THE BLOG

The Digital Detox Diaries - The No Service Weekend

09/06/2014 13:56 BST | Updated 07/08/2014 10:59 BST

This weekend we had great plans for Saturday. After a well deserved lie in we were going to go for brunch at a bistro in Tunbridge Wells, hair cuts for myself and Mr LadyM and a trip to Chapel Down vineyard in Tenterden.

But by Friday night I returned home and felt peculiar. The only way to describe it, was that the back of my head felt numb. I was also on a bit of a go-slow. This passed after about an hour and all was well. Then on Saturday morning, Mr LadyM woke up feeling a bit peaky, dizzy and off balance, cold and clammy - a bug maybe?

We had both had busy, long weeks despite only have a four day week after my birthday weekend. We crammed in birthday drinks, Kaleidoscope AW14 press night, circuit training plus full on, quite stressful days at the office. Was this was our bodies way of telling us we needed to slow down, relax and take stock of ourselves?

Instead of our Saturday plans we chilled with a cup of tea and toast in be until 11:30, I had my haircut and read Thrive in the garden and generally relaxed. Maybe that is just what we needed

As Arianna Huffington says in her book Thrive, "if we don't redefine what success is, the price we pay in terms of our health and wellbeing will continue to rise". I have a severe case of 'over-connectivity'. Technology is in my life at all times. As soon as I wake up on a week day (at 5:45am), my phone is part of my morning routine. I check the share price update of my New Zealand shares since they closed overnight, there's my Twitter feed, Facebook feed, Instagram updates - all in the space of twenty minutes as I get ready in the morning. Habit, pure habit. I need to break my morning routine. I check then, so that I don't check when I get to the office. But what will happen if I don't check? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Not connecting for a day doesn't mean I will become a social recluse!

That's why a digital detox is much needed every now and again. To switch off the connectivity craving of the brain. To become aware of what is around you and embrace life for the time we have. My first digital detox was two weeks ago when we went to Devon. A self imposed ban but also assited by the dreaded "No Service" at the cottage and across the moors. It did feel great, if not a little bit hard to start with. I wanted to Instagram the beauty of the cottage, I wanted to tweet about finding my wash bag full of an entire (brand new) bottle of shampoo and the despair it brought. But why, why not just enjoy the moment, log it in your own memory box, rather than others and get on with your day.

Too much of our life is spent staring at a small screen, whiling away the minutes and sometimes hours of the day. On my digital detox I took photographs with my Canon 550D rather than my iphone. I read an entire Red magazine rather than flicking through the internet. We raised questions and discussed answers rather than Googling and we used an actual, proper map rather than Google maps! Amazing! The last day of our trip I did give in and switch back on as it was my birthday; it was nice to get a lot of birthday messages and tweets. But they are still there once I have switched on... I don't have to reply straight away. There is too much expectation these days for instant replies, but as long as you do reply and do interact at some point - a digital detox is only going to free your mind and give you time to appreciate the world around you; don't worry you will still have a social life at the end of it!

The Digital Detox Diaries will continue... watch this space and I'll still be here even after your own detox; tell me how you get on.