Digital Detox: Pruning Your Garden

Welcome to week three of our December Digital Detox. As a quick recap, we started by picking one day a week that’s free of social media.

I chose Facebook Free Fridays since that’s the site I check most often. Feel free to pick Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest…whatever pulls you away the most.

Next, we focused on our bodies and the physical cleansing of electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) through grounding or earthing. Pretty wild. Did anyone try this? I’m super curious if it’s making a difference for you. I’m still giving it a try.

This week, let’s get back to assessing our digital usage and prune back our emails, social feeds, desktops and more.

Here are three great things to do this week:

{ONE} Unsubscribe

If your notifications and emails are piling up, it’s probably time to purge.

Leave the online groups you never engage in. Asses your Facebook friends, Twitter following or Instagram feed and prune the negative influences. Unsubscribe from unwanted emails (or change the preferences so you get fewer emails from the companies you actually like.)

Tip: For a total email makeover, create a free email account (through Gmail or Outlook) so you have an email address to use when you sign up for things. That way you don’t have to rummage through so many emails looking for what’s important. 

{TWO} Declutter

The desktop on my computer and home screen on my phone were both so cluttered it was taking twice as long as necessary to find anything. I created a folder system and stored files, apps and photos in more organized spots.

For example, all of my blog file are organized inside of a Neat Nook folder. Inside of that, I have sub folders for each month of the year where I store photos and other files.

I did the same for my phone. All of my “shopping” apps are now inside of a single folder on my home screen.

This whole exercise also prompted me to delete apps I never used and trash files I knew I’d never need again. It felt really good.

Next up is decluttering my email folder. In addition to unsubscribing, I plan to clean out my inbox, sent folder and trash. All three of these folders use up storage space, especially if you send and receive large files, so it’s good to clear them out at least once a month.

{THREE} Check Out

If you’re like me, you have a knee-jerk (or maybe it’s more of an elbow-jerk reaction) to answering the phone, text, emails or any other notification that comes pinging through at any given hour.

I’m going to cut back on my reaction time and practice not responding immediately to everything that comes to my attention. I’m going to choose more consciously when to respond so I create better boundaries for myself.

This means turning off my phone during dinner with my family. It also means putting my phone down after at 9pm and resting my mind and eyes from the screen before bed.

***

I know this week is crunch time before Christmas, but I truly hope you’re able to pull back and enjoy simpler days ahead.

Good luck and many blessings,

Kate

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Digital Detox: Grounding Ourselves

Okay, friends. We’re in week two of our December Digital Detox! First of all, how was last week? Were you able to find a day to be Facebook free?

I powered off on Friday and missed three birthdays. Oops! There were so many times when I wanted to open that app, especially as the notification bubble kept growing. I managed, though.

It was interesting to notice when I felt the urge to login to my account. It happened during two specific times: the quiet moment of waiting in the car lane after school, and the social moment of being out with friends.

These are habitual times when I reach for my phone. When it’s quiet, I tend to check in and see what everyone else is up to, and when I’m in the midst of fun and laughter, I want to capture the moment and share it with the world. So…my personal lessons from the week:

  • Use quiet moments to sit in stillness instead of filling it up with noise.
  • In the height of my joy, just be in the moment and let that be enough.

They both point to being more present, so I’ll keep working on that this week for sure. Let’s keep up with our Facebook Free Fridays this month and add one more helpful thing this week.

Grounding Ourselves

I don’t mean this in the angry, “Young lady, you’re grounded” kind of way, but in the super earthy, “Let’s get grounded” manner.

As I’ve been reading about detoxing from technology, I found an interesting article about how man-made electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted from devices like our cell phones, TVs and WiFi routers are thought to be unsafe for our health.

As we’re exposed to unprecedented levels of EMFs, we’re still learning about their effects on our bodies. Pro-technology people believe artificially created EMFs are completely safe. On the other hand, studies are emerging to demonstrate that EMFs may be unsafe. So what do we do?

Well, it never hurts to stay informed and be proactive about how much we surround ourselves with EMFs.

One way I plan to guard myself a little better is by putting my phone in the kitchen at night, so it’s not next to me when I’m sleeping.

Another thing I’m going to do is ground myself.

You can read about the benefits in this article, but it basically states that grounding is putting yourself in direct contact with the earth. Your skin needs to touch the grass, sand, soil, water or anything that’s in contact with the earth to neutralize your body.

Basically, being a tree hugger might be good for you. Lol!

The idea is that if your body has a positive electrical charge from EMFs, you can neutralize this energy by having contact with a negative charge from the earth.

The more you’re grounded, the better you’ll feel. In fact, people report better sleep, fewer headaches and less anxiety from just one session of walking barefoot in the grass or on the beach.

Now, this is my kind of detox!

The debate continues about how effective this process really is, but I’m willing to give it a try. If anything, being outside and enjoying some fresh air certainly doesn’t have any downsides.

What do you think? Have you tried grounding before? Are you willing to give it a try? Let me know!

In the meantime, I’ll see you next Tuesday with more digital detox tips and tricks.

XoXo,

Kate

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A December Digital Detox

As we lit our first Advent candle on Sunday, we were prompted to turn off the electricity so we could see the light. I thought that was such a beautiful message.

In order for us to really see the light…light that is good, light that brings hope, light that delivers truth…we needed to power down for a moment.

What if we did this for the entire season of Christmas?

In the midst of such busyness and excess, what if we stopped for a minute and did nothing but breathe? What if we decided to put down our devices and enjoy the real, living faces that are in front of us? As someone who’s probably (okay, very likely) on my phone waaay too much, I’d like to find out.

Studies are telling us that social media appears to promote narcissism, smartphones could be causing insomnia, and screens seem to be making our kids less empathetic and more depressed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to head down such a sad and tired path – and I certainly don’t want my kids there.

So what do we do? We learn to unplug every now and then.

I’m going to try a digital detox for the month of December. If you’d like to join me, come back each Tuesday for a weekly challenge. (You can log off once you’ve read each post. I definitely see the irony. Lol!)

For now, let’s start with this…

This week’s challenge: Pick one day (each week of December) where we go Facebook free. If FB isn’t your jam, select the social channel of choice – one that you typically can’t live without.

Don’t check notices, post any statuses, or respond to someone tagging you in a photo. Turn off your notifications and spend the day being present. Maybe even try some bullet journaling?!

I’m going to pick Friday, which is the day I tend to post the most often. And it’s the day when I really should be enjoying and doing other things. Like this! >>

And spend more eye-to-eye time with these sweet faces…

So it’s Facebook-Free Fridays for me!! I’m already kind of nervous, which means I definitely need this detox. I hope you’ll join me.

Here’s to a more relaxed week for all of us, sitting in our true light, feeling the hope arise.

Blessings,

Kate

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