“My imagination functions much better when I don’t have to speak to people.”
~ Patricia Highsmith
In January this year I made an important decision. I have a life where I am almost always on call. Always connected and reachable. Always busy. Even though I work for myself and love my work, and I certainly don’t work every hour of every day, I had reached a point where I was doing some kind of work every day.
So this year I decided to make a change and designated Sunday as my unplugged day.
I made some simple rules for this unplugged day:
- no work
- no blogging
- not even a skerrick of work
- no social media
- no checking emails
- no checking my phone
- no surfing the net
- no games on my phone or tablet
- no saying yes to invitations out of duty or obligation
- no answering my cell phone (only family, close friends and neighbours have our home phone number)
- no time at the mall, or shopping or doing other ‘duties’
I admit that it was awkward at first. I was jonesing to check my emails. Or my facebook feed. Or to use my time to catch up on work.
And I did an awful lot of sleeping on my first few Sundays off.
Did I mention the guilt at not being productive?
But after a month or so I settled into having this space just for me and my loved ones. I began to look forward to Sundays. And this is what I discovered:
- I began to hear and know my own voice again
- I slept better
- I began to remember who I was before I got so busy
- My priorities changed
- My garden got some love
- I enjoyed being with my partner rather than resenting him for constantly interrupting my work, or feeling guilty for setting aside work to be with him
- During the work week I found myself refreshed and ideas came more easily
- There was time for me to do the things I love
- There was time to do nothing, if that was what I felt like doing
- I began to dream about my future, and to make plans more aligned with my soul energy rather than just a business blueprint
- My creativity began to flow again
- I began to take better care of my health
- I let go of relationships that I’d held on to because of duty or habit or fear of loss
- I felt better about myself and my place in the world
- I became more content with myself and my life
- I was more confident in my decision-making
- I connected more deeply with nature
- I connected more deeply with my creative projects
- I lost interest in constantly checking social media on days other than Sunday
- I became more aware of time wasters in my daily life
- I needed less stuff and less stimulation
- I became more mindful
- I began to see relationships more clearly once I got a little thinking space. I saw that some needed more love and time, and others were draining me while giving me nothing in return.
- I created more and consumed less
- I felt happier
- I began to perceive myself differently
- My life began to flow better and all manner of synchronicities occurred, or maybe I was just in the space to finally notice them
- I read more
- I napped and felt good about napping
- I began to understand that one unplugged day wasn’t enough and began creating stronger boundaries in my daily life
Enough time has passed now that I am confident in recommending a totally unplugged day to you too. You might be equally surprised and satisfied with your own outcomes.
Much love, Nicole <3 xx