As much as I ‘preach’ switching off and taking time to unwind, I am the worst offender when it comes to taking downtime for myself. Having always dreamt of living in London, I cannot get enough of the city and all the exciting experiences it has to offer, juggling my life between work, time with friends, gym, going out and tracking all that in my social media feeds (all of which I do enjoy a lot!).
So when innocent drinks challenged me to have a 48-hour digital detox in advance of its innocent unplugged festival this coming weekend (in the words of Innocent Smoothies, a festival for grown-ups in Kent where there is no wifi, no 3G, and no traditional electricity), I was excited and scared at the same time. Switching all my devices off and just being left ‘to my own devices’ if anything sounds really uncomfortable! (see what I did there, even the phrase ‘to be left to your own devices has a word ‘devices’ in it!) 🙂
I did however receive the most exciting delivery from innocent unplugged (Christmas coming early kind of feeling) to help me unplug and enjoy the moment: paper and envelopes for writing letters, Art Therapy anti-stress adult colouring book and colour pencils, Instax camera for taking cool hipster pics, scrapbook, and delicious innocent smoothies (these didn’t last long!) to enjoy my time off line! 🙂
Having run out of excuses once I’ve gone through the contents of my digital detox box, I mentally prepared myself for a weekend offline. I quickly realised that just a thought of switching everything off on the weekend was uncomfortable on its own so I did a few small steps on the way to the weekend – put the phone away half an hour earlier before going into bed, forced myself not to check messages and notifications during the day every second (my mum and friends who know I’m always on did not quite appreciate the delayed response) and even took time to splash some colours on a little turtle from a colouring book:
When the weekend started I tried to navigate around the things I arranged earlier in the week (such as a boxing class and filming a friend for my blog for The Happiness Project) without using my mobile and not checking messages on social networks. I took my Instax camera for a walk, too, and taking instant pictures was so cool that I couldn’t help but take a picture of the picture with my phone (it did indeed deserve the ‘ugh, cringe!’ comment I received from a friend at that point).
But hey isn’t the picture of Shoreditch House with a view to Gherkin really cool, huh! (see below)
One thing lead to another and it’s been seconds since I got my phone out to take a picture when I suddenly checked all the incoming messages, posted a couple of pictures on Instagram and wads back to the disturbing ‘always on’ mode. To balance it out, I went for a long walk across Hyde Park, from Soho all the way down to Holland Park, embracing the amazing London weather and enjoying the happy ‘let’s not think about anything and just walk and embrace the moment’ mood.
I might have failed at my digital detox miserably (old habits die hard!), but I am extremely grateful for this reminder from innocent drinks that life is beautiful off-line and taking time off and enjoying the moment can be the best thing you reward yourself after a busy day/week at work.
Innocent’s digital detox experience reminded me how good it feels not to be in a rush, taking my time and doing something I like not because there is a reason (or some pressure) to do that but just because I like it! Whether you are a happy owner of innocent digital detox box or not, you might want to turn to one of these activities to enjoy your time ‘off’:
- writing a letter or two
- getting lost and discovering something new
- creating photo collages
- reading books
- playing board games
- catch up with friends face to face
- making a mix tape
If you were lucky enough to grab free tickets to innocent unplugged festival, I will most likely see you in the woods this weekend where without the digital distractions, under innocent drinks’ guidance, people will get back to creating real memories instead of snapping selfies and fiddling around with filters. (In fact, and anyone who’s caught dabbling on their devices will have to accept a penalty challenge!)
As well as fab music on The People’s Stage, including headline acts The Correspondents, renowned DJ, Norman Jay and old school classic Mr. Motivator, festival revellers will enjoy a host of inspirational speakers like Kids Company founder, Camila Batmanghelidjh and journalist, author and broadcaster Grace Dent in the innocent inspires yurt. There will also be different activities to enjoy throughout the weekend such as Laughter Yoga, a Morning Glory rave, exploring the woods with Fergus the Forager, the Abandoned Apothecary, wood-fired spas and more. Moreover, there will be delicious, locally sourced food throughout the weekend, culminating in a big banquet in the forest. And all the juice and smoothies one can shake a stick at!
Do you use any of the innocent drinks’ ways to switch off? What’s your most favourite guaranteed way to enjoy some downtime? Please share your thoughts!