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Tech Free Day 

Our lives are full of technology.

 

Here’s a gift of self care you can give yourself every week, month or for a few hours whenever you need it most. A Tech Free Day can be one of the slowest and most peaceful days you’ve spent in a long while.

Years ago, I discovered a blog post by Tiffany Schlain about her Technology Shabbats and we decided to give it a try. We picked a Friday night at sundown, even though we aren’t Jewish, and made sure to inform family members that we would be unplugged and would appreciate text or call silence unless there was an emergency.

The result? From Friday night sundown to Saturday night sundown was the slowest 24 hour period we could remember experiencing for a very long time. We were more connected to each other and present. We created new ways to spend our time. We were more mindful of just how we were spending our time AND how much of our thoughts centered around an automatic desire to look something up on the phone or to turn on the television.

It was bliss. It was awkward. It was funny and sad and made us think about how really disconnecting technology can be. For devices that are meant to connect us with information and entertainment and service or support, they sure are keeping us from connecting in a meaningful way with ourselves and others.

I can’t stress how slowly time passes without an iPhone, iPad, television, radio, or E-reader.

For me, unplugging now and again is a self care habit. It forces me to get quiet with myself and those around me. It promotes extreme mindfulness. It relaxes me.

Now, I know what you’re saying – “I can’t have a Tech Free Day today because I am already reading this email in my inbox or looking at this post on Facebook!”  I get it.

So you have a couple of options:

  1. Start your Tech Free Day some time today when you can and commit to 24 hours.
  2. Schedule your Tech Free Day for some time before the end of our #SummerofSelfCare2017
  3. Take a Tech Free half day, or even just a couple of hours.

Spend a little time journaling during your tech free experience. Write down how it feels.  Whether this is something you want to do again. Whether you want your entire family to participate or you just want to go tech free alone. What would you like to experience tech free? Do you want to do this every week, month, or just when you really need it? Or do you never want to do this again. Could this be a regular self care practice for you?

If you’ve had to schedule a future Tech Free Day, what do you want to put in place to honor it? If you work at a job where you are on-call, can you switch with someone else? Set up a stronger boundary with colleagues?

You decide whether you feel comfortable leaving your phone somewhere you absolutely can’t access it. See how taking a walk or going somewhere without your phone feels to you.

Now, if you’re a caregiver, that may not be an option. But you can put it on silent and put it in your pocket, so you’ll get the vibration notice if need be but otherwise ignore. I would also encourage you to find someone you trust to provide respite care for you that will not text or call you unless absolutely necessary.

Will your family or friends forget sometimes and text you by mistake? Yes. Just assess if it’s an emergency, remind them gently that you are unplugged and carry on.

Can you combine a Tech Free Day in the future with a day trip, a weekend away or even an entire vacation? We took a Tech Free weekend to a local tourist destination once and it was lovely.  I’ve also used Tech Free Day as a reward after a huge project or event. What about a Tech Free Day plus a massage?

In the summer, Tech Free Days can be especially wonderful if you spend time swimming, hiking, biking or reading. (See Summer of Self Care Day 7 which can be replicated any day you choose.)

Now, in the spirit of walking my talk, I am on a Tech Free Day today as well. This is possible for me because some technologies feature scheduling options. I am enjoying being unplugged.

Enjoy the silence that happens when time feels like it stands still.

 

 

Reading all day makes the day go by very slowly. And, even if you are an avid reader, when was the last time you read a book outside? We get busy and forget that joy of reading a good book or magazine by the lake, in the backyard under a tree, in a rocking chair on the front porch or….you get the hint.

Today is the day for you to make a few lists that contain 7 things each. Things that belong to you – not to someone else in your family. Don’t “should on yourself” either. 

Dance Break Day 6 of our Sumer of Self Care involves doing a little dancing. Are you game? Have you ever watched someone dance for fun, even if just for a few seconds, and laughed out loud? In any given day, at least one video of someone dancing pops across my social media feed and […]

Now that we have taken a few moments to look at how and when to say no, today we will look at what makes you say, “HECK YES!!!”  Because taking a look at your Absolute Yes List helps you remember what to say no to.

When we say yes more often than we mean to, out of a sense of obligation or feeling coerced, we find ourselves doing things that carry resentment or even downright anger. And the anger isn’t usually directed solely at the person we said yes to. More often than not, our anger is felt internally – directed straight to our own heart – because we failed to say no. And that takes a toll on our ability to love ourselves and to express self care.

These tolerations subconsciously and consciously drain our energy, make us feel tense and sometimes even engage us in a conversation of self-blame and frustration. “Why can’t I just take the time to paint that floor?” Or “I will get to that soon or I will scream!!!” They block us from feeling good about what we have or bringing in new opportunities. If we have too much physical and mental clutter, we don’t have room to love ourselves and love the space we are in.

Sometimes we feel the heaviness of things that are happening around us. Or carrying tension in our neck and shoulders. We work at a desk and when things get hectic, we tense up without even realizing.

Self care is any act you incorporate in your moment or day or month or life that brings you joy, peace, well-being, healthy boundaries, a healthy body, a healthy sense of being – it’s anything you do for yourself, not for others or to make yourself better for someone else.

I’m going to be very transparent with you. We all have our quirks, right? So I’m going to be honest about one of mine.

When I am feeling really anxious or like things are out of control, I begin to hoard books. I do this in a couple of ways: I go to the library and check out two or three; I look at my own library of books and grab a few off the shelf, stacking them on my nightstand; or I pick up my tablet and start shopping for e-books and download a few.