Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Is It Time for a Digital Break?

Rushes - Digital Break

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.

3.  Rejuvenation

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



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  1. Have a splendid time away…I am starting a second blog so no time away for me…but I try to spend some days reading a book more (I read books every day) and of course I spend time out in the garden so I try to balance my digital time…I don’t have a cell phone so that is a relief.

    • Wow, a second blog! How exciting, Donna. Reading and gardening are perfect ways to balance digital time. Thanks for those helpful ideas.

  2. Hello; congrats on taking a break. I have never thought of doing this because I manage to take breaks every day. I have even taken a couple of days at a time. I sometimes get lost in a book. Or I am hanging out with the family enjoying a movie or some mindless television. I have a dog who insists on regular vigorous petting. 🙂 I exercise daily. I did go four days without any technology when i got my new laptop. It took that long for the people at the apple store to move all my data over. I hope you didn’t push yourself too hard getting the posts and other work done so you could take off. and I hope you find what you expected to by taking this time away. best of luck, max

    • Dear Max,

      It sounds like you have a wonderful sense of balance in your life. No need to fix what’s not broken, right? I’m glad you have all these wonderful ways to balance your connected time. I love the idea of vigorous petting for our animal friends and our own sense of connection and wonder.

      Thanks for your concerns! I’m not going to push myself to do too much. While I’m gone, my offerings are simple. Thanks for your good wishes. I think a good way to start – for me – is to let go of any expectations!

  3. Hi Sandra,

    I am so happy for you and wish you a peaceful and spiritual retreat from this digital world. I agree that it is absolutely essential though I have never felt that you are a pusher – your words ooze out a relaxed, working at will, calm person who doesn’t seem to care for the competition out there.

    I take digital break almost everyday. I can open my laptop only when my one and a half year old grand daughter takes a nap. She loves to grab it and watch her favourite videos. I have to hide my i phone too as she knows all the right clicking and sliding actions! She is such a blessing who helps me relive a happy and carefree life!

    Enjoy your sweet space of silence and solitude and yes, Nature offers every possible solution, absorbs all our moods and rejuvenates our body and soul.

    • Thanks for your good wishes and sweet words, Balroop!

      What a blessing this savvy little grand daughter is in so many different ways. I love how she reminds you to live a happy and carefree life. Plus, she’s your perfect protector for too much time in the digital world, which can so easily suck us in. I’m happy for you.

      Off I’ll be into whatever this time away holds for me!

  4. Enjoy your time away. I am sure it will be relaxing and helpful. I can see how that one in three people who visit facebook would be unhappy. I use to be that way in college. I no longer have a personal facebook for myself and it has greatly helped me.

    You will be able to hopefully focus on more things and be more rejuvenated to participate in things that might have gone by the wayside. I know that logging off for a certain amount of time helps my self-diagnosed ADD haha.

    Look forward to hearing about it when you are back!

    • Thank you so much, Sebastian! I’m glad letting go of your Facebook page has been a help to you.

      I think you’re right. The time away will help me gain clarity on what’s really important in my life. Ah yes, I can see how online time would exacerbate ADD!

      Take care!

  5. Thank you Sandra for sharing this. I identify deeply with what you wrote and really enjoyed my own digital detox experience.
    Keep up the good work.
    Keep up the inspiring work.

    • Dear Andy,

      I’m so inspired that you identify deeply with what I wrote. Thanks for telling me. And thanks for telling us how much you enjoyed your own digital detox experience. That’s so encouraging.

      Your website is looking fabulous! Hope all is going well with your business.

  6. I’m happy you know what you need Sandra, and most importantly you take action. I do agree with you…rejuvenation is vital to our wellbeing. I often limit the amount of time I spend online, but haven’t taken the kind of hiatus you’re taking.
    I applaud you and I’ll most definitely continue to share your wonderful articles. 🙂

    • It’s so true, Elle, that we’re all different and need to know our own needs. While a digital break may be perfect for me, it may be the last thing someone else needs. But, I think you’re so smart to limit the amount of time you spend online. Thanks for your love and support, Elle. I so appreciate you.

  7. Jean Sampson

    Hey, Sandra, you are so smart and in touch with yourself! It is so important to listen to what you need and not over-ride your inner voice! I only just got on-line a few years ago and I am still having a lot of fun with this thing that is mostly a mystery to me 🙂 I am in a really powerful spiritual group with the most lovely and loving people! I grow every day from my interactions with those amazing beings! They have changed how I think about things and have introduced me to possibilities that I had never even seen! So I am not ready for a vacation yet.
    I hope your vacation is restorative and rejuvenating and everything else that you want it to be! Lots of love to you!

    • Beautifully said, Jean! There is so much beauty and wonder in this internet world. I’m glad you are reaping all the goodness you so deserve. And I’m so happy to be virtually connected with you. Love that you are having so much fun and enjoyment.

      Oh no! Maybe I’m crazy to be doing this. 🙂

  8. Bryan Lingg

    Sandra, Bravo for taking a break! I was just thinking to myself today that maybe it was time for a digital sabbatical. Enjoy your time and thank you for not leaving us “high and dry”. See you in August!!

    • Love the synchronicity, Bryan! Thanks so much for your support. I hope you’ll get a break too if that’s what you would really like. Take care and yes, see you in August!

  9. So beautifully written, Sandra. I’m a huge fan of digital sabbaticals and try to take them often, short and long. My challenge is not getting sucked in at the same level when I return to the online world.

    Wishing you a wonderful break!

    • Thank you, Patty. I’m glad you nourish yourself with regular digital breaks. As you can imagine, I’ve already had a few thoughts about what will happen when I return! But, I’m trying not to go there too much and see what unfolds near then end of my time away. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  10. Hey Sandra, a month offline sounds amazing. I couldn’t do it though for work reasons but I do try to make every weekend offline so get balance that way. Longer would be better though!

    • I’m glad you get regular digital breaks, Annabel. I completely understand about work. I have a 6-week break between online courses in the summer so that part of the break happens no matter what I do. I’m just adding the digital sabbatical to it. Yeah! Smile!

      Yes, it’s totally awesome to take a month break. I feel super lucky indeed. But, I’ll miss you all too!

  11. Enjoy your digital break Sandra! I took a mini one this weekend and a longer one coming up in August. I loved that the national parks have NO SERVICE and while I used my phone to snap photos (along with my other two cameras), I couldn’t do much else with my phone while I was hiking. I even packed my laptop and nope, didn’t turn it on at all!


  12. Hi Sandra,
    You suddenly hit the nail on the ipod.
    And that is required!
    Wish there were more of us like you, to desist from this avarice of digital gluttony.
    Anyway,there was a time when life moved at snail mail pace.We wrote letters.With ink and pen.And they took their sweet time to arrive in the readers’ hands.
    Today a lumpy mouse silently belches out more letters in few seconds ,that would have taken a couple of days for us to write earlier.
    While,I understand, retrieving that era is no longer a possibility;tuning into silence surely is.Its a good idea to turn to nature.
    Thanks for reminding

  13. The signs are everywhere to take a digital break. Love your words, your message and what you’re saying. Right now, I can only do a weekend because I’m also a social media manager where I work…and I have my own website. But it’s nothing that scheduling a post and a tweet can’t fix if I take a break. 🙂

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