Technology is amazing. There has never been a more exciting innovating and awe-inspiring time to live than right now. We are living on the forefront of technological breakthroughs that seemed impossible only years ago.
Remember when you were a child and the ultimate daytime tv competition prize was a portable television? Take a look at your iphone. You won the grand prize and didn’t even realize it. The sci-fi movies of the 80s and 90s not only look outdated by the fashions but because their pseudo-scientific futuristic gadgets are so last year!
That being said, for many there is a lingering, lurking, rising sense of unease with technology and that’s not just because you accidentally took a dodgy selfie.
A 2011 Columbia University study discovered that search engine use has an inverse relationship with information recall; the more the information is at our fingertips the less it is retained by our brains. I’ve spoken previously on the effect of blue light emitted by phones and laptops on the production of melatonin, inhibiting our ability to fall and stay asleep.
When was the last time you found yourself so distracted by your mobile phone during a work task that you had to switch the phone off or put it in the drawer because its very presence was a distraction? Or perhaps you found yourself unable to sleep after a particularly emotional piece of television (Orange is the New Black I am looking at you, you beautifully destructive piece of psychological drama).
If you’ve been following the blog for a while then you will know that one of my key recommendations for burnout recovery is a good night’s sleep and that means putting down the work, mobile, laptop and kindle for more than an hour before sleep, but what about a mini digital detox?
I recently spent an entire evening without a screen in front of me. Television switched off, laptop and phone on to charge the other side of the room, I popped a bottle of bubbles (nothing like a little Monday night ‘I made it through Manic Monday’ celebration right?) and relaxed into a pile of pillows with a glass of prosecco and a copy of Psychologies magazine.
I read the entire magazine. In one sitting. From front page to back. In order. When was the last time you managed that?
I’m not going to lie to you it felt so damn indulgent I almost felt guity.
See you have to remember that you work crazy hard. You give to other people every single day, whether they be colleagues, loved ones, friends, people are your church or volunteer position.
It’s a simple law of mathematics that if you keep giving out then you will run out unless you deplete the stores.
Plan it in your diary days in advance so you have something to look forward to. Clear all rubbish out of your diary – no working from home in the evening, no chores or things to be done. It’s not much to ask for two hours of quiet and if you really have to, rope in a helper. Get your husband to do bedtime routine whilst you head out to a café with a book and £10 to spend on a piece of cake and a hot chocolate. Ask your partner to cook dinner and deal with the clean up for one evening so you can run a long hot bath with Epsom salts, essential oils and an audiobook.
See, the thing is it doesn’t have to be expensive but it does have to be expansive. It has to provide you with enough time to allow your body and mind to process that this is a time for relaxation and riches. If it feels indulgent then make a list of all the things you have done for other people in the last week and remind yourself that you cannot give to others indefinitely and that you owe it to yourself AND to those people you help to look after yourself in order to have more to give.
I challenge you to create a space in your diary within the next week to take the evening off of work, distractions and blue light. If you need some accountability then pop me a quick email here telling me when and how you plan to spend your time and I promise you I will keep you on track!
Try it for one evening and come over to the facebook group to share what and how you did itand how you felt afterwards. You’re going to raise your mood, sleep better and feel refreshed and even a little lighter the following day.
So what’s your plan for a simple evening of indulgence and replenishment? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org , I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time, take care of yourself
I was a chronically exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed lawyer when burnout hit full force. Get the free guide to the first steps to take to deal with burnout and start a recovery - without throwing in the towel at work! http://tinyurl.com/burnoutfirstaid