Many say the first few waking hours can have a profound effect on the success of your day. I have read articles about eating the right breakfast, exercising, meditating, even staying clear of your electronics. But what happens when the world demands you to be connected 24-7.We’ve created a culture that makes you feel left out if you’re not up to speed on the latest and the greatest. How do we keep our humanity in a technological age?
I’m not going to lie, the first thing I do in the morning is check my email.Then I make my way over to Instagram, Twitter, and of course Facebook. By the time I leave my bed, I feel like a machine going through the motions to start my day. I mindlessly take a shower, brush my teeth, fix myself a cup of coffee and thumb through my emails, once more for good measure, and then I meditate.
By the time I sit in lotus position, I feel so burned out by my technological devices, that I can hardly concentrate on my breathing and positive mantras.
My head is swarming with to do lists, which happens to be written on Evernote, which I happen to access through my iPad or laptop. I feel like I’m constantly connected, maybe, because I am. Sound familiar?
This is why I have been experimenting with living digital free, even if it’s for an hour or two. There are plenty of things you can do that will make your life a little easier, and give you the space to hit refresh in order to reboot.
Three ways to shut it off:
Disconnect, Step away from the phone, ok now, step away from the computer.
Look, the world didn’t come to an end and you didn’t spontaneously combust. You’re just fine. I can’t express how important it is to disconnect yourself from your handy devices. You can start out small; it doesn’t have to be a big leap. It can be as simple as setting an hour or two out of the day to step away from everything electronic. Go for a walk, maybe grab a coffee or tea, take a yoga class. What ever it is you do to recharge, do it, and leave your phone at home.
Take a second to meditate, in the morning as you wake up.
It is so important for you to take a moment for yourself. Whether this means sitting in lotus position on your living room floor or staring at your bedroom ceiling for a breath or two, allow your body to adjust from sleep state to awake. Once your brain has rebooted, you feel relaxed and at ease, start your morning routine with out checking your phone or computer. It’s ok, I promise you the digital world will be there once you’re ready to connect.
Spend more time with real people, this is so important.
We get so caught up in our digital lives that we tend to forget that we have an actual one to live, with actual people waiting to connect. It’s so easy to fall victim to the Facebook trap. Seeing what that ex is up to, obsessing over your friends “perfect” life or being jealous about your frenemy finding “the one”. Stop it right now, and back away from the computer. How about hanging out with people who make you feel good. Who will make you laugh, and make life feel like it’s worth living. Go bowling, go to a concert, or take up a hobby. Get yourself out and about in the world. Hanging out with real people can be a source of inspiration and can spark some cool ideas, because ideas worth exploring are inspired by the real world!
The truth is, if you’re running your own business or working a 9 to 5, shutting down can seem next to impossible, but the trick to living a digital free morning, afternoon or evening is to take baby steps. Start with what feels comfortable. Small changes are better than no changes. Let’s start a revolution, where living life is more important than posting about it.
Casey Johnson-Aksoy is the Director of Social Media and Marketing at the Bushwick Film Festival. She works along the side of her two amazing business partners Kweighbaye Kotee (CEO and Director of Programming) and Meenakshi Thirkude (Director of New Media). The Bushwick Film Festival celebrates the art of filmmaking, provides a platform for artists to showcase their work, and brings diversity to the film industry.
Image credit: CC by Pascal Maramis