How I survived a 10 day digital detox
You read that right. Ya girl did a 10 day digital detox from social media. I’ve done things like this in the past, but my approach to this detox was very different. A friend of mine, and health coaches Jaclyn shared on social media she was doing a 10 day digital detox. I got excited to hear that because I know how refreshing they can be. I also didn’t realize I needed one myself until I started thinking more about it.
Social media is amazing and stressful at the same time. I love using it as a tool to connect, build more authentic relationships, laugh at hilarious memes, and learn. I also find it sometimes takes up countless hours of my time, can make me feel like I’m not doing enough, or wishing I was on that same vacation as someone else.
I wanted to create a healthy balance in my life between my relationship with social media because it is a tool I’m using to grow my becoming brand. It’s been a tool that has created life long friendships for me, and social media isn’t going away.
I set an intention for the detox the day before I started. My intention was to create a healthy daily routine in my life that included real connections. Simple. I didn’t set a crazy goal that was unrealistic or unattainable. I set a realistic goal with meaning, and defined the boundaries of that goal as I went along each day.
-Gym at 7am
-Home to cook breakfast
-Listen to my podcast of choice (devotional, educational, or spiritual) depending on what I was feeling while I was getting ready for work.
I did this each day as my morning routine, and started creating rules knowing that after my 10 day detox this would slightly shift. But — it wouldn’t change by much. Once I added social media back into my routine, the only change I made to my mornings was no social media before 10am. I didn’t want to wake up and the first thing I do was check my phone, to once again be distracted, feel obligated to do something, and mentally be unbalanced.
-Get home from work
-Set the mood for myself (candles lit, tea made, room smelling comfortable)
-Either read if I didn’t read during my break at work,
-watch my current obsessive show on Netflix (Blacklist)
-Orr study if it was a study day.
This all could vary depending on what my day earlier looked like, and or how I was feeling or what needed to be completed.
Knowing that this was my evening routine, the shift that would be made with adding social media back into the mix was no social media after 9pm. Overall, no more then 2 hours a day on social media. I also learned about myself that I would feel very guilty for watching TV shows, because in my mind “I could always be doing something more productive.” I also think the world makes us feel bad if we aren’t literally productive 24/7, 7 days a week.
Realisticlly, we are ALL entitled to a break. We are all entitled to fun, or what just makes us more human. I’m not any less amazing if I decided to watch Netflix’s over reading a book. It’s when I’m personally out of balance and my priorities are crappy where I’d need to reaccess what’s important and should be prioritized.
I was being really hard on myself for a long time about that. Which didn’t make any sense. I’d fill my time up to the point that what I was filling my time up with wouldn’t be as enjoyable. So, this detox allowed me to become more human, and less robotic. I’m actually happier because I can spend time doing other things, and still educate myself within the same week and be no further ahead if I had done it the other way.
But, the biggest takeaway of them all were my friendship and connections. I realized without “checking in” on social media there are many people you just don’t hear from. We rely on IG to let us know people are alive, what they’re doing, or thinking we know how they feel when we really don’t. I called friends, facetimed them just to catch up, and talk on the phone. It was that old school, genuine conversation feeling. I loved that so much! One of my closest friends in Atlanta, we talked for over an hour. You know that feeling back in the day when you’re on the phone, and end up in 8 different positions during the conversation. I walked a full circle around the room, sat at my desk, and had my feet on the headboard over a whole hour conversation. My heart was so happy. Even texting with certain friends I didn’t speak to weekly made me so happy.
We have to be building genuine relationships, that don’t rely on social media. Social media can be the stepping stone, but if you really vibe with these people reaching out and actually checking on them aside from Instagram or Facebook is the real connection. That’s the magic and beauty of friendship.
My detox was so good, if you feel like you need one listen to your heart and your mind. If you decide to take one, make sure you actually create intention around your relationship with it, and how you plan to maneuver when you’re back on it. We don’t want to keep putting a bandaid over a wound, we want to heal the wound so we can proceed in a healthy way.