Since I decided to reboot this blog with a more wellness/holistic lifestyle and travel lean, I’ve been searching for a good 30-day challenge to give myself to kick it off. Building good habits and breaking old ones has kind of been an obsession for me over the last few years — not so much the act of doing those things, but a deep interest in reading all about it. It’s time to start doing.
I toyed around with a few ideas — 30 days alcohol-free, 30 days of yoga, 30 days of learning/doing/consuming this or that. But, when it comes down to it, there’s something more important I need to deal with first — a very real addiction to consumption of online entertainment.
These days, there are many people like me out there. People who “need to have something on in the background,” or come home and look forward to vegging on the couch all night. It’s a form of escapism, and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with watching a few videos on Youtube or your favourite show on Netflix if it’s in moderation. But, if you’re not mindful of the habit, it can grow. Perhaps to the point where you rely on it to overcome boredom and act as a regular form of escapism, taking priority over other interests that truly add value to your life. That’s a point I don’t want to reach. I’ve always wanted to be the type of person that is a producer rather than a constant consumer, and if I’m not careful, I may start to lose that.
So, enter a 30-day screen detox… OK, it’s not so much of a screen detox as it is a media consumption detox — and even that probably isn’t the most accurate definition. Let’s start with trying to come up with one that works.
For the next 30 days, I plan to drastically reduce the amount of time I spend consuming video entertainment — that means Netflix and Youtube mainly. However, there are a few exceptions:
- I am allowed to use Youtube to watch yoga and workout videos.
- I can watch instructional videos that support my learning or other goals.
- I can watch up to 1 hour of Netflix per night or up to a 2-hour movie as long as it’s between 7-9 pm (but I’ll try to keep this to a minimum, just keeping up with the couple of shows Tim and I follow together).
So, what do I do instead?
Considering this is a busy time for me, winter has finally ended in Newfoundland, and I’ve gotten a lot more serious about my yoga practice, there should be plenty of things for me to fill my time with. However, there are a few things I’ve got lined up if I’m desperate for some entertainment.
Reading: I’ve been meaning to re-read The Lord of the Rings for a long time — haven’t read it since high school (which is now 10 years ago). Luckily, I’ve got a box set sitting on my bookshelf.
Listening: Though I’m looking to detox from video forms of online entertainment, I’m fully happy to continue consuming the audio variety — podcasts, audiobooks, and music — which I feel tend to be a lot more productive uses of my time.
Yoga: I want to be in a place where yoga is my entertainment, where coming to a place of mindfulness and presence wins out over escapism. So, I’ve made a playlist on Youtube with videos of a variety of styles of yoga so I don’t have to spend time picking one out and can just get to it.
Blogging: Writing used to be the ultimate release for me — getting words out in a way that my social anxiety just won’t let me do with other people. I want to get back to that, starting with documenting this challenge.
Life: I’m in a transitional period in my life right now (which seems to happen a lot for me), so I could use fewer distractions from the things I should really be working on and the relationships I should really be cultivating.
Mindfulness: As much as yoga will help with this, I’ve really got to embrace mindfulness and being present in the moment. Sometimes, I feel that a fear of boredom keeps me from achieving this. I want to be in a place where I can just sit and be, with awareness in the moment and not constantly trying to find something to fill those empty spaces.
So, here is day 1. It’s 10:30 on a Sunday morning and I’m sitting in front of my laptop, though I’m about to put it away and go work on something else. Wish me luck!