How to prepare for a Digital Detox Retreat and avoid a relapse post retreat
Updated: Sep 26, 2019
A Digital Detox is a temporary period of disconnecting from all digital devices. The purpose is to unplug, recharge, decompress and introspect. It's a chance to wholeheartedly focus on real life human interaction, engage with the environment, reduce stress, lower anxiety, examine and redefine your relationship with technology, and be fully present in the physical world. It's a sliver of time where you disconnect with technology, step back from the 'always-on' culture, and connect with what really matters!
Here are some tips on how to prepare for your Digital Detox Retreat and how to prevent a relapse once you are back to your regular life.
5 ways to prepare for a Digital Detox Retreat
1. Wind up technology dependent errands
Start by winding up all the errands and tasks that you need technology for. Pay your bills, rent, EMIs, children’s school fees, tuitions or online subscriptions in advance, or ensure mechanisms are in place to pay them on time. Make any travel related online bookings that you may need and take printouts of the same so that you don’t need a digital device to access the same.
2. Clear your workload
Clear up your work schedule well in advance. Inform your boss, colleagues and clients that you will not be accessible for the given period of time. Finish important projects, delegate responsibilities, think through all the possible scenarios where you may be needed, discuss the same with your team, and hand over any information may be needed in your absence.
3. Email Auto Reply
Put an Auto-Reply on all your work and personal emails. Let people know you cannot be contacted for the given time period. In case of work emails, add the contact details of who they can reach in your absence.
4. Share an SOS Contact
It’s important to be stress-free during your Digital Detox retreat, so instead of worrying what will happen in case of an emergency back home, leave a contact number of the retreat organizer. But make sure to emphasize that they are to call only in case of a real emergency. Do not share this number with your colleagues.
5. Pack Wisely
Avoid carrying anything that needs plugging. The only exception to this can be a camera. Instead, carry a few nice books, a journal, a sketch or colouring books, a jigsaw or a non-digital game.
Ways to Avoid a Digital Relapse Post a Digital Detox Retreat
1. Practice Digital Hygiene
Make digital boundaries and adhere to them. Create ‘no device’ zones and timings. Avoid any device in the bedroom. That includes phones, laptops and televisions. Get a clock to set alarms. Never allow devices on the dining table. Also make sure that there are set timings for when the devices must be switched off.
2. Define Social Media, Internet and chat time
Limit the number of times you visit social media sites to once a day, and define how much time you allow yourself on the internet. Also regulate how much time you spend on online chats as they are a huge drain on time.
3. Increase Real Connections
Out of the hundreds of friends you have on Facebook, make time to meet at least one or two each week. Plus, include family in your weekly social agenda. Meet in real life, with real people, for real conversations.
4. Create “Me” Time
Create device and people free time for yourself every single day. Get comfortable with your own company and thoughts. Go for a walk, read or do something you enjoy, like gardening, pottery, or carpentry.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Make mindfulness a daily habit. Be conscious of your digital consumption in terms of what you watch, read, play or engage with online, or via television. Reduce exposure to things that disturb you, like crime and violence. Be a mindful gatekeeper for what you feed your mind and soul.
This article has also been featured in the Hindu Newspaper
Bindiya Murgai is a therapist and Life Coach who runs Digital Detox programmes for individuals, groups and corporates in the Nilgiris. You can learn more at www.healinghideaway.in