Alright, we all know just how stressful things have become as of late. If the year 2020 has taught us anything it is just how imperative it is to have our priorities in order. Well, that, and whether or not we all have enough skills and tools to manage our stress levels. For most of us, 2020 was a wake-up call that we needed even more tools to keep our daily stress levels in check. One of the quickest and most successful ways to do just that turns out to be a digital detox. Now, before you start running for the hills hear me out!
Method To The Madness
Taking a break from digital gadgets is one of the best things you can do for your health, but maybe one of the hardest. Technology and gadgets are so prevalent in today’s society that many people don’t know how to function properly without one. You may be filling time with technology, but all of that artificial stimulation is filling your brain to capacity, contributing to higher levels of anxiety and stress. Not to mention, offsetting your Dopamine and Serotonin levels as well. From televisions to our smartphones our lives are heavily dependent on technology.
Ever Present Fixture
It is there when we wake up in the morning to have peace, not to check your phone. When we get home in the evening and should be shutting down, many of us power up that technology even more. Research is just now beginning to discover how being connected to these digital items 24/7 can affect both our mental and physical health. There is no doubt that technology is useful and educational, and is leading humanity towards creativity and connectivity. But there it should be a point of concern if these same digital items start interfering in your normal daily routine, affect your work performance or personal relationships, or start costing you more money.
Digital Detoxing 101
There is a growing movement toward “digital detox”—taking a break from all these gadgets. In order to be successful, however, and maximize the benefits, you need to have a well-thought-out plan.
1. Gadget List
Before beginning a digital detox, make a complete list of every digital item connected to your life. This will be a stark realization of your dependence on these gadgets. Then, make a list that you love doing but don’t do in a true sense because of digital connections. For example, do you love to read, but choose to watch that TV show in the evenings, instead? Do you enjoy being outside, but spend free time looking online?
This comparison shows how much we lose to technology. If we limit ourselves to certain items, we will have more opportunities to declutter our minds and move forward with a digital detox.
2. Daily Allowance
Using your list of gadgets, allocate a certain amount of time for each device. By minimizing the time you use technology, you will find more time for yourself. You will be able to focus on the real world and your purpose. Practice all that social engagement in real-time, with real people.
3. Changing One Thing at a Time
Every technology gadget in your life should be treated as one habit, and, just as with any other life change, focus on changing one habit at a time rather than trying to change it all at once. It could start with a ban on cell phones at the dining table during lunch, dinner, and breakfasts. Maybe all devices are turned off and plugged in to charge at a set time in the evening.
Whatever you decide to do, be consistent with it for one to two weeks. Continue eliminating one activity at a time.
4. Enough Sleep
Store your devices at different locations in your house. This helps ensure the limited use of digital devices, especially during sleeping hours. Sleep deprivation has been identified as one of the root causes of the anxiety and depression so common in our society. Don’t bring Facebook into your bedroom!
Every Little Bit Helps
Taking these small steps is a great way to start clearing your mind and your life of digital clutter. Try one or two and see how the world and your perspective begin to unfold before you. This will also hopefully set an example that your family and friends want to emulate, creating an even healthier environment for social interaction and relationships. Personally, I take the weekends off. In fact, I don’t look at any emails or social media all weekend. This doesn’t mean that I cut out all technology completely. It just means I have taken a log of the areas that cause me the most stress. Turns out, the mass majority of my stress is caused by the constant ding of my social media updates.
Take Time For What REALLY Matters!
One of my favorite days of the week is Sunday. That’s because the majority of my family takes Sundays off. This one day is devoted to reconnecting with one another. We all live crazy busy lives and it is easy to forget just how important it is to spend time with our loved ones or even just time by ourselves. Too often we have someone else chiming in about what we should and shouldn’t be doing with our time. At the end of the day, we all need to take a good hard look at what is serving us and what is just causing us more stress. For me, this year is all about finding out what is helping and what is hurting my progress. Each month I focus on making just one area of my life better by removing the things that are hurting more than helping. It seems to be working so far and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds. Instead of surfing the internet why not eat your way to better health with this recipe!
Stuffed Zucchini Rolls With Spicy Pesto
Gluten Free Vegan Serves 6
- 2 Tbsp Avocado Oil
- ½ Pound Ground Vegan Spicy Sausage
- 1 Red Bell Pepper Cubed
- 2 Large Zucchini or Squash
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Oregano
- 14 ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme
- ¾ Cup Basil Pesto
- 1 Pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 4 ounces Vegan Mozzarella Torn
- 1 ½ Cups Vegan Ricotta Cheese
- Fresh Basil leaves to top with
- 1 Cup Vegan Shredded Cheese
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Treat a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick prevention of choice. Heat the oil in a large pot over high heat. Once oil shimmers, add in the sausage and brown for about 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add peppers, tomatoes, oregano, thyme, pepper flakes, and a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken, adjusting seasoning as needed. Peel zucchini into ¼ inch wide strips and lay flat on a towel, once you have about 30 strips you will sprinkle them with salt. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, shredded cheese, and ½ cup of pesto.
To assemble spoon ¾ of tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. Take two zucchini strips and lay them side by side. Spoon about 1 Tbsp of filling onto the center and roll into a coil placing seam down in the dish. Repeat with the remaining zucchini. Spoon remaining tomato sauce over zucchini and drizzle ¼ cup pesto evenly over the top. Finally, top with mozzarella and transfer to the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese browns on top. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.
Need A Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!