Author: Janis Theron It's 5 am, and your smartphone vibrates on the bedside table. The alarm is the latest Spotify playlist, and your TV automatically comes on in the kitchen. You grab your phone, switch on the Wi-Fi, and check the news, your messages, and your updates. You grab your iPod, head to the kitchen, and see the news screen panning over another climate crisis. Your laptop is charging on the counter, so you open it and check your emails, Facebook notifications, LinkedIn notifications, Instagram and Twitter – the world is buzzing, and you are the centre of it all. You read, comment, add, subtract, post, and forward. Your digital world is alive. Stop! What if suddenly there was no electricity for a week? What if suddenly there was a climate crisis (floods, droughts, fires, storms)? What if there was a war, and you were in the thick of the bombing? No more digital fun. It's time to test your resolve and see if you can cope with a digital cleanse.
Digital cleanse is the new buzzword as increasing numbers of addicted digital media users, including you and me, realise that their physical, mental and emotional well-being is negatively impacted.

Kandra Cherry notes the signs that you may need a digital cleanse:
  • You feel anxious or stressed out if you can't find your phone.
  • You feel forced to check your phone every few minutes.
  • You feel depressed, anxious, or angry after spending time on social media.
  • You are preoccupied with likes, comments, or reshare counts on your social posts.
  • You're afraid that you'll miss something if you don't keep checking your device (FOMO is the genuine Fear of Missing Out)
  • You often find yourself staying up late or getting up early to play on your phone.
  • You have trouble concentrating on one thing long enough without having to check your phone.

If you're doing any of these things, it may be time to take a step back and look inwards. What was lifelike before smartphones?

Well, the very reasons we should all have a digital detox are these:
  • All media disrupts our sleep, and sleep is the panacea of holistic health.
  • Obsession with media causes stress, anxiety, loneliness, and depression, of which teenagers are the primary victims.
  • Constant media use means the loss of a normal work-life balance and having fun in other, healthier ways.
Here's how to do a digital detox:
Plan the digital detox consciously:
  • Log out of all social networks and turn off all notifications
  • Hide smartphones, computers, tablets, TVs etc.
  • Set a date for the detox to start and end - a day, a week or a month?
  • Inspire yourself – write a list of things you can do instead (gardening, meditation, yoga, walks, seeing friends, creating something beautiful, taking a course)
  • Give early warning – tell people that you will not be responding for a while.

Making the most of your digital cleanse
  • Help a needy person/people – volunteer for a cause, help a neighbour or an animal.
  • Meditate and relax – sit in the garden or out in nature and meditate.
  • Learn something new – a course in something that interests you; read a new book or magazine; try a new meal; start a new gym regime or fitness class; try a new DIY or craft project.
  • Socialise with a loved one or someone you haven't seen for ages
  • Get outside! Alone in nature.
Digital media can be dangerous if we never take breaks. It affects mental health, causing stress and depression – which cause health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease and memory loss. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, "Cell phones emit low levels of non-ionising radiation when in use. The National Cancer Institute reported that "there is currently no consistent evidence that non-ionising radiation increases cancer risk in humans..."
Do a digital cleanse for YOU. For your health and your family too! Get interested in authentic living again.

Trailblazing Partners - Issue 6


Foreword - Issue 6


Issue 6 - Cover

Issue 6 - Cultivation