As the year comes to a close, one of my favorite practices to prepare for the new year is to mindfully release that which no longer serves me in my life – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and perhaps most challenging of all – digitally.
For many of us (myself included!), this can be one of the heaviest/most overwhelming areas of life to truly simplify. It can sometimes seem like people, information, marketing messages, and random photos of babies/weddings are just coming at us from every which way.
And while it may seem harmless, allowing yourself to get bombarded by everyone else’s agenda and communication can actually be getting in the way of your happiness, clear focus, and true life’s work.
So if you’re ready to work on clearing space in this area of your life, I want you to feel supported :).
Here are a few of my favorite tips for digital detoxing that I personally use (and feel so unbelievably relieved by)…hope you enjoy!
It is the wild west of information overload on social media! And one of the easiest attention zapping traps to fall into. I’ve always felt the most empowered in this landscape when I devote the majority of my focus and energy into what I’m creating and putting out, while simultaneously cultivating meaningful connections with accounts that are in alignment – ones I find to be inspiring, uplifting, moving, and run by the people that I truly love and want in my life (vs. mindlessly scrolling). That doesn’t mean you need to go unfriend or unfollow your friends from high school who you no longer talk to (although you totally reserve that right and can do so shamelessly if you so desire!). While I actually think there’s something to be said for the magic of how connected the world is these days, you should also know that there are ways you can stay loosely in touch with those from your past without every post or rant of theirs being front center on your social media feeds. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook allow you to “mute” or “unfollow” the posts and stories of those accounts that you do not find…let’s just say, “uplifting”…without the person knowing and officially severing ties. After taking this simple action, I now find that when I open up facebook or twitter, I’m immediately met with posts and stories that spark joy for me vs. those that drag me down or trigger me.
This is definitely the behemoth for me when it comes to clearing the digital clutter (and I am still a work in progress!). One of the biggest disruptions via email are unwanted marketing promotions from mailing lists you usually have no idea how you even got onto. After clearing out my promotions tab and unsubscribing from any unwanted lists using tools like “unroll me” that make this easy, I devised what I might call a brilliant plan (in my humble opinion) to not allow the clutter to build up again in this area. I actually created a separate gmail account solely for the purpose of signing up for rewards memberships and other marketing lists that being on might benefit me in some way (discounts, free gitts, etc.), without having to be on the receiving end of unwanted emails and having to re-unsubscribe all over again. I accidentally made mine super obvious (it’s email@example.com — feel free to spam me, I never check it lol), but you can just choose one that’s easy to remember and easy to enter in (maybe shorter would have been better too?). I also got really overwhelmed when I set out to organize my email, thinking I needed to label everything and put it into a category and subcategory and that just felt like it would take one million years, exactly, to complete. So instead, I found the magic and joy of the “archive” button. Clicking this button helps you to keep an email somewhere in your gmail storage, without officially deleting it (but it no longer shows up in your inbox). I use this on things like confirmation emails, receipts, or emails where the loop has already been closed, but that might come in handy at some later date. I know that should I ever need those emails, a simple search in the search box will cause it to pop back up again.
Texts, Calls, and Notifications
Unsolicited texts, calls, and notifications can be seriously jarring to the nervous system. It’s important to find ways to protect yourself from interruptions, especially when you’re doing deep work and in a flow state. You can start to take control in this area by going through every app on your phone, deleting the ones you no longer use, and adjusting the notification settings on the ones you keep so they no longer have permission to interrupt your day. You can also put certain text chains or phone numbers on “Do Not Disturb” mode if you know you receive frequent communication from those numbers that you may not be able to (or want to) immediately respond to. I’ve also started to create welcome interruptions via calendar notifications, where I plug in positive affirmations that I know will serve me to read often throughout my day :).
Now I would love to hear from you! Which one of these tips resonates the most with you + do you plan to implement any of them in your own life? Let me know in the comments below :).