Healthy Living

Is Time Online Harming You? – 6 Steps to Detox

Detoxing has become the new black. It’s something we do when we want to give our bodies a breather. But why detox, you ask, is it really necessary?

Since we live in a time with more toxins in our environment than ever before, many say an occasional detox is a good idea. And toxins enter our bodies through much more than just the foods we eat. We also receive toxins regularly through cleaning supplies, laundry detergents, dryer sheets, lotions, deodorants, perfumes, hair coloring and the makeup that we use on a regular basis. It would be ideal if we could minimize the use of these chemical based items and substitute natural and chemical free products where and whenever possible.

But just as important and necessary for many of us is a media/technology detox, for our mind, spirit and soul. Do you find yourself checking your emails, Facebook, and roaming the web just a little more than you’d like?

We are now on call 24/7, even though most of us are not ER doctors, nurses, or first responders. We have programmed ourselves, and our cell phones, to let us know when we receive an email, a Facebook post, or a text message, and these alerts come through at all hours of the day and night. For some reason, we feel that if we don’t find out immediately what is going on, we might be missing out on something, leaving us out of the loop. The truth is, most of this information is far from anything that requires our immediate attention, and more than likely doesn’t require our attention at all. We are overfeeding ourselves ~ plain and simple. Too much news, too much needless information, and it has created an overload that is clogging up our mind and starving our spirit.

I realize that in this high-tech day and age it’s hard to loosen the grip of something that seems so vital to our existence. But do we really need to be on every social media site out there? It is exhausting to say the least. And what are the true benefits? You might want to ask yourself this question. What would benefit you more; adding another post, link, or hash tag to your twitter account, or using that time to do something like read a book, spend time with a friend, or relax in a lawn chair and watch the clouds go by?

I have had to pull in the reins on my own social networking. I was told it was necessary to be involved in all of these if I was to become successful in my coaching business. But after attempting it for only a short time I found that what I was doing wasn’t authentic ~ it wasn’t my true voice or serving my soul purpose. I was so busy trying to figure out what to tweet on Twitter, which hash tags to use on Instagram and finding recipes to share on my website, that I was falling behind on the things that really mattered to me.

If you are feeling what I am feeling, a bit overwhelmed, then my suggestion is to try a media detox for a short period of time. I realize it is asking a lot. But if you can, take some baby steps here, and at least set some boundaries for yourself where you are “off limits” to the rest of the world. Here are some fairly simple ways to get started

1. Plan Your morning. 

Spend the first hour or so of your morning without turning on your computer or the morning news. Instead of checking your social media or email, start a morning gratitude journal. Write down three things that you are grateful for. Appreciation can make you a happier person and more positive. Or, catch up on last nights reading and get a chapter in before taking your morning shower. Try dry brushing your body or give yourself a  facial. There are many fulfilling and soothing ways to use that first hour of the morning.

2. Set a “No tech” at the table rule.

Don’t bring your phone or electronics to the dinner table. Establish periods of time that you are available for work calls, phone calls, returning emails and the like. The same goes for when we are at restaurants or elsewhere, spending time with others. Keep your phone in your pocket or purse unless it’s critical to have it out. If you must have it out, acknowledge its presence and inform your companions that you’ll check it only in an emergency. It’s a matter or respect that we all appreciate.

3. Set a cut-off time in the evening,

This is when you turn it all off and don’t log on again until the next morning. This should be at least a half hour. Try dimming the lights as well. Get into a bedroom routine ~ just like children, it helps us have a more restful night.

4. Want a better sex life?

Don’t take your iPad or computer to bed! Experts are in part blaming the digital age for our lack of action in the bedroom, saying that we are more apt to take technology to bed than a partner.

5. Schedule a regular total tech detox.

Try a total detox (no tech for 24 hours) at least one day a month, or if you find you’re really exhausted and feeling burnt out, try one day a week.

6. Limit mindless web-surfing. 

Do you find you’re not getting much done? You can’t quit watching those crazy cat videos on YouTube? Install one of the many anti-procrastination tools on your computer. This can help make a big impact on your day-to-day routine if you find yourself wasting time and getting consumed by friends vacation photos on Facebook or pinning endless pins on your Pinterest account!

If you stick to this simple detox for a little while you might find yourself so busy enjoying your newfound free time, that you just might end up sticking with it forever.

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