With Gil Shaham Amit
When it comes to Digital Detox (like any detox) it is wise to plan ahead and set the groundwork for optimal results.
Here are Gil’s tips and how she prepares for her weekly Digital Detox
How to prepare for Digital Detox?
- Coordinate expectations - share your journey of Digital Detox with your surroundings, update the people in your life when and until you will be offline. You can have an emergency contact person for urgent situations.
- Reconcile expectations with yourself- what happens if it is harder than you expected? What if you really tried but it didn’t work out this time? It is important you recognize that your intention begins to create limits for your digital habits, and afterall, that is the intention. So, it’s ok, simply try again next week.
- Know how you’ll spend your time- whether it is planning activities for yourself, or with someone else.
- Prepare the setting - get a book, candles, something good to eat, comfortable clothes… be in a state of SELF CARE.
- Make clear and organized plans -If you plan on going out and being with other people, remember that you don’t have a GPS or a way to make contact once you turn off your phone.
- Make sure you have a watch - If your phone is also the way you check the time, make sure you have an alternate option.
- Close off loose ends - So you do not get overwhelmed last minute, start about 2 hours before you turn your device off.
- Physical activity - The shift from being “online” to being “offline” can be challenging. Plan a nice walk/yoga/swimming session or any other enjoyable physical activity for 6pm on Tuesday. It helps make the shift and releases endorphins.
- Designate an “external co-ordinator” - In the instance that you are with a partner that isn’t undergoing Digital Detox: for us it is a day where my partner takes on more than his usual share. He becomes our “external co-ordinator” in my place, so first and foremost I am grateful for his support, and in addition we manage to enjoy both time together and quality time apart on such days. Every such evening is different, sometimes romantic and sometimes other or different emotions come to visit. But what is certain is that we give each other our full presence and attention, and that in itself is an experience of growth. When was the last time you had an argument without taking refuge in your smartphone? It’s amazing what some heartfelt attention can do.
- Prepare yourself for slight anxiety - turning off a device we are so dependent on can cause anxiety. The sense that may arise that someone desperately needs us exactly at this moment… This is part of the detox. These are simply scenarios that we run inside our heads, and precisely for moments like these we have clause #1.
- For the finish line-make it into a ceremonial ritual! Create a pleasant supportive atmosphere for yourself. Create a weekly structure around it. This way, both those around you and yourself will feel more comfortable and more supported throughout the process.
A year of Digital Detox has brought with it plenty of new realizations.
First of all, it is completely doable and it becomes easier from one time to the next.
I wish I could say that I managed to significantly reduce my daily screen time… I can’t say that.
But, and this is a big but, I created a structure. I created a resting point where I can re-organize myself and my thoughts towards the upcoming week. I created boundaries and limits for this little device that is constantly requesting my attention, and I allowed myself to be in full presence with the people I love.
Tuesday Digital Detox has redefined itself as a day that gives new meaning to the concepts of SELF LOVE and mindfulness. I have given these concepts a new “home” inside me, and an opportunity to explore them up close and personal, week after week.
If you see yourself in my words, come and join us, and share (: it makes a difference