How to disappear off the radar?Find perfectly responsible strategies here!
I have a friend who was being guilted into sharing her wedding and honeymoon photos on Facebook. She responded by saying “How about if you lot come over for tea to my place and we can all watch it together!” How refreshing and delightful I thought to myself.
There are great things technology has brought into the world. I wouldn’t have been able to do what I do had it not been for technology. However what is one to do when one begins feeling overstimulated? Not wanting to miss a thing, experiencing phantom vibration syndrome, being always reachable, and beginning to believe that sharing is caring and privacy is theft. Do you agree that considerably greater amount of effort is now required to disappear?
Turn off time for our brain is essential to stimulate creativity and imagination. It’s during your off mode that your brain has the best chance to be struck by inspiration. When you get off the radar you activate your off mode. Here are some switch off activation alternatives to get you started –
- Leave your phone at home one day and go for a walk: By removing the source of temptation, you cannot act on an impulse of taking a picture of that cute squirrel and posting it on Instagram. And then checking your phone constantly to see if anyone has liked or commented.
- When you have lunch, breakfast or dinner date, try leaving your phone at home: When I tried this for the first time, my mind was considering all sorts of eventualities. What if I am running late, what if I get lost, what if I need to call someone? Find an opportunity where it’s safe for you to try this idea. Every Saturday morning we go out for a family breakfast. I try not to carry my mobile phone to the breakfast venue. I find myself more at ease, engaged and present in the given moment.
- Plan ahead: Plan quality downtime! I once had a colleague who was stressed out. When we began talking about what was bothering him he said ‘I need a day off and I can’t get one, as someone else is on leave during that time’. We looked at the holiday roster and found vacant spots that could be filled during the following month. Planning ahead and booking time off in advance helped alleviate my colleague’s current mood. It gave him something to look forward to. If you are feeling burnt out, tired or under a rigorous work schedule be deliberate about planning some downtime.
- Don’t wait for a long annual vacation, and take regular breaks to unwind: How much time each one of us needs to unwind will vary. Some of us switch off quicker than others. Find your sweet spot and incorporate regular breaks to rejuvenate yourself. Spread them around the year like confetti!
- Leave work equipment at work: If your company allows you to work from a remote location try leaving your laptop or blackberry at work. This is a particularly helpful strategy for people who are addicted to work. There is something innately wrong about being available and connected 24/7. Try doing this once a week and see if you are able to ramp it up.
- Nap: The Google and Huffington post offices have nap rooms! Sleep affects virtually every aspect of cognitive performance, physical performance and creativity. See if a power nap helps you switch off. I knew someone who could simply sit on a bench, put on her sun glasses and be able to snooze during a lunch break. Blessed are those who have this talent. The likes of me keep can only express admiration for such a gift.
- Staycation: This is an idea popularized by Arianna Huffington. Sleep without an alarm, turn off all devices, stay at home and rediscover your sense of wonder.
- Disappear in exercise and hobbies: Try scheduling runs and workouts during lunch breaks. (My only issue with this was washing my face. I found it hard to find the time to do my makeup again and if you combined that with doing your hair, a two hour lunch break is what I would need! I resorted to sweat proof activities like yoga and pilates. That worked better for me!) Hobbies are another great alternative to switching off. Learn a new hobby or indulge in one that you already have.
I went for an art class once; I produced no masterpieces but I found it to be very relaxing. Another time, I got too ambitious about learning piano. I rented a white mammoth of a piano for one year. It sat gathering dust in my apartment and became a clothes horse. I grossly underestimated the effort that is required to play. My piano teacher once told me, ‘playing piano is like a meditation, its practice, practice and more practice’. I did at least learn that!
- Meditation: Wake up 15 minutes early to meditate. Guided meditations work better for me that silent ones. Experiment with what works for you.
- Wedding, honeymoon and other special event photos: Instead of sharing these types of photos on social media, organise to see people that you care about and share your life event with them. Get in touch with them and say, “how about if you lot come over for tea to my place and we can all watch it together?”
Write activities that come to mind when you read the following words. Challenge yourself to be more creative and push past television, movies, video games, dinner at a restaurant or a pub crawl. Surely they help you unwind but try and explore anything new that might come up through this exercise. These activities can be tried and tested or they could be something new that you are curious about and would like to explore. Pull out your wellness journal and begin.
Which activities come to mind when I think about?
Here is an example of what my list looks like!
Rest – nap, sleep in, restorative yoga.
Relaxation – tea, write in my journal, meditation, walk my dog, fresh white bed linen (I know weird as, I am yet to fathom what I find relaxing about it)
Recuperation and recovery – massage, chiropractic adjustment, take natural supplements, breathing meditation, drink a glass of water.
Respite – plan a getaway/holiday/staycation, express gratitude.
Rewind – read a book, go to a coffee shop, meditate.
Unwind – stretch, call a friend, explore a new part of town. (I had shopping here once upon a time and I can confirm it is a short term unwinding activity)
ARE YOU DONE?
Now chose three activities from your list and schedule 20 minutes (or longer) in your calendar to make them happen. Happy days!
Ps: Learn to distinguish between escapism activities and activities that help you unwind.
Words To Grow By
“I am trying to convince everyone that we need to withdraw now and from the life we lead in connection with everyone else and reconnect with ourselves”.