A few years ago, all the hip bloggers enthusiastically promoted the “digital sabbatical.”
They hid in the digital shadows for a month at a time. Then they offered compelling accounts of their overpowering realizations along with detailed instructions on how you too could reap the rejuvenating benefits of a digital vacation. Sometimes, they named their break a “digital detox,” to acknowledge the addictive quality now associated with connectivity.
I rarely see those terms used so flamboyantly these days, yet the need for digital relief has grown exponentially stronger.
At least I know that’s true for me. So I’ve decided to take a digital break from July 15 to August 15, which coincides perfectly with my time off work.
But, I’ve planned ahead so you won’t be left high and dry. There will be an uninterrupted flow of posts here – one every Sunday – while I’m away. And you can grab my e-course, Living with Ease: 30 Days to Less Stress, anytime.
Do You Need a Digital Vacation Too?
Take a moment to consider:
- How long has it been since you’ve had a digital break?
- Would you benefit from a digital vacation?
- What would you like to do with your digital freedom?
- What fears come up when you consider separating from your digital devices?
- What holds you back from virtual silence?
- How much time do you personally need away from your digital demands?
A digital break doesn’t have to be 30 days in length. It could be 1 hour, 1 day, or 1 week. You can design a digital break however you wish.
The Call for Digital Relief
I keep feeling a tug to pull away. These five thoughts return to me again and again.
1. The Addictive Quality of the Digital Realm
I’m just human. I’m sometimes caught by the addictive pull of social media, in particular. I don’t own a Smart phone, thank goodness.
All those likes, pluses, and tweets just make you want more, don’t you know? And, research shows getting less attention than your online friends or comparing yourself to them socially can foster feelings of jealousy, loneliness, frustration, and anger. One study showed 1 in 3 people feel worse after a visit to Facebook.
I feel time away from the internet will provide the perfect medicine to counteract any accumulated digital addiction in my bones.
2. The Sweet Space of Silence
There’s so much wisdom to be found in stillness.
- I want to feel my own heart-mind beating strongly.
- I want to hear the clarity of my inner wisdom speaking from the sweet space of silence.
- I don’t want to die lost in the mundane, a stranger to my true self.
If I don’t break away now, when will I? Whatever our age, none of us are getting younger. We never know what the next moment will bring.
Should death suddenly come upon me, all those likes will not matter one bit. What will make a difference at that defining moment?
- The love, compassion, and kindness I’ve extended to others during the span of my life.
- The state of my mind as my spirit departs this body. Is it holding on in fear, troubled by regret, embroiled in anger, or ready to fly?
I know my true essence is always present, but it’s easier to rediscover and strengthen the connection in stillness.
I need rejuvenation and there’s a good chance you do too. Even machines don’t produce endlessly without rest and repair. Life is meant to be lived in cycles of work, play, and rest, not stuck in the on position with no ease in sight.
4. The Healing Power of Nature
I’ve been told by a native Hawaiian healer that time spent in nature can heal one’s DNA. I don’t know if this is true, but my friend Robin Easton found deep healing in the Australian rainforest. She describes her wild and profound adventures in her book, Naked in Eden. Recently, she spoke about the power of nature on her Facebook author page:
“Nature is amazing because all we need to do is ‘be’ with nature, and beyond our control she will seep into us, imprinting us with all that she is. All the smells, sounds, sights, tastes and energies become part of us. We can’t stop this from happening. Nature is an extremely powerful force. It can seep in where words and books and lessons and teachings may not be able to reach us. We only need to spend time with nature. It’s that simple. So get out and sit with nature. Turn off your cell phone. Yup, turn the dang thing off. Leave your iPod at home. And just BE with Nature. You will discover just how vast you are. We do not stop at our skin. We extend into everything around us. We are It and It is us. Nature is our larger self.”
Yes, nature beckons me to pull away from the digital world for a while.
5. Stop Listening to the Pusher
This break aligns perfectly with putting a damper on my pusher, that part of my self that insists I do more than is reasonable or healthy for me. It fits perfectly into my year of less pressure as well.
If you have a pusher or feel too much pressure, a digital retreat may be the perfect delight.
Afraid to Unplug?
Clearly, for me, it’s time for a digital break. Of course, I’m afraid to unplug, and you may be too.
- I’m afraid of the solitude although I won’t be entirely alone.
- I’m afraid I’ll feel restless and won’t know what to do.
- I’m afraid nothing will change.
- I’m afraid everything might change.
I’m always afraid when I first retreat. But, I know I’ll be rewarded with a state of grace and the quality of wholeness. So I dare to break away despite the fear.
No Rules of Digital Disengagement
I’m not trying to prove anything to myself or anyone else. So I don’t need to create a strict list of rules to shape my digital disengagement, but guidelines might be perfect for you.
You won’t find me chatting on social media. But if I need to take care of affairs on line, I will. Then, I’ll scurry back to my digital vacation without a second thought. There’s still a big difference: I won’t be spending hours and hours online.
Digital Connectivity Is Not Evil
The miracle of digital connectivity makes so many good things possible. I love that we can now connect, share, and care with people all around the globe. But, it’s also optional. I know people who get along fine without spending a moment online. It all depends on your personal preference.
However, too much digital engagement does not necessarily make for a happy or healthy life. So please take a moment to consider: Do you too need a digital break?
How does digital addiction manifest in your life? Have you ever taken a digital break? Do you feel ready for one now?
Before I Go, I Want You to Know…
I’ll miss you! Do you know, I constantly write for you in my head? You matter to me. I’m so grateful for your presence here on Always Well Within.
You’ll find a post here every Sunday while I’m away. They will be shorter and a bit different, just to spice it up.
I have a request. Please help me out during my holiday by sharing my posts on social media. When you share, maybe my words will touch someone in need. Thank you so much!
I’ll be around for the next few days and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Till next we meet, aloha nui loa!
I’m grateful for your time and attention. If you have a moment, please help me reach others by sharing this post. If you’re new, please consider subscribing for free updates by email. With love, Sandra