From dusk till dawn, wherever we are in the world, the virtual world is always close by. From my experience, it can get fairly overwhelming. We’re constantly bombarded by news, texts, emails, calls and social media. So for lack of better words, it’s a big, bad minefield.
With my upcoming holiday to Mallorca around the corner, I did the unthinkable. I kept my phone on aeroplane mode for a week. For my sanity, I wanted to fully be present with my mum, myself and the all-inclusive. I took seven books, downloaded my digital detox playlist and a few films to keep me company and by the end of the holiday, I couldn’t stomach the thought of switching back on.
My time offline was refreshing and enlightening. So without further ado, here are the 5 lessons I learned from my digital detox.
L E S S O N 1, time is a luxury.
Some of us get more than others, so use it wisely. I came across an older couple arguing in the bar one evening, the wife stormed off while the husband ordered himself another gin. The next morning I saw them during breakfast and to my surprise, they wouldn’t even look at each other. I haven’t got a scooby why the row started, but I do know that they spent endless arguing when they could have just squashed it and enjoyed their evening.
On the other hand, I can honestly say that I used every bit of my time, to connect with staff (Sergio, Vicky, Ricardo, Lidia, Beito, Yolanda & Bright are people I will adore forever), other guests (in particular I met this lush couple called Mel and Chris – my heart!) and time to connect with myself. I read books that inspired me creatively, listened to my Spotify detox playlist, laid in a pool hammock to watch the sunset, I had a bath, watched 13 Reasons Why S3, discovered two new towns, I had the time to let myself feel, got a tan, napped, took pictures and spent most of the day in beachwear without a care for anyone else. Wholeheartedly, it felt like I was being myself for the very first time.
L E S S O N 2, give yourself time to reflect.
I could probably name all the things that have gone south this year without hesitation, but I’m not sure I could have done the same with the highlight reel. It took some time, but I forced myself to really think about all the things I’m proud of.
Here goes: I skydived, joined KoBox, discovered a love for painting (even got to paint Frankie), I went to Spain to celebrate my birthday with my cousins, I read at my grans funeral, I went to Birmingham twice, fell in love with Newquay, found freedom in Mallorca, explored the complicated world of dating, cut my hair, became a WW UK ambassador, celebrated my friendships, resigned from an awful job, went to a leaving party where I only knew one person, conquered concerts, made progress on my mental health by letting people go and in a couple weeks I’ll be an auntie. Silver linings do exist, but more often than not they get blurred by all the negativity and pain life throws at us.
L E S S O N 3, it’s not ok to hate our bodies.
I remember spending the first-day asking my mum if I looked ok in a bikini because I wasn’t feeling that inner glow (the post-flight bloat didn’t help one bit). That same evening I wore this t-shirt that was the opposite of how I was feeling. After taking this photo, I acknowledged that I like my body. It’s not perfect but then whose is? Mine is covered in stretch marks, but those lines of mine tell of so many stories, hardships and adventures. My thighs jiggle and rub together, but my legs are long and strong. There were days where I chose not to wear a bra. And while I packed a pouch of makeup – I used it once. As I get older, I’m learning to embrace every inch of my body, even the parts I want to change.
L E S S O N 4, own your success.
Women and finances don’t exactly get a fair share of the limelight, but if I rewind back to April, I resigned from a crap job, working for not so nice people – this holiday would have been laughable. I took a risk by resigning without another job and it paid off. So when we checked in and they asked if we wanted to upgrade to the penthouse, I thought f*** it, they showed us the room and when I saw that private jacuzzi I signed on the dotted line. I work hard to make my money and I’m finally in a position to do this for my mum.
L E S S O N 5, FOMO becomes JOMO
My biggest fear going into this was not being in the know/keeping up with what everyone was doing. But there’s something special about the joy of missing out, especially when you’re living in the here and now. The need to not broadcast was fulfilling beyond words. I have to admit that as soon as I picked up my phone again, the anxiety kicked in. I’m embarrassed to say my heart actually raced about all the messages and news I missed. The bottom line is that I can choose when to reply and still take time offline to recharge my batteries.