I’m back in the studio after a long Summer break in my countryside cottage. Today, I’m in front of the computer for the first time in 30 days, dividing my time between answering emails and planning the second half of 2022. My photography workshops and courses will kick start in September, so there’s a lot to do and prepare. The fall season is my favorite season of them all, so I’m very excited!
During my Summer break, I did a 4-week detox for my mind and body, focusing on drinking lots of water, eating nurturing food, going for long walks, doing meditation, and a daily yoga class. No Instagram, no emails, no sugar, and no junk food – except for a few times we went out went friends. When I do a longer detox, I’m dedicated and consistent but allow flexibility for social events. Being social, having fun, and enjoying time out are just as crucial as being healthy.
I believe it’s important to allow yourself to unplug and disappear for a few weeks (or days). When we slow down and get silent with ourselves, we can truly connect with the core essence of who we are.
We often get stressed and confused when we rush through our daily life and routines. Why? Because we move so fast, we can’t hear the voice from within. The best way to open a dialogue with your soul is to be still, to be alone, to walk in nature, and to move your body.
It’s not always easy to slow down or disappear. Being isolated in the countryside can sometimes drive me nuts, to be honest. I’m an active person and love to be productive at home in my studio and teaching workshops, so the slow days in the countryside are sometimes a real test of my patience.
My mind gets easily bored because I’m so used to having a phone or a camera in one hand or a computer in front of me. My ideas flow like water running through a river, and I’m eager to run after them to see what I can make of them.
Even though I love what I do for a living, I know I need to care for myself to do my best work. And to guide and support other creatives, I need to be in my most optimal state of mind.
We all need balance and contrast in life, so I mindfully and consciously slow down. I put the computer away. Turn off the TV. Shut off my phone, and I just breathe, feel, hear, think and rest without any disturbance for as long as I need to feel fully aligned with my soul. I step out of doing mode and into being mode.
I practice resting my awareness on ONE thing at a time. I walk without any destination in mind. I sit and do nothing but feel the fresh air on my skin. I spoil myself with yin yoga which is long 5-10 min stretches in comforting positions. I let go of the urge to do, plan and execute.
Slowly, day by day, I get more and more in tune with my intuition. My movements feel more and more effortlessly without any pain or soreness. I feel peace and calmness within, and naturally, I begin to see my next step in life with clarity.
Taking time out to detox from a hectic life is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. While slowing down might feel like it’s a waste of time, it’s actually a timesaver, or should I say a lifesaver… Why?
Because your best life decisions are made when you are connected to your body, aligned with your soul, and calm enough to think clearly. By being in this state of mind, you can adjust and optimize your life, goals, and relationships successfully.
When you slow down and make healthy choices that nurture your body, you will discover that worries and insecurities calm down – maybe they even go away completely. Confidence will bloom like a beautiful flower from your healthy choices, and you’ll have much more energy for your family and career.
If you feel like you could benefit from a detox or a few slow days to re-energize your mind and body, here’s my best tips…
7 Steps to Unplug, Detox, Slow Down And Re-Energize
#1: Plan a few days or weeks away (or staycation) to unplug, connect with yourself, slow down, observe your thoughts without judgment, move your body and ground yourself. Make sure you plan how you will spend your unplugged days. This will make the process easier, help reduce stress, and interrupt overwhelming feelings. If you have kids, you can still do this. Just pick activities that the kids will enjoy too. My kids are all grown up now, but when they lived at home, I always invited them to do yoga and meditation with me. Most kids love that. We also did creative projects and field trips. Talk to the kids about what you are doing and why you are doing it. Invite them to do it with you. Another option is to take a few days away by yourself. Adjust your plan to your life situation and do your best to unplug.
#2: Make it a priority to shut out the noise of the outside world. Unplug from the news, TV, Netflix, Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook. Close the computer and put it away. Don’t pick up your phone unless it’s an emergency. If you get bored or restless, know that it’s a healthy part of the process. Do an activity you love that can take your mind off things.
#3: Pick 2-3 activities to focus on to help you energize, relax and slow down. It can be things like; reading a book, knitting, laying a puzzle, walking, hiking, yoga, pilates, stretching, foraging food, flowers or herbs, painting, drawing, cooking, baking, sauna, swimming in the sea, bike rides, pressing flowers in a book – just to name a few ideas. Think of activities that can be done in a slow and calm manner. Pick activities in which you use your hands and/or your body.
#4: Adjust your diet one step at a time. Reduce sugar, eat less meat, drink more water, eat superfoods, take vitamins, do a juice fast, and drink more green tea. Of course, it’s individually what changes you are ready to make in your diet. Challenge yourself, but make it realistic and stick to it. An excellent start is always to cut out all sugary drinks, soda, and soft drinks. Just stick to water. Next, reduce as much sugar as possible from your diet. Small steps that you can stick to. Focus on eating food that will nurture and energize your body.
#5: Take small moments every day to appreciate yourself. This may include meditation, journalling, practicing gratitude, getting a massage, taking a long bath, or an afternoon nap. You can meditate by sitting comfortably with your eyes closed for 10-15 minutes and focusing on your breath. You don’t have to do much more than that. You can find many free meditations on YouTube if you prefer to listen to a guided meditation. After your meditation, or maybe before you fall asleep, take a moment to write a few lines in a journal. Write down 5-10 things you are grateful for + 5-10 things you appreciate about yourself.
#6: Remind yourself that your value does not come from being productive, active or busy. You can be lazy and still be valuable + wonderful. Focus on practicing acceptance and patience. Remind yourself that you are okay even when you do nothing. You are still a wonderful human being even when you are lazy and don’t have a goal, a plan, or a purpose. The only thing that matters is that you take care of yourself and appreciate everything that you are moment by moment. You can do nothing, and you’re still a valuable person.
#7: Set boundaries with others and remind yourself that it’s okay to say “no.” Sacrificing your well-being to please others can have big consequences long term because it’s suffocating your confidence. You need to protect your own time and energy. Taking a break from difficult people in your life will make space for you to recover, re-energize and re-connect with your inner power.
No matter what anyone says, you truly deserve a break to do nothing but nurture yourself, your body, and your soul. And when you nurture yourself in the most healthy ways possible, you will awaken the strength to set boundaries.
With gratitude and love,
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