black android smartphone on top of white book

Has Your Smart Phone Taken Over Your Life?

Digital Detox Challenge

We live in a fast-paced world, no doubt about it. That fast pace has blessed us with many things – for one, I wouldn’t get to be a blogger without the recent advancements of affordable technology – but has it come at a terrible price? The cost of our peace of mind and mental health?

I love my smart phone and social media as much as the next person; I love that I can log into Netflix or You Tube whenever I want, selecting content from the huge range of topics out there any time, day or night. I can shop online whenever I want and have no excuse whatsoever to be bored ever again.

What I can find it hard to do though, is to switch off. I’m sure I’m not alone – try staying off the internet and doing a digital detox for the weekend or for two hours before bed each night. I’m sure I could do it – but I think I’d find it strange, at least at first.

Why We Need to Switch Off Sometimes

Our bodies just aren’t designed to be “on” all the time – that’s why we need to sleep around 8 hours or so a night. Our bodies and minds also need time to rest when awake (and scrolling through our favourite internet or social media sites really doesn’t count as “rest” unfortunately).

When we are off our electronic devices, we at least signal to ourselves that we’re “off” from the world for an hour or two and give ourselves space and permission to do something else for a bit.

I’m willing to bet I’m a lot lazier too with entertainment only an app away – no need to get up and get a book – there’s an app for that! Can I be bothered filing and painting my nails, why bother when I can play another round of Candy Crush?

Digital Detox Aims

I actually use my phone far more than I’m comfortable with and not for making phone calls. I use it most often for reading but I don’t think it would do me any harm at all to cut it out for an hour or two before bedtime each night and find an actual book to read instead. From what I read on the internet, apparently I’ll sleep better for it too!

It’s not that I want to stop using my phone and devices altogether – I just want to try using them more mindfully. Half the time when I am on my phone, I’m on it out of habit rather than because I’m really enjoying it and finding value in whatever app I’m using.

Digital Detox Challenge

Starting from 17 July 2019 then, I’m going to cut out using my phone for that last hour before bedtime for a week just to see if I see any benefit at all from being off it for a bit. I’m actually a bit intrigued as to what I might find to do with my time instead!

If you feel as if you might like to step back in time for an hour or two each night to live in the “real” world for the next week too, why not join me in my digital detox challenge? I intend to stay away from all electronics for that last hour before bed to give myself a real chance of winding-down before bedtime but you can limit it just to your phone or tablet or adapt to suit you.

Let me know in the comments how you find it or feel free to share this article with anyone else you think might find it useful 🙂

Outdoor Yoga

Tried Outdoor Yoga Yet?

Get Your Outdoor Yoga On!

With it being Springtime here at the moment in Manchester, it’s been a welcome change to take my yoga practice outdoors on the better days.

Being lucky enough to have a larger, closed off garden, this is the first time I’ve practised outside and it’s been a totally different but positive experience, in case other beginners feel similarly inspired.

Where to Start?

I use and recommend Yoga With Adriene (YWA) on YouTube. To take it outdoors, however, depending on your wi-fi connection, you have to be an FWFG monthly subscribing member and/or download the video but well worth it for me.

There are of course many others on YouTube but also many gyms and leisure centres now provide yoga classes some of which practice outdoors from a quick Google search.

How it Differs from Indoor Yoga

What stood out to me was how much more there was to distract me outside. The first inverted (upside down pose), was amazing. Indoor yoga involves seeing the room upside down but seeing the outside world upside down really challenged my balance and senses.

In many yoga classes, gentle music or sounds are played alongside the poses. Outside yoga gives the chance for a more authentic experience from time to time.

Practising yoga outdoors is also very grounding. When I first heard about grounding my energy, I wasn’t really sure if I knew what it meant. It tends to be thought of differently for people but, for me, it’s just a means of getting out of my thoughts by concentrating on what my body is doing right now. It helps me relax and detach from things that might be bothering me. I know a yoga session has gone well when I stay relaxed.

If you’ve tried it let me know by commenting on how you found it.