On the Importance of an Occasional Online Break

Back online today after five days off. Taking the time off to focus on the absolutely necessities and simplify was just what I needed. I feel like a new woman, refreshed and centered again.

Before my break I was scattered, had trouble focusing, and was feeling lost. I have been though a lot of changes in the last few months and I have several options in front of me. And yet I felt stuck because I could not decide what to do. All of that combined with the nearly nonstop information input from the internet and social media, it is no wonder I was feeling lost. 

I was ready to find my way again and in order to do so I needed to simplify. I felt like I needed my world to be a little quieter if I was going to find my way again. So, I decided to take a bit of a breather from social media and the constant flow of nonstop information. 

I knew that time away and distance was what I needed. I had no intention of deleting my social media accounts and giving it all up as some others do from time to time. I actually really enjoy social media because of all the lovely people around the world I have met through the Yoga With Adriene community. But I also doubted my resolve to stay offline if my phone kept beeping with notifications. To help myself out, I deleted all my social media apps from my phone, except for my Facebook Messenger app. My messenger app and my email accounts are my main lines of communication; they are more of my "phone" than my phone is. I wanted to remain accessible if someone needed to reach me but without staying plugged in too much. This was helpful in giving me the space I needed. 

The first couple of days I reached for my phone out of habit whenever I had a moment of down time. But since there was not much to do on it without my social media apps, I set it down again. By the end of the break, I was not even carrying my phone around with me except when necessary. And as the noise quieted, I found myself feeling less scattered and even found my way again.

I highly recommend taking a social media and online break from time to time. My break was so helpful that I was not sure I wanted to log back on today. But I missed my friends, so I logged back on but took with me the insights I gained from my time away. I think I'm going to take a couple days off every month or perhaps go offline every evening after a certain time.

The break reaffirmed what I knew to be true but had not been prioritizing, that it is important for our mental health to spend some of our time and some of our days without so many things bombarding us and constantly demanding our attention. It is all too much sometimes. And quiet time, even time to allow ourselves to be bored without reaching for our phones to entertain ourselves, is good for the mind.

(Written March 21, 2016.)