In a world of hash tags, iPhones, online trolls and ‘selfies’, device junkies are being challenged to take a step back this summer.
Registered psychologist, coach and yoga teacher Kati Ludwig is encouraging people to take a break from personal devices.
This can be as simple as limiting your time on technology to a few hours, only during certain times of the day or, if you’re willing and game, you can commit to banishing your devices for the entire break.
The main thing is setting the intention to do it, says Kati.
“If you give yourself a clear intention like: ‘I’m going to give quality time or connect with my family’, it actually brings you closer to your values and sets a clear idea of what matters in your life.
“What helps me is to write things down on cards that remind me of this intention. Having a discipline or practice like this that helps you tap into this intention is a really good technique.
“This is called a tapping and it can be very beneficial in terms of bringing your nervous system into alignment but also reminds your self-conscious mind about the things you want to create in your life.
“It’s about head space really, allowing freedom of the mind and the ability to step out of reactive mode and into responsive mode.”
One benefit Kati notes from having a break from devices is the ability to make better decisions.
“For many people the holidays can still be a busy time of the year, but if you allow yourself the head space by not getting distracted by all these devices, more capacity is then available for you to make wise choices around your responses to things.
“Rather than reacting to a conflict your kids might be having, a bout of road rage, that stress you might feel in a busy supermarket or other situations that typically trigger reactive behaviours, you will actually have the head space to consciously limit that stimulation around you.
“It gives you the ability to step back, take a breath and make better choices.”
Kati says this break can also help you to connect with yourself and the time and space you have available.
“If you do this you will find you have a lot more room in your life to connect with what is around you, which could be your family, nature or any of those things you don’t do because you are constantly distracted.
“Think of those things you come up with when you say: ‘I should be doing this’ or ‘I have to do this’ in between making calls or sending an email.
“Everyone has their own ideal scenario. I always think to myself I’ll take a walk on the beach, do yoga, or cook healthy meals. Again it’s all about setting that intention.
“The more you calm your mind and all that chatter the more you will be able to find those creative solutions.”
Kati says temptation is a big factor. “I’m guilty of it too, I constantly catch myself getting pulled in by temptation during what should be my rest times and I’m still working on this.
“It’s challenging to have those firm boundaries, because it’s easy to slip back into that to-do mode of day-to-day life, but it’s really good to practice discipline.
“Setting time limits can be a good way of doing this for some people and asking others to help you stay accountable can also work, it’s just good to have something in place to give you a natural ending.
“Often the problem with our society is the limitlessness of everything around us. Things are available 24/7 nowadays but unfortunately our energy isn’t.”
Slipping out of this intention and discipline is normal, says Kati.
“I’m really a friend of allowing mistakes. Falling out of what we intended to do is good at times because it helps us to reset and reconnect with our focus and intention.
“An important thing to remember it’s okay to fall out of healthy routines, it’s a matter of what meaning you give to it. You can either take it as a learning curve or judge yourself.”