Isn’t summer supposed to be time for vacation, and for slowing down?
These days, it feels more like life starts ramping up in the spring and goes full speed through the summer and fall.
And while long days, warmer weather, and lots of events to attend can make for a great summer… it can also make for one frazzled changemaker.
With so much on your plate, and so much fun stuff to do, how can you keep up your pace and not wear yourself out?
Enter an old idea, with a new twist.
Detox, of the digital kind
You’ve likely heard about detoxing your body — juice cleanses, detox programs and the like.
You personally may not use them or believe that they work, but the general concept is to aid the body in processing excess crap in your body by eating cleanly for a particular period of time.
Well, did you know that taking a break from technology can help your brain to get rid of some of the clutter that gunks up your neural pathways?
By giving yourself a break from screens, you give your mind a chance to settle and process, and to clean up anything it doesn’t need.
This process is Rebel Yogi tested. We implemented a 24-hour tech fast once a week in our house, and even though we haven’t been perfect about keeping up with it, I can really tell the difference the weeks when we do!
A 24-hour technology fast
Here’s an example of how it can work:
Friday evening at 5 pm, all computers in the house shut down. (Not just shut the lid, but powered down and unplugged.)
The internet and wifi get powered down.
The home entertainment system gets unplugged. No television, no radio.
Phones become just that — a phone. No internet browsing, no apps. (You may decide to make an exception for text messages.)
You may also want to decide if a reading device like a Kindle counts. I’ve gone back and forth about my Paperwhite, since it’s technically supposed to mimic paper, but most weekends I skip and just pull out a good old fashioned book.
Then… enjoy your weekend! Saturday evening, you can power everything back on and get back to life as usual. (Or, you can even wait until Sunday morning if the calm and silence is too good to give up.)
But what the heck am I supposed to do?!
You may be twitching a little bit just thinking about going without internet or any of your devices for a whole 24 hours.
The first couple of times you try this, you’ll likely find yourself reaching for your phone out of habit, or wishing that you could Google something…
But with a little bit of preparation, your digital vacation can be super refreshing (and productive)!
Every Friday at 4 pm, I make a pen-and-paper checklist of all the things I need to do that don’t involve technology or screens. My list is usually longer than I can get through in one 24 hour period.
Meals become an opportunity to have a conversation. This time is also useful for catching up on your reading list (books, no screens) and being creative — I’ve had a lot of fun with breaking out my coloring books and colored pencils, but you should do whatever feels like it would be fun for you.
And, maybe that’s just hanging out in your hammock, taking a nap, or going out to hang out with friends.
Relax your brain, refresh your summer
Whatever you decide to do, keep it (mostly) fun.
My experience is that Saturdays feel SO long. Rather than time disappearing in the internet vortex, you get to experience every moment fully.
Distractions (at least of the digital variety) go by the wayside.
And your summer gets that much more fun — and relaxing.
So take a look at your calendar and see if you can block off 24 hours this week to give your brain a break.
If you give it a try, let me know how it goes. Here’s to your blissful summer of 2016!