You know the feeling: you've over-scrolled on Instagram and can't handle even one more tweet. For all that I love about social media—connecting with people around the world, keeping up on friends travels—it can get to be too much. That's when it's time to change the relationship status with tech—not breakup but take a break. And it's when you should plan a digital detox.
Recently, I was at Sri Panwa and the calm, quiet resort was a treat after a week of running around Thailand. It got me thinking how important it is to actually plan relaxing vacations. To set aside time to hit the pause button and put yourself first. At the end of the day, the name of the digital detox game is to become a master relaxer (and to keep yourself busy enough you don't miss social media). To me, the perfect detox location is any laidback place that you find calming so you can chill out—I personally vote for an all-inclusive resort setting but find what's best for you.
Here’s are a few ideas for how to spend your tech-free time and get in some quality "you" time:
Go cold turkey and 100% cut yourself off from your digital devices—disconnect the wifi, pack up your computer, and pretend that TV hasn't been invented yet. If you're somewhere new and amazing, you don't want to waste it away by Netflixing bingeing anyway, right? This seems to be infinitely easier when you head somewhere new where you can explore and adventure all day.
What I learned the hard way? The ease with which you do a detox is inversely related to how bored you are. That's to say don't let yourself get bored or you'll really be tempted to check in on Snapchat stories. For me, that meant getting outside and keeping active. It seemed like the more I moved around (aka tired myself out) the less I cared about social media and my phone.
It's kind of amazing how much time you have on your hands once you stop snapping and double-tapping. If there's ever a time to finally practice meditation, it's now. Becasue admit it: you've had that meditation app hanging out on your phone for a long time and never used it—now you can learn mediation the old fashioned way.
Speaking Of, Do Morning Yoga
If, like me, sitting still only works for a few minutes, you might want to move while you meditate. Think about trying moving meditation like Tai Chi or restorative yoga. During my detox, I did a very relaxed, slow-moving vinyasa class and it left me time to focus on my breathing and mindfulness rather than on pushing physically.
The more I've traveled, the more I've come to value journaling. Just writing it all down is such a simple idea but if you don't do it in the moment, you'll likely forget all the good stuff. Even when I'm super busy, I just take a couple minutes to bullet point what I liked, where I went, what I ate, and who I was with. I've found that writing it down mentally cements the trip for me.
Sadly, the only time I read for fun anymore is when I'm on the road. And though it takes up room in my luggage and Kindles exist by the ton, I'm all about a paper book that I can annotate, dog-ear, and wear out. So ask your friends what to read (or opt for a classic travel novel) and just enjoy how delicious it is to curl up with a good book.
Maybe because I grew up near the ocean but there's nothing that makes me unwind faster than some time seaside. Doing something physically tiring but simultaneously relaxing—think, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, or simply swimming the coastline then lounging in the sand works—leaves me happily exhausted and chilled out in the best possible way.
The name of the game is to enjoy your downtime so ideally you’d find yourself at a really serene place where you can just sit back and enjoy the view. It was monsoon season when I was at Sri Panwa and I really enjoyed just sitting on the porch and watching the rainstorms on the horizon.
Even if you're not really one for the spa, this is the time to do it. You're already pampering yourself with some tech therapy and some serious spa time will just really help you recupe in the best possible way. If you have the means, I say go all in. I find the combo of a massage and some sauna time really helps me zen out.
But Still Drink and Eat
Mind you this is a digital detox, not a food detox, so please do not to hold out on the food and drinks! Plan to go somewhere with really good food (and it can be somewhere healthy like Golden Door) and you'll likely love the experience so much you'll (almost) completely forget about social media!
My trip to Thailand and this post was sponsored by Tourism Thailand. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors who allow us to keep Salt & Wind up and running.