31 now, and I find myself longing for my teenage years when life was simple, I didn’t have a thousand things to run to and from, and I enjoyed each day. How are weeks and months passing me by? Why am constantly pressed for time and stressed about juggling all of my responsibilities? Why am I doing this to myself?
During the holiday season, I took a very real and incredibly tough look at my life. And I quit a lot of stuff, which is still hard for me to accept. I want to create more time for me, for my husband, for relaxing and reading and getting outdoors and just experiencing this beautiful world we live in. I’m about a month in, and it’s going … okay. This is still very hard for me to adjust to as a new lifestyle. One that’s less busy, and less crazed. I always pictured myself as a woman who would be able to do everything, have everything, and gracefully handle it all. And while that’s still possible of course, I am struggling to redefine what “it all” means to me. I am still a work in progress.
Recently, I was chatting with Laura, the founder of North Clothing about taking a break from my blog during February. And she shared the Digital Detox concept with me. After reading about the 30 Day Detox online, I decided I would give it a whirl in the month of February (plus the first two days of March).
Each day during the month, I’ll be taking part in a daily challenge to temporarily disconnect from all digital devices. And instead focus on social interaction, reducing stress, and being fully present in the world ‘offline’. This is going to be tough. Research estimates that we check our smart phones 150 times per day and spend 8 hours and 41 minutes staring at screens (that’s longer than we sleep). We’re totally hooked. And it’s impacting our mental and physical health. Our focus and concentration and our sleep and brain function. It’s decreasing our human connection. So while this may not be easy, I believe that it’s necessary for me. It’s time to get back to the good stuff.
I’m hopeful that this experience will allow me to create some personal boundaries and intentions around my use of technology – and allow me to take back my day-to-day life. I want this experience to be fulfilling, conscious and purposeful. I am aiming to realign and find my inspiration again. But only time will tell. I’ll be back in a month with a full report of how things go!
P.S. Are you interested in joining me on a 30 Day Digital Detox? If so, please feel free to follow along here.