Thursday, December 22, 2011

Digital Detox in SVG

New research shows that nearly half of us feel so tied down by technology we can’t let an email or text pass us by, and have to respond to it. The constant need to keep checking messages and to monitor different websites, can lead you to distraction. It’s hard to just sit and focus on one thing. Our productiveness and stress levels naturally are affected. Problems in relationships also occur when the person you are with is left feeling like they don't have your full attention. Allowing yourself to switch off will help to calm your mind and to fully enjoy the present moment you are in.

In January the first branded ‘digital detox’ holiday comes to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Guests will be asked to ‘de-tech’ and hand over their mobile phones and gadgets surrendering themselves to fully enjoying their technology free break. SVGTA are also bringing some key media across to experience a de-tech holiday for themselves, they will have life coaching each day to help them switch off and contemplate life, enjoy peaceful meditation walks through botanical gardens, sail around the deserted Tobago Cays and simply have time to relax. Stay tuned for the coverage that will follow.

The life coach, Louise Gillespie-Smith director of Create Yourself, will accompany the trip and Louise’s top tips to get some control back in your life, rather than letting technology control you, following are:

1) Plan in your time to switch off, put it in your diary to make sure it happens. 5-7 days is ideal to really experience a digital detox but if that simply isn’t possible try just switching off for one day a week or after 6pm in the evening. Simply switching off an hour before bedtime will help you to have a more restful sleep.

2) Prepare before switching off. This will ensure you have peace of mind whilst out of contact. Set people's expectations to let them know you are going to be out of contact. Set record for anything in TV you don’t want to miss.

3) Use your out of office on your emails and record a voicemail. Even if it’s just for the evening, it will help to give you peace of mind that if someone tries to get in touch they will know you can’t respond immediately.

4) If you are switching off for a few days and don’t like the thought of being out of touch from loved ones, write them a letter! Letter writing is rare these days but so romantic. Everyone loves to receive a letter in the post.

5) Allow yourself to fully be in the present moment. Our craving for checking our emails, social media, text messages, watching TV and so on often prevents us from fully appreciating what is around us right now in the present moment. Our minds get caught up thinking about what may or may not happen in the future, what everyone else is up to and what are we missing out on. During your digital detox take some time to bring your mind into the present moment, to be mindful. Take some long slow deep breathes, at least 8 times, then just look around you; what do you see? hear? feel? smell? Take it all in slowly, appreciating everything around you and experience all of your senses.

6) If you are someone who gets bored easily and often regularly uses technology to alleviate this then on the first day of your digital detox write a list of 50 things that make you smile, things that lift your spirits, maybe things you used to love to do when you were younger but have not done in years. Then plan to do some of them during your detox, maybe one a day or as many as you need to keep you distracted and not wanting to switch back on. The act of planning things that make you smile provides a really uplifting experience, it's great for the soul and will be really enjoyable.

7) Whilst you are switched off it's a great time to contemplate your life, how you feel it is going and what you have learnt. Take a note book and pen and work through the following questions:
In the past year....
• What have I achieved?
• What have I learnt?
• What do I want to stop doing?
• What do I want to continue doing?
• What would I love to create in my life?
• What do I need to do to make that happen and when am I going to do it?

Make 2012 the year you took control over technology and allowed yourself the freedom to switch off!

Plus make 2012 the year you come to SVG to de-tech and embrace a digital detox!