Last week, it was pointed out to me how quickly I answer my emails and how hard I have been working over last few weeks (probably the last few months). On reflection, I have hardly had a day off for a really long time, where I have not been on my laptop working on my range of projects.
I have talked about this many times, but I struggle with balance! I think this will always be a work in progress for me and sometimes I need it pointing out when I out of balance because usually, I am not aware,
I really love what I do and I truly feel happy when I am working and on social media but this does come at a price! This weekend has made me realise I use this as a crutch! Living on my own and not having children sometimes, it can be quite lonely so putting my effort into the work and building a legacy that way feels like a comforting companion. However, I have noticed I haven’t watched a film on my own for months and hardly watch a TV series where my laptop is not nearby and I am tinkering on it!
So this weekend I had a digital detox, mainly off social media and wow it felt good!
What did I do?
Friday night I announced I would be back online Monday morning and turned all my notifications off and even moved my icons to the far side of my phone so when I turned it on I couldn’t see them looking at me…enticing me! I have to say as soon as I did like magic I felt my body start to calm and a weight lifting off me.
Friday night consisted of a relaxing bath, face mask, painting my nails (which I hardly do) and reading a book! What I found strange was by coming off social media and not being a slave to my phone checking it every 15 minutes, I realised how spacious my day had become! The days seemed longer!
Saturday I chilled in the morning, did a bit of yoga and wrote in my journal. I then went for a walk down the beach with no phone and really appreciated the sights, smells and the atmosphere on a rather gloomy day. I watched kids excited to get an ice-cream and felt like I saw a lot more! I even watched some birds come and go near the trees. Shamefully, I cannot remember the last time I had just looked out of the window and watched the birds and nature. I need this! I need this time to just be with me where my head is truly in the moment and not thinking about work, presentations or projects. Even though I rest I don’t think I actually switch my brain off and this is not helping my body as a whole.
The rest of the Saturday was spent watching ‘Call the Midwife’ I love this programme and had not watched it for ages. My Gran was a nurse during this era on the neo-natal unit so this programme reminds me a lot of her but also this programme is just so insightful showing the simplicity of life and the power of love. There were 2 things that stood out to me! The first was a quote on an episode:
“Health is the greatest of gifts, but we take it for granted. It hangs on a thread as fine as a spider’s web. And the smallest thing can make it snap, leaving the strongest of us helpless in an instant and in that instant, hope is our protector, and love, our elixir.”
(Jenny – Call the Midwife)
This resonated with me because when I first became ill it felt like life was going well then suddenly everything changed. However, over the years I found hope, feeling the love more and now finding gratitude in my situation.
The other quote was:
“Home is not simply a mark upon a map, any more than a river’s just water. It is the place at the centre of the compass from which every arrow radiates and where the heart is fixed. It’s a force that forever draws us back or lures us on. For where the home is there lies hope…and the future waits and everything is possible.”
(Closing quote Call The Midwife)
Again, this quote spoke to me because this is how I truly feel about my little flat...my home! It is where my heart is fixed, my safe place and where I can rejuvenate and just be me.
Then Saturday evening I watched the first film I have watched on my own for a really long time and that was ‘LaLa Land’ which I really enjoyed and was very poignant regarding dreams and synchronicity as well as some awesome musical numbers.
Sunday was spent going to my regular Quakers meeting which I have yet to talk about on my blog and how this has been a great support, but I will soon! The people that attend are so lovely and an hour of silence is very much needed in my busy life. I then did some journaling and in the evening one of my best friends MJ came over with her mum to celebrate the full moon and we went to the beach in the moonlight and washed our crystals in the sea. It was an awful day but by 9 pm it had cleared and the atmosphere on the beach was amazing. The waves were big and it felt so amazing paddling in the sea at night, washing our crystals and connecting with the universe. It made me realise when I am in ‘work mode’ how I sometimes don’t see my friends here in Bournemouth as much as I should and want to. This is something I am looking at because they are my much-needed support network!
What have I learnt?
- I didn’t miss social media!
This shocked me but I didn’t miss it! I think I needed the space and time to purely be in the moment. Sometimes I feel a slave to my phone so now once a month I will make sure I have time to disconnect. This has to be part of my self-care routine because I really do not want to burn out!
- I had more time in my day!
This was a big shock because my day seemed more spacious and I had more time. I wasn’t a slave to own deadlines and time blocking. My weekend was mine to do with how I want and I felt freer and lighter.
- I had been neglecting my self-care
Work and my purpose have been taking over that much that I have neglected my much-needed self-care e.g. journaling, meditating, affirmations and just time with ‘Rachel’. Again with balance and maybe introducing deadlines where I stop looking at my emails and stop working after a certain time in the day, will help. Self-care is super important and I wrote this post a while ago but this is something that needs to be worked on and usually when you need it the most you are unable to do it especially when life gets busy.
- I deeply connected with myself again
I had been running away from myself enjoying the work and projects but never really going deep into how I actually feel in the moment. Doing this more will help me catch infections and septic bouts sooner! I feel like this weekend I found me again and I need to nurture this! I know all my friends have been saying this to me but sometimes we need to come to the realisation ourselves and be ready to change.
So, I will continue to have breaks from social media and introduce deadlines where I stop working. September Is an extremely busy month for me with lots of events so it is more important than ever that I have time to switch off over this month…completely!
I would love to hear from you if you have tried and tested a digital detox?