The Luxury of a Social Media Detox

Aug 1, 2017 | Body and Soul, Mindfulness, Stress Relief

Of all the posts I could have written after 4 weeks yoga teacher training in Thailand, this I decided, had to be the first.

It’s that important.

I never really considered myself obsessed with social media. I wasn’t born into it, like my children. Initially, it was an accessible, practical way to connect and stay in touch with friends from all corners of the world, notably yoga practitioners I’d met at teacher trainings over the years.

This shifted into using social media for research purposes. I was curious to see how other yoga teachers were using the online format. Then I progressed into joining business orientated and Mastermind groups.

I’ve found extraordinary friendships, mentors, support and inspiration through connecting online. Relationships that would never have evolved in quite the same way in real life, partly due to location, partly due to values and vision.

However, I had a love/hate relationship with social media. Showing up was an effort and didn’t come easily to begin with, I wasn’t a natural. It was far easier to comment and support friends/colleagues in their endeavours rather than post my own stories.

Over time it seemed to be taking over more than it should. My inbox would be flooded with notifications – and I found it would creep into my early mornings, delaying and disturbing that critical, peaceful time where I used to sit a while, take a breath, check in with how I was feeling and welcome the day.

Then there was also the mindless scrolling, especially if I was feeling stuck and lacking inspiration. Down the rabbit hole I would go!

It came to the point where I simply needed to step back and declutter my mind. I decided to go on a social media detox for 4 weeks in Thailand.

No posting, no checking, no notifications.

Why would I do that?

Surely, this would be a golden opportunity to post – think exotic location, in depth teachings, healthy nutrition, stunning photos… How could I miss this opportunity to capture the moment, engage and inspire?

But it felt wrong, I knew for some time that I was shifting, moving, shedding, making way for growth and I had many questions. In order to allow this process to happen I needed space – space to think, space to just be, space to take in whatever was coming my way.

I wanted to be in full control of how I chose to spend my time.

And I chose to spend it by being as present as possible – and listening.

Was it hard?

NO.

It was surprisingly simple.

Was it worth it?

TOTALLY. It was incredibly liberating.

It allowed me to create space and let go of what I didn’t need in order to fill it with what I felt mattered most.

It enabled me to think more deeply about what I’d like to offer, what’s important for me to share and pass on, how I’d like work.

And now that I’m back?

I find I’m more mindful. How you start your day is so important. Creating healthy habits can completely influence the tone for the rest of the day.

I place my phone in another room overnight and don’t look at it until I’ve completed my breathing and yoga practice in the morning.

I choose specific times to look at posts rather than randomly check whenever the mood takes me.

I can step away when I want and step back in when I want.

I would love you to benefit from unplugging as well.

First, set yourself up and figure out what would work for you:

– A day?
– 3 days?
– A weekend?
– A week?
– A holiday?
– A month?
– 3 months?

Be realistic. Ideally, the longer the better but if it seems daunting, transition into it. Try mini-breaks to begin with:

  • Can you get out of bed, do some breath work, meditate, journal, stretch, do a short yoga sequence before reaching for the phone?
  • Can you take the evenings off?
  • Can you take mealtimes off?

How comfortable/uncomfortable do these options make you feel?

Set up your intention. Why are you taking a break?

Ask yourself, ‘What will I do with my time instead? Think about what you’d rather be doing. Make a go-to list.

It’s easy to underestimate how much time you’ll actually gain.

Rather than thinking of going offline as something you’re giving up, think of it as a way to claim back your time.

What do you always tell yourself you never have time for?

When was the last time you…

  • picked up a musical instrument
  • read real print
  • baked brownies
  • made a smoothie
  • flicked through your favourite recipe book
  • made a new playlist
  • visited an art gallery
  • walked in the woods
  • wrote a handwritten note
  • called (not texted) a friend
  • massaged your feet
  • meditated
  • sat and just listened?

Maybe, like me, the whole point is to simply declutter your brain. Changing a behaviour, shifting your relationship with social media so that you can be more authentic and productive.

FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out
Then there’s always FOMO (fear of missing out). This is very common but trust me, you won’t be missing out. Yes, I came back to hundreds of emails, events, special offers, blog posts, new courses, successful launches, baby photos, updates, holiday snapshots – but it didn’t matter, they’ll be others, there always are.

Prepare your audience
Prepare your friends, family, followers by letting them know in advance this is what you plan to do. More often than not, they’ll admire you for it.

The beauty of taking a social media break is that you won’t forget that feeling of liberation and freedom. It will stay with you, making the next time even easier.

Think of it as part of your self-care routine, you’ll never know how you really feel unless you try.

I’d love you to tell me if you’re up for this:

– How long will your social media break be and when?
– What are you looking forward to?
– What’s holding you back?
– Do you need a buddy? Perhaps I can help with that.

Leave a comment and let me know.

Karen x

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YOGA WITH KAREN

Karen Kurzmeyer
Private/group/corporate yoga teacher. Helping busy professionals prioritise health & wellbeing through yoga.

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