Social media, emails, texts, and TV bombard us with a constant stream of ideas and opinions. And, while being an engaged member of society is no bad thing, sometimes it does us good to spend a day or two completely switched off from this information overload.
“We spend so much of our time these days charging our phones, tablets and e-book readers that we sometimes forget that we humans too need to recharge,” noted business strategist Martin O’Leary, head of marketing for Realex Payments, in a recent muchshared blog post. “Without taking the time to properly recharge it is very easy for someone to experience burnout in this digitally wired world.”
Websites like Twitter, in particular, says the Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton, “deny us that precious nonspecific time in which you can daydream, unpack your anxieties and have a conversation with your deeper self”.
Tanya Schevitz, spokeswoman for the US-based National Day of Unplugging (celebrated on March 6-7), agrees. “The expectation that you are always reachable has created a society of people who are on edge and overwhelmed,” she notes.
Changing your physical environment is another top tip from experts.
“My grandmother would always say ‘a tidy home means a tidy mind’ and she lived to be 103,” says José. “Clearing your home or office of broken, unused and nonessential items works in several ways. First of all, organising gives us a sense of fulfilment. Secondly, less mess means less distraction.
“There are a number of interesting minimalism games I teach in which participants are challenged to get rid of their excess stuff.” For instance, she conducts weekend get-togethers where there will be “No cell phones, no selfies, no technology that distracts us from each other: just people talking and enjoying each other’s company. It works wonders for clearing their minds.
“The important thing is to focus on the people around you – like your spouse, your kid, your parents – who have been lost in this noise of technology.”