One of the wisest sayings I’ve heard over the years is, “everything in moderation” (not that I always listen).
We are surrounded by incredible resources – foods, technology, information, entertainment, etc. – all of which can have a positive impact and influence on our lives… in moderation.
However, when things like social media, sugary foods, caffeinated beverages, streaming media, 24/7 news feeds become so ingrained in our lives, we run the risk of becoming overwhelmed, burnt out, and just plain unhealthy.
Today I want to simply remind us that every now and then we need to challenge ourselves to push these, ‘things’ aside when they start to negatively impact our well-being.
Sometimes… it’s time for a detox.
Over the years I’ve dabbled with a few different detox’s – most recently, Facebook.
What started as a goal of staying off for 30 days turned into a nice relaxing vacation from the social media behemoth for 90 days. My motivation was to rid myself of the habit of opening up the app and scrolling through my newsfeed whenever I was bored or sitting around idly.
As soon as I really put my mind to it, cutting out that habit was easy – thanks to Facebook itself! Honestly, every time I launched the app I was immediately met with either advertisements, or more than likely, angry political banter and arguing. It didn’t matter who leaned what way – it was all arguing and all negative. There were only so many times I could see friends arguing with their friends and family over certain topics only to end in something to the effect of, “well I guess we just can’t talk anymore.” It was sad, trash, and a constant sea of negativity.
It had to stop.
So I uninstalled the apps, logged out from every web browser, and filled my time with more productive pursuits – podcasts, books, writing, etc. There was no more fear of missing out or a subconscious urge to scroll my newsfeed. Instead, there were more opportunities now to ‘just be’. Heck, the only reason I jumped back onto Facebook was to create my Will Athletic page and add some more positivity out there.
We will all have our reasons for detoxing from something. Personally, despite any additional motivations, my underlying theme and desire is to prove to myself that these ‘things’ don’t control me, and that I don’t need them in my life.
It’s a powerful reminder each and every time that I am the one who lets things in and out of my life.
So what do you need a detox from?
Get Your Mind, Body & Spirit Right!
More than likely, no matter what our circumstances, we can all use a healthy break from something in our lives.
So to that end, I want to challenge each of us to think about where we are struggling or where we just aren’t feeling 100% in our lives.
Once you start to hone in on an area, start to think if there is a certain activity (or activities) that are taking you away from playing at your best.
And please remember that detoxing is so much more than juice cleanses and such. Not that something like that cannot be beneficial (please consult your doctor first), there are just so many other things we can do to make a positive impact in our overall health and well-being.
No matter how big or small that activity may be, we can all improve our mind, body and spirit by making time for a detox.
As you are thinking about where you can most benefit from a detox, here are a few ideas to get you going.
Detox the Mind
- Cut out the negative head trash – only tell yourself the stories that build you up instead of putting you down
- Sign off / uninstall the Social Media app that you spend the most time on
- Ignore the constant news cycle / fear provoking headlines / click bate
- Avoid the argument-heavy forums and discussion boards that perpetuate more arguing and negativity
- Put the phone [or any device] away during certain times each day and spend time with those around you
Detox the Body
- Give up sugar (candy, cookies, soda, cereals, etc.)!
- Take a break from caffeine
- Eliminate alcohol
- Avoid all processed foods (if it has a long ingredients list, look elsewhere like fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, nuts, etc.)
- Cut out smoking, chewing tobacco, vaping (such a weird word)
Detox the Spirit
- Cut out the profanity
- Give up gossiping
- Cut out any energy sucking behavior
- Tune out of all the garbage on TV – too much ‘bad’ stuff is glorified these days; clear it out of your life
- Plan an electronics free vacation – no temptations, choose a destination where there isn’t any service – disconnect and just be!
Step Up Your Game – Extra Challenge!
Now that you’ve decided on what to detox from for a few weeks or months, I want to nudge you a bit harder!
Instead of just giving up something negative, I want you to think about adding something positive back into your life to fill that void!
I want to issue this challenge for two reasons:
- Psychologically, removing / taking something away carries with it a negative connotation which can result in giving up on your detox or any type of goal or change; by adding in something positive, we can be better positioned to counteract that negative connotation and improve our chances for a success!
- By adding something positive to fill in the time away from the detox activity, you may just find that you don’t need to go back to it when your planned detox time is done – especially if you are detoxing from something that can negatively affect your well-being over the long term!
Here are a few examples based on the mind, body and spirit ideas above:
- If you choose to give up the negative news cycle, start reading a book about personal development or a skill you want to pick up.
- Instead of surfing social media during your commute home, start calling a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a long time.
- Get rid of the sugar and sodas and start increasing your water intake
- Cut out the smoking, etc. and start spending that time exercising or taking a walk – get a dopamine burst from a better and healthier source!
- Stop gossiping and start looking for opportunities to compliment people around your home and workplace
- Turn off the garbage on TV and start filling that time with exercise, reading a good book or investing in great conversations with friends and family.
Depending on what you choose to detox from, it may be something you pick right back up when you are done. Like me with coffee!
What I’m asking you to do is reflect on this detox time regardless of whether you take up your detox ‘thing’ again right after. Please take the time to recall how you felt (the good and bad), and remind yourself that you are in control!
So flex those post-detox muscles and attack your day with a fresh perspective and stronger sense of self and self-control as you tackle the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.
Discussion Question: What is one thing in your life that is slowing you down or holding you back. Commit to a detox from that ‘thing’ for at least 30 days! Take the time to reflect during your detox to see how much better you feel without that ‘thing’ in your life!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."