Unplugging yourself from the digital world and connecting to yourself mindfully

I was on a hiatus from social media for the last few weeks. At first, I took a complete break from all of my social media handles for fifteen days. The plan was to stay away from being socialize at least for some days as I was going through a phase of grief. I wanted to absorb the pain and let myself grieving.

Then, after fifteen days, I gradually started to coming back to social media. As you know, in this era of digitalization, we can’t live long without using gadgets and social media platforms. Although I started sharing posts on my handles, still I was not using them in a greater extent. I totally stopped using one and partially used rest of the platforms. I was very less active than usual times and stopped scrolling. I only logged in, posted my updates and then logged out. I tried to be there as least as I could.

After a long gap I am now back to my usual routine of being present in the digital platforms and social media. So, today, I was contemplating on my experience with this phase of unplugged. And what I discovered, are some beautiful facts about life. That, it’s possible to live some days without being plugged in to the social media and digital platforms. That, sometimes, unplugging is a nice strategy to keep yourself focused on your priority list. That, unplugging gives you peace of mind and a chance to connect to yourself mindfully.

How plugging in affects your mind:

When you are plugged in for a long time to the digital platforms or social media or you are using electronic gadgets, you might end up with these situations:

Feeling overwhelmed:

It often happens that after scrolling through for a longer period of time, you might feel overwhelmed with the presence of other people on social media. We have hundreds of brilliant content creators around us, they are creating great contents everyday, and posting them on their social media handles. When you spend more time with these, it’s obvious that at a certain point of time, you might feel that you are not doing enough works as others. Then, you start feeling overwhelmed with their stunning presence and start planning to do something creative, something productive as soon as possible. This leads you to anxious state of mind. As a result, you become puzzled, confused, and restless.

Feeling Unworthy:

Another thing that comes to mind when you are plugged in to the social media or using different digital platforms, after some time, you might start feeling yourself unworthy. That, you are not a good creator. That, everyone seems busy in life, only I am lying here lazy. That, everyone is spending quality time with their family and friends, but I can’t have this now. You might feel that your voice doesn’t matter at all. Your creativity doesn’t add any value to other’s lives. Why should you work at all? This kind of thoughts will lead you arise self-doubt and you would end up having lower self-esteem.

Feeling lonely and exhausted:

Sometimes, it might happen that after checking other’s posts on social media and spending time with contents on digital platforms, you might feel alone. Because, the fact is whatever be the time we spend with our family, friends, or travelling or doing something engaging, we do feel lonely at times. When you keep yourself plugged in the virtual world for a longer time, this thought comes to your mind that after all, at the day’s end, I am all alone. This might be the situation for many of us after spending a longer time in the digital world. So, it’s a nice idea to take a break from the virtual world for at least a day in a week or if possible, a specific period of time like ten to fifteen minutes or half an hour or even one full hour, by unplugging from all kind of electronic gadgets and engaging yourself in some other activities. And this is what Digital Detox called.

Digital Detox:

Digital Detox is a certain period of time that you dedicate to the purpose of unplugging yourself from using electronic devices like smartphones or computers and purposefully use that time to connect to yourself mindfully. When you are refrain from the digital world for a specific period of time, this gives you an opportunity to reduce stress and anxiety. It helps you to focus on interacting more socially in the physical world instead of being present in the virtual world.

How unplugging helps you to connect to yourself mindfully:

Disconnecting yourself from the digital world gives you a beautiful opportunity to spend time with yourself and explore your inner journey.

Setting your time limit:

It’s always a good idea to set a time limit for being plugged in to the electronic gadgets you are using or the social media you are currently logged in. It helps you to finish your essential tasks within that preset frame of time and you can easily log out or unplug yourself after that time limit. Setting a time frame affirms your mind that all the works are done and this affirmation paves the way towards peace of mind.

Connect, communicate and contemplate:

This is my strategy to use social media platforms. At first, connect to the outer world, communicate with your circle, and then, come back to your inner world and contemplate your experience. This way, you can keep your peace of mind even after using the social media for a bit longer than usual. You can read more about this strategy here.

Setting your priority list:

Setting your priority list is another important task that you must do when you are planning to unplug yourself from the virtual world. Keep the task you need to execute at first, and plan the list accordingly. Do them one by one, one task at a time. This technique helps you to keep things organized in your life and thus, your mind refrains from wandering around.

Maintain a journal:

When you are unplugged from the digital world, you can keep a journal and express your thoughts on paper, either through words or arts. Journaling helps you to bring clarity to your vision. It’s an effective way through which you can connect to your inner self in a deeper way.

An act of self-discovery:

I have seen it many times that whenever I take a break from social media or other digital platforms and engage myself in something creative, it gives me a chance to explore myself in a new way. Unplug yourself from all kind of digital media and involve yourself in something that helps you to connect to your inner self. Give yourself a chance to pause, to ponder, and embark on the way of self-discovery.

Finding something else to be plugged in:

Now we are living in such a way that spending an hour without using gadgets or checking in to social media or surfing the internet seems a Herculean task for all of us. But, could you remember, how was your life before these things became an inevitable part of your daily routine?

Life was simple and sweet. There was more peace of mind as we were more connected to the real world than the virtual world. We used pen and paper to write down our random thoughts (though many of us do this still, but this good habit is nearly disappearing from life). We called our friends and relatives from the telephone booth on the weekend, and as the time limit was short for every call, the conversation was more mindful at that time. We had the television set and the transistor as the only medium of entertainment. Recreation was reading good books, listening to oldies in the radio shows, going to the market with families for dinner, evening walk in the nearby parks, talking to the old people to gather wisdom (and that’s why there was respect for them that I often see lacking in this generation kids) and helping them in chores, playing with neighborhood kids and lots more. At that time, we celebrated life, everyday.

But now everything has changed. We are too connected to the digital world that we forget to take a look at what is happening in the real world. But there are still ways that can help you to stay unplugged from the digital world. I have picked some of them here.

Try these activities to take a mindful break:

When you are unplugged from the digital world, you can also try:

  • Cooking
  • Dancing
  • Learning new skill
  • Connecting to your old friends
  • Writing
  • Playing indoor and outdoor games
  • Playing with children
  • Spending more time with family

How I unplugged from the digital world:

As I paused for some days and relished myself in some peaceful moments, I want to share my experience with you all. Here is how I spent the time:

Being a thinker:

This is one of the best thing that happened during the state of unplugging. I focused on introspection and had a deeper look at my inner self. And what happened next is a magic!

I saw some ordinary things glittering like a stardust. And I found a new perspective of life, once again.

– The Saffron Storyteller

Being creative:

Although, I was dwelling in pain, I thought of involving in some creative tasks to divert my attention and spending time being a creative soul. I was back to singing after many months. I spent some time with my singing, almost everyday. And that lead me to start a new venture. My sister and I made a number of videos with her arts and my singing. And now, we have created our YouTube channel and we are uploading our videos there to share them with our friends and family members. I really enjoyed the whole process.

Being a reader:

This break gave me a great opportunity to finish some unread books from my library. One of them is ‘Here, There And Everywhere’ by Sudha Murty, the book I enjoyed reading a lot for the beautiful short stories.

Being me:

That time (even I am doing this still now) I was me. The real me. The carefree me. The calm me. I read my favorite books, I was into singing, watching my mom doing crafts and my sister doing arts, looked at the blue sky (I so love to see the sky and the sea for their vastness), stared at the empty road, and just let myself be me. The real me whom I love, I care, and I am proud of. And what is the best thing that happens when you spend more time with yourself is, your values and choices become more important to you.

Your vision gains a clarity, your thoughts align, and your beloved things come closer to you.

– The saffron storyteller

And tell me, what could be better in life?

Take a break to unplug yourself from the digital world and give yourself a chance to connect to the inner self mindfully. What’s your idea of digital detox? How would you like to spend your time with yourself taking a break from the virtual world? Do let me know your views on that.

(This post is a part of the series ‘Mindful Living with Swarnali’. Check other posts of this series here.)

(This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.)

Posted by

I am Swarnali, an Engineer, a Writer, an aspiring Life Coach and a Peace Messenger. I like discovering the blissful truths of life. This blog is a potpourri of my literary offerings. May this journey lead you towards a life full of peace and purpose.

38 thoughts on “Unplugging yourself from the digital world and connecting to yourself mindfully

  1. I believe younger people suffer from this hyperconnectedness and frantic lifestyle more than people over the age of around seventy-five. I also assume people in rural areas may suffer less from this distressed lifestyle, since life is slower outside the big cities. That said, for kids who were born in a time where the internet and cell phones were already a great part of their day-to-day lives, there are things they can do to unplug and develop new mindful habits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading so wonderfully, Monidipa. It means a lot dear. ☺ Rightly said, people in rural areas are living more mindfully with a healthy lifestyle. Wish we could do that, too! 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These are some wonderful tips Swarnali. Social Media can really be overwhelming sometime. We really need to take a break for our own mental wellness. I too am thinking of taking a break from social media for a few days

    Like

  3. Swarnali I strongly agree with every point mentioned by you. Prior to pandemic when I was training for 8 continuous hour I nerve felt exhausted but from the time I started blogging engaging so much on social media is making me overwhelmed . I love writing so blogging is like a stress buster but sharing, commenting, marketing is not something I am enjoying.

    Like

  4. Swarnali I just finished reading this article and loved it. I loved the concept of digital detox and I too do it often. For me, watching sunrise or sunset, writing journal, travelling, watching some binge series are better than this social media hopping. These days I am learning new skills and I guess that’s better than anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading, it means a lot☺ I am glad that you are learning new skills, that’s a wonderful thing! Watching sunrise or sunsets and spending time with nature are best things to do. Love it.

      Like

  5. So many people are addicted to social media. Their entire life is for social media and sometimes so staged. Reality is something else entirely. This constant need for validation by others can have adverse effect on mental health. I normally too dont post much on social media and use it mainly for my blogs and to connect with a few friends in the other parts of the world. But this year i have also unplugged myself from different groups as well, while continuing to stay on the social media platform.

    Like

    1. Hi Vasu! Yes the same goes for me as well. I am just like you, don’t post too much, only some shareable from my blogs and others. Even I didn’t share my podcast episode still. I feel lazy and also I feel overwhelmed. Just few days ago, I was back to fb and after doing it for some time, I started feeling overwhelmed and stopped and came out of it. The best way is doing it for some time and then taking a break and delving into our hobbies like music, writing, dancing, reading, drawing etc. Thanks for stopping by dear.

      Like

  6. Yes, digital detox is a wonderful way to unplug oneself and to grow mindful habits. It makes us, especially the kids to connect with family and the beauty of nature around us. I limit my digital exposure to a limited period of time and it makes me so relaxed and connected with my family.

    Like

  7. I totally relate to being over whelmed, feeling like u r not doing enough, that was eye opening for me, that maybe SM is creating that void in me. Its strange how a person who is least social get attracted to social media most 😊👌

    Like

  8. That’s a wonderful post Swarnali, really unplugging ourselves and taking a break atleast for some time is necessary. I myself was addicted and glued all the time to the social media and found it was affecting me in a negative way. Then I decided to reduce the time to use the social media. I am happy now….by restricting myself.

    Like

  9. Your posts always resonate with me, Swarnali. I would say, you write from your heart and this is why your words touch ours. Yes, I miss the good old days too, when there were lesser gadgets and more time to spend with loved ones and our own thoughts. I will follow your lead and try a digital detox soon. I really need it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Mayuri! Yes dear we do need some time to take a break from the digital world and spending time being ourselves. You can try to take a break for one hour or two hours a day, it really helps. Or you can take one full day off and enjoy doing something else. You will discover yourself in a new way, I am sure!

      Like

  10. Mindful Post, Swarnali! Digital detox is a very effective thing to do once in a while, it helps to reboot. I don’t completely turn off but yes, I prioritise and minimise the usage based on my level of workload or if things become too overwhelming for me. One day at a time and one platform at a time…hahah…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Priyanka, I do the same. If I can’t take a break for the whole day, I take small breaks. It really works. Thanks for reading dear. ☺

      Like

  11. The worst part of social media to me is the mindless scrolling and watching random crap wasting precious time…apart from this the fomo and unrealistic expectations is what I need a detox from.

    Like

  12. You are right in saying that we need ‘Digital detox’ when overwhelmed by social media. Although the world today is dependant on Social Media, a moderate approach is always the winner.

    Like

  13. I think the social media fever needs detox often as you have suggested. You have explained It so well. Hope all is okay now with you. I went through almost the same situation, Swarnali. In January, I felt social media had become toxic and I stopped posting. I went through a severe depressive episode for 3 months. I just started posting on Twitter but Insta is still something I cringe from.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad to know that you’re now better. Hope you are back to the happiest self once again. Take a break from Insta, give yourself time ma’am. Everything will be fine soon. Sending you love and hugs. 🤗💗

        Like

  14. I completely agree with you. Social media has become very potent and most of the time we forget ourselves in trying to compete with others seeing the pictures and videos.

    Like

  15. Excellent piece as always, Swarnali. I haven’t been much active on the blogging social media lately. That has been due to the increased workload. I still need to be active on the work account to stay on the top of things. I completely agree with you. Social media can be toxic, and one does need a detox from time to time. You have shared some great tips.

    Like

  16. Swarnali …. One can say that you have written this post from your heart…. I can relate this to myself…. I sometime use kill an hour while scrolling social sites…. It hammered is a hard way…. Really….

    Like

  17. To bring the topic unplugging from the digital world under notice was so required. Social media is exceptionally good at killing time. Sometimes taking a short break from SM fills you with double zeal, and exactly this worked for me. Strongly agree with every pointer, Swarnali. I hope you are doing well now, dear!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Another good one, beta. People should control social media and not let it control them. But everyone is so addicted to it. It is always good to take a break.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Wonderful article Swarnali. We are so addicted to social media these days, sometimes it seems like we can’t live without it. Loved your thoughts and solutions for this addiction.

    Like

  20. Swarnali, taking a pause and then bouncing back is the right thing to do and you are doing great in that. Social media can make you feel weak at times, so not looking at timeline is one of the best solutions. Being a blogger we know we can’t be away as we are dedicated to our readers too. Writing from heart and not worrying about the promotion is the key.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, Meenal and Sonal. Marketing gives us stress as it takes a lot of effort. Create contents with passion and make sure they come straight from the heart. Rest will go at their own ways. Thanks for reading, means a lot☺

      Like

  21. Wonderful read as usual Swarnali! The sooner everyone realizes that social media is the biggest myth and the most dreaded monster of our existence, the better it is for everyone. I have spent the last few years as an educator driving this point home to the impressionable youngsters about the pitfalls.

    Like

  22. It’s so important to Unplug especially when there is so much is going on around and an offline engagement is relaxing for body and mind both. I tried cooking and painting with my kids and it was so rejuvenating… this was indeed a great read

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s