When I made the commitment this holiday season to take a digital detox and shop locally, as much as I could, I was primarily thinking about supporting local business owners that I know are struggling in this digital economy. What I didn’t realize was that I would also re-connect with the joy of giving by shopping local. Each time I stepped into a store, I had a new opportunity to connect with a person—stranger or sometimes friend. These are opportunities that are often missed in our hurry to “add to cart” frenzy that has become the holiday shopping model. When I left these experiences, however, the main thing I noticed was that I felt rejuvenated. Whether it was the act of leaving my home, interacting with the community, or just taking my eyes off the screen—or maybe a combination of all of these things—who knows why, but I felt better. And I don’t know about you, I don’t get the same satisfaction by staring at a screen. So read this article, then embark on a digital detox of your own. Here are 5 ways to rejuvenate yourself this holiday season and move into the New Year in better health.
- Turn Off Push Notifications. Do you really need to know immediately if someone likes your post on Facebook or if your Instagram photo is crushing it? And what about the news cycle? There have been plenty of health experts that have stated that this 24/7 news cycle may be creating its own health epidemic, leading to increased anxiety as well as apathy. Turn it off.
- Get a newspaper. My kids used to think that my husband and I were watching movies and playing video games when we looked at our devices over breakfast. Because that’s what they would do with a device. Grab a newspaper instead, and set aside some time during the day to read the news. Take away the video chatter via your computer, phone or even TV and just read.
- Walk away. Forest walking has been shown to increase one’s feelings of happiness. However, you don’t have to go to a forest to find these benefits. Leave your cell phone at home. Become unavailable for an hour, and step outside. The fresh air, the movement, and the lack of device will recharge you.
- Pick up a pen. When was the last time you received a card in the mail and thought, “Uggh. I wish they would have just sent an impersonal email instead?” Never. Buy yourself a pretty set of notecards and aim to write one per week this holiday season. (We love these motivational cards as well as Kelly’s much-needed-in-the-current-political-climate cards. )
- Create space. As a yoga teacher, I’m often telling my students to create space in their bodies by creating space with their breath. But we also need to create space in our lives by allowing time for rest, creating space in our thoughts (not overextending ourselves into the “too busy” mindset). How do you create space? With intention. Do we HAVE to do everything Pinterest tells us to do for the holidays? To whose standard are you holding yourself to? It’s a lot more enjoyable to spend time with those we love during the holiday season when we’re able to breathe, pause, and listen. So give yourself permission and indulge yourself in a digital detox.
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