Friday - - Self-Help -

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.”

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