Why I Took a Technology Detox on Holiday.
Why I Took A Technology detox on holiday.
For some of you reading this you're probably thinking that the idea of a technology detox would be really easy, but where my business is predominantly built online and operates online, taking a technology detox is probably one of those nearly impossible things you can ever comprehend doing when going on holiday; as much as it's necessary, it's heartbreaking, frustrating...the thought of it is making my hands shake right now-it's like having a limb removed really!
It's more than just social media
You see it's not just hopping on Facebook whenever you have Wi-Fi to post your photos, selfies, hot dog legs and all the beautiful landscapes (I did do some that by the way, but when I got back home!!) but it's things like this long list!
- Checking emails
- 'Socialising' with my beautiful tribe of women online
- Responding to people
- Replying to Facebook message enquiries
- Responding to potential clients
- Clearing the online diary for consultations
- Having to clear the diary for working with clients who book in online.
- Receiving voicemails
- Responding to texts
- Checking on activity to landing pages
- Checking automated emails are going out okay and going to the right people
I'm tired just reading that list!
When your business is online, you have to make sure these processes are in place and it's very stressful to switch off and believe and trust that they're being done while you're not around.
Why a detox?
I have never taken the technology detox until July this year and it wasn't planned, believe me!!
What happened was, I headed off to Tenerife on a wonderful five day break with a group of four women. What we didn't realise was that there wasn't going to be any internet when we got there.
So once the initial panic had subsided over the fact that I wasn't going to be able to get online, I had to trust and let go. I knew my systems were in place and that they would do what they need to do to help the people who needed my help while I was away. I had to trust that knowing!
In doing that, what I did find was that without checking your phone every few minutes, the conversations deepened, I was so present in listening. Now, I am the world's worst for being on my phone and I can't speak for the other ladies in that group, but what I also found was this incredible liberation, freedom, clarity of thinking and mental space which really allowed my body to rest and then recharge at a much deeper level than it does normally.
And guess what?!
I loved it!!!
So when it came to our holiday in October, I had pretty much decided I was going to do the same thing again, consciously this time, for two reasons:
1: I wanted to recharge my batteries again just like I did back in July,
2: That holiday was taking place over the second anniversary of my sisters sudden death and I knew I needed to have that time away in order to create the space to allow and heal the wounds that I could feel were opening as that anniversary was coming closer.
So what did I find by going through this technology detox? What did I learn?
Well I had to really make sure I honed and refined my automated structures and systems and make sure they were all working perfectly, so they would be able to help the people who needed my help and were reaching out to me while I was away.
I had to make sure the people who needed to know I love them, I'm thinking about them, I care about them, knew that before I went away.
Despite the odd occasion when you get the itchy fingers wanting to grab that phone, take it off aeroplane mode and switch on the Wi-Fi just to pop into Facebook or pop into my emails and see what's been going on throughout the holiday, I was able to be completely free. I was able to free my mind, I was able to spend time in deep conversation and I switched off from thinking about work, thinking about life and goals.
Just like a technology addict might, I had pangs of guilt that maybe people would be offended; that people might think I had left them, abandoned them, but I wonder how many people actually even noticed I was off-line for a week?!
And when it came to the anniversary arriving I was able to allow myself to cry, to curl up into a ball and to be completely supported by my incredible husband. We talked about life, death, the meaning of it all and everything in between.
There were tears; we laughed, we reminisced, we were just completely gentle with ourselves. Had I been online, it may have encouraged me to disconnect from that feeling, to become less present and almost shut off from the true pain that needed to be felt in order for healing to begin.
What I found so incredibly useful whilst on holiday, was that there were the most fantastic classes available, like Yoga, Meditation, Body Balance, Body Pump. These activities really helped me to stay grounded, to stay positive, remain in a state of gratitude and to allow my body to embody the changes that were happening as a result of feeling the pain and grief. As a recovering emotional eater, I was able to continue to eat healthily and lightly, despite an all-inclusive 24 hour buffet and an abundance of previously potential triggers for me. The whole holiday allowed my body and mind to heal.
I've been back a while now and I've been able to be consistently creative in my work, genuinely happy and I feel lifted.
I really believe this is because I allowed myself to take that space away, because I gave myself permission to be completely open with my emotions.
What I've realised is by giving myself permission, I'm giving other wonderful women permission to do exactly the same for themselves as well.
Take a break, you deserve it, and your body and relationship with food will thank you for it!