By Poppy Almond
If you’re like me, then you know that switching off seems harder to do than ever before. It feels like emails and notifications never sleep, even when I’m trying to. After what felt like a lifetime of working from my home, sofa, office space, and my holiday hideaway, personal space has blended into one constantly open-for-business blob that feels nearly impossible to escape.
Since I’m sure you’re nodding your head in agreement, I thought I’d share some things that have been helping me switch off during both workdays and holidays recently. Of course, what works for me, like trying out new and messy hobbies, might not work for you. In which case, share with us what helps you disconnect and gives you peace.
Literally, Switch Off
It might sound obvious, but for me, the biggest step to switching off is literally switching off. Scheduling breaks in my day for short bursts of digital detoxing by turning off my devices and giving myself a break from doom scrolling and chaotic group chats (sorry everyone!) for even a few minutes at a time gives me a chance to breathe. Trust me. The more you disconnect, the easier it gets. It’s pretty crazy how quickly you see the mental benefits, too. You shake off that unread message anxiety and FOMO almost instantly.
Switching off allows me to enjoy my time off, even if I’m just relaxing at home. Time seems to slow down, which is always handy on holidays or work breaks.
Connect to Nature Instead
To really feel the full effect of a digital detox, I like to get out of the house and into nature. Taking a long walk or going for a run around my local park are my go-to ways to decompress quickly. I find it helps reset my mind and get my creativity flowing again.
I recently adopted an Italian Greyhound Puppy named Bambino, and I’m in love. Plus, he has given me the motivation to be outdoors more often since he joined the family! One of our favourite spots for walks is in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, close to where we live in Leeds. Sometimes, all you need is right there on your doorstep.
The Sound of Switching Off
Music is fabulous for destressing. When I’m trying to tune inwards, I turn on Spotify and lose myself for an hour or two. Little Bambino was in the hospital recently with a broken leg, which caused us both quite a bit of stress. At our vet’s recommendation, we’ve been playing classical music to help both calm him and stimulate healing.
When I take a break from Beethoven, I usually turn to a favourite album or a playlist that I know will help me relax. In fact, I made a special Switch Off playlist, which you can listen to here. I hope you like it!
New Hobbies at Home
Keeping my hands and mind engaged is great for switching off and has prompted me to pick up a few new hobbies.
Recently, I’ve been trying my hand at ceramics, and it’s so much fun. You just need clay and brushes to get started. Finding a kiln in your area will sort the rest. Creating beauty from a lump of clay and a few glazes and paints keeps my mind focused and my hands so messy, I don’t even think of picking up that iPhone!
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