I am just coming back to work after unplugging for 3 weeks. YES, three weeks of no email and no social media. Crazy I know! I have had so many people say that they wish they could do that. Or that they could never do that. Yes, you can! And yes you should! So, I thought I would share with you what I experienced...
I have been connected so to speak for as long as I can remember. I started FIT4MOM 14 years ago this August and I have been attached to a computer and social media ever since. Actually believe it or not, social media didn’t exist back then. But now, present day, I am always connected. I answer hundreds of emails per day, am constantly checking skype, facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and the list goes on. But I’m someone who believes in the power of quiet. I study the brain and know how all of these pings stress our brain.
One of the things I did during my unplugged time was read. I read a smutty book which shall remain nameless. But I also read a book on the topic of information overload called The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin.
In an era of information overload, we’re all required to do several things at once. But this constant multitasking causes stress. Levitin explains how our addiction to technology is taking a toll on our brain.
Our brains are busier than ever before. While technology was supposed to make our lives easier, it actually made us busier. Think about it. We used to let a travel agent book our travel. But now we book travel online. We used to have sales associates help us in shops but now we shop and do the transaction online. We do so much ourselves and so much more than we used to. Think about correspondence. You would write a letter how often? Now, we send countless emails per day. We text while we walk. We check Facebook on the toilet (well, some of us might). We are doing the jobs of 10 different people while still trying to keep up with our lives, our children and parents, our friends, our careers, our hobbies, and our favourite TV shows.
While you think you are the expert in multi tasking, you are fooling yourself. Our brains are not wired to multi task. When we multi task we are less efficient and creating stress hormones in the brain. This fight or flight burst of adrenaline can cause that foggy mind feeling, scrambled thinking and total fatigue. Sound familiar?
I have covered this in past blog posts so I won't keep going on the effect of multi tasking. I just wanted you to understand why I wanted to unplug.
When was the last time you didn't feel in a rush?
When was the last time you could just sit and think?
When was the last time that you daydreamed?
I knew that I missed it and that I needed to be present for myself and my kids. So, I picked three weeks to take off. I wanted it to be 4 but I had conferences on either side so I decided that three would have to do.
First, I got in vacation mode. You know what that is. You hustle and get done more in those last few weeks (or days) than you thought humanly possible. I was focused. I got done everything that needed to get done. Projects handed off. Emails cleared. I was free.
So, how did I break that addiction to social media? I actually deleted the apps off my phone. I knew that if I had them accessible, I would check it. And I would. So, they were gone. It took days for me to stop automatically checking. So weird!
What did I do with my time? Well, I was just present. First I went on vacation to visit my sister in Austin. I was totally present. I wasn’t checking facebook or email. Funny enough, there were times that she and the kids were all with their nose in the phones. But I resisted. I read. I journaled. I doodled. Sometimes I just say and daydreamed. It felt good. It felt like I had space.
Did it change my life? Nope. But I can tell you that I feel grounded. I feel clear.
If you want to know more about how I unplugged or how I plan on keeping this clear headed feeling, check out my upcoming Motivating Mom podcast. I will be sharing in detail how I unplugged and how I am plugging back in to life!