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Heather's Health Habits, LLC

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Why is a digital detox important? (aka How to enjoy the physical world!)

May 14, 2018

Three weeks ago we took a vacation. I was really ready for this vacation! Work has been hectic and sometimes, I feel like I barely get to see my significant other. I have a long commute, I workout in the morning before work and when I get home from work, I rush around to get dinner ready, we watch the news and before you know it - bed time! It makes me sad that I only get to see him a few hours every night. 

 

Back in February, we planned on taking a cruise. We both love cruising! It is an easy vacation because you don't have to think about where (or when) to have meals. We visited St. Thomas, St. John, St. Marteen and Bermuda. Neither one of us has motion or sea sickness, even rough seas don't bother us. Cruises are also very relaxing. You don't have to do anything or you can fill your day with activities. We had a mix of both!

 

One thing you have to think about when going on vacation is internet access. Obviously, if you are traveling in your native country - that is probably not an issue. The only danger is going over your allotted data! But when traveling internationally or on a cruise ship, the internet may not be readily available. So you will have to decide whether to purchase access.

 

We decided not to purchase internet access while on the ship. And I have to say - I really enjoyed NOT looking at my phone every few minutes! Don't get me wrong - I really love being social. I regularly use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I love interacting with my followers and finding new people and new content to follow.  But I didn't realize how nice it would be to just enjoy the physical world!

 

 

Interestingly enough, the places we visited on this cruise only had intermittent free Wi-Fi. So when we were off the ship, walking around or doing something fun, I relied on taking pictures with my camera so that I could post them when I got home (which I still haven't done). Also, I was able to take in the sights and smells of my surroundings without being interrupted to post something about what I was experiencing right in that moment on social media.

 

How did this happen to us? Where we need to post something about (almost) every little moment of our lives? Why has it become so important that we are connected in every way possible? I actually didn't realize how addicted I've become to checking my phone.  The website HealthFitnessRevolution.com posted an interesting article on the health benefits of a digital detox. 

 

Some of the health benefits of a digital detox are: reduced depression and anxiety; being more personable; better sleep; and better eating habits. Turns out, as we are glued to our phones, other skills and activities we would normally do, get pushed to the side. For example, if you are waiting at a bus stop or on line waiting to check out of a store, instead of scrolling through social media, talk to the person next to you! Talking is still a great way to communicate and it doesn't mean you are limited to express your feelings by preset emojis. 

 

 

Now don't get me wrong - a big benefit of being on social media is the ability to see what is happening with people you may not be able to visit or see in person often. I have plenty of friends and family that I interact with regularly online because I wouldn't see what they are doing otherwise. So I am really grateful that I am able to connect with them and share in their life experiences. 

 

I am also really grateful that I can share knowledge via social media channels and my blog to people I have never met before. I know they find the information I share valuable and we may have never met if it weren't for the internet. Finally,I met the love of my life online - ironically, we live 2 miles away from each other. But since I didn't have kids and he does, our paths never crossed until we met online. 13 years later - we are still deeply in love and committed to one another.

 

But until I had this break from the digital world, I didn't realize how much I may be missing by having my phone always around. Such as noticing how the sun feels on my skin, enjoying the great outdoors and having a conversation for longer than 5 minutes. Also, when I didn't have my phone around me all day, I felt more relaxed and less stressed. Overall, I just felt different, in a good way. 

 

I encourage you to try a digital detox! It doesn't have to be an entire vacation like mine was (even though it was awesome to be offline for 7 days). Maybe just try one day or even a weekend! I'll bet you won't miss your phone at all! I plan on scheduling more digital detox's in my life. So if you don't hear from me, I may be enjoying the physical world!

 

If you've ever done a digital detox , leave me a comment about how it worked out for you. If you want to receive more healthy living topics and recipes for free, follow my blog on Bloglovin. 

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