Celebrate Digital Wellness Month in May!

DigitalWellnessMonth

Digital Wellness Month is a new initiative that was created in response to the time most of us are currently spending on technology to communicate in our lives, careers, and businesses during COVID-19 (known to some of us as the new normal, #QuarantineLife, lockdown, or my personal favorite – Q-Life).

The purpose of Digital Wellness Month is to encourage and help people to practice tech life balance with small steps.

During each week in May, tips and resources will be shared to help you create tech life balance in your life, career, and business on my blog and social media. Follow  Ananda Leeke on Facebook and LinkedIn. Check out @anandaleeke on Instagram and Twitter.

Go here to listen to the Thriving Mindfully Podcast to learn more about Digital Wellness Month and my digital wellness journey that included my struggles with spending way too much time online and burnout.

What Is Digital Wellness?

Digital Wellness is the use of technology in mindful, intentional, and healthy ways.

Go here to listen to Thriving Mindfully Podcast about digital wellness.

DigitalDevices (1)

Becoming Mindful About Your Tech Use

Get your favorite pen, journal, or a piece of paper. Take a few minutes to answer each of the questions below. They will help you become aware of how you currently use technology. Your responses will help you identify what needs to be included in your Digital Wellness Intention.

Questions 

  1. How much time do you currently spend online Monday through Friday and on the weekends?
  2. Do you take breaks from using technology?
  3. What stresses you out when you are online?
  4. Does your body experience tension, tightness, or discomfort while you are online?
  5. How do you take care of your body while you are online (the way you sit or stand, screens that protect your eyes, etc.)?
  6. Do you sleep with your digital devices on or near your bed?

DigitalDetox (3)

Being Intentional About Your Tech Use

Digital Wellness becomes a reality in your life, career, and business when you take time to slow down and to create a Digital Wellness Intention, a statement about the way you want to use technology. Use my Digital Wellness Intention as a sample (see below).

Sample Digital Wellness Intention

  • I am mindful and intentional about the ways I use technology. I honor my spirit, heart, mind, and body with mindful self-care practices including breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, and mindful movement while I am online and offline. I take breaks, use time boundaries. and unplug to manage my tech consumption. I place my digital devices in my living room or kitchen at the end of the day.  The end result is a healthier me.

Digital Wellness Plan

A digital wellness plan is a gift you give yourself to help manage your time online with mindful self-care practices. Mindful self-care practices encourage you to slow down, become aware of how you spend your time online, and identify and take small steps towards having a healthier digital life. Examples include breathing exercises, journaling, massage, meditation, physical movement (walking, running, yoga, and aerobic classes), rest (naps and a good night’s sleep), setting time boundaries, unplugging, and more.

Tech Life Balance Tips

  • Make Your Breath Your BFF: Before you get out of bed, incorporate breathing exercises into your morning routine by taking 7 deep breaths. Place your hand on your heart as you inhale and exhale through your nose. Do the same thing before you go to bed.
  • Mindful Moment: Take 1 deep breath before turning on your digital devices, answering your phone or responding to an email or text.
  • Mindful Movement Break: While you’re working during the day, step away from your digital devices and take a 3-5 minute break to breathe deeply move your body.

A Few More Things!

Remember to be patient with yourself as you make changes in your life, career, and business.

Take small steps. Make them baby steps.

Celebrate your victories no matter how small, medium or big they are.

Go here to get the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s resources on mindfulness, self-care, and wellness.

Enjoy your digital wellness journey!

Need More Support?

DigitalWellnessWebinar-Eventbrite

Join me on May 27th from 7-8:30 p.m. ET for the Digital Wellness 101 Webinar via Zoom. During the webinar, you will:

  • Learn about and understand wellness and digital wellness
  • Identify barriers to your tech life balance
  • Practice mindful self-care exercises (deep breathing, mindful moments, and eye, keyboard, and gentle office yoga while seated in a chair) to relieve stress
  • Receive tech life balance tips and resources
  • Set a digital wellness intention
  • Begin the process of creating a digital wellness plan that includes small action steps, accountability support, and self-celebration

Get your tickets here.

11 Ways to Use Mindfulness for Unplugging & Sleeping Well

 

One of the lessons I learned during National Day of Unplugging last weekend was about sleeping. I discovered a better way to enjoy sleeping by turning my smartphone off and allowing myself to wake up without the alarm on Saturday and Sunday. Read my opinion piece on unplugging that was published in the Afro-American Newspaper to learn more.

Landing-Page-Header-SAW-2018

On Sunday evening, I decided to use Sleep Awareness Week (March 11-17) to add several mindful sleep practices to my daily routine. Check out the practices I used below. Since today is the last day of Sleep Awareness Week, consider trying one or more of them.

  1. Place your smartphone and digital devices in your living room, kitchen, or home office. Mute the sound on your phone ringer and notifications. If you can, turn the phone off. Use an alarm clock. Muting the sound on my phone and placing it in my living room really helped.
  2. Give yourself a few hours off from using social media, email or texting in the evenings. Set a curfew. Try 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. I tried a curfew of 11:15 p.m. to 8 a.m. on several days.
  3. Express gratitude for people and experiences. This practice opens my heart.
  4. Say a forgiveness prayer for yourself and others before you go to sleep at night. My forgiveness prayers help me release anger, disappointment, grudges, judgments, thoughts, and stories I have made up about myself and others. They help me clear my mind and cleanse my spirit and heart.
  5. Drink your favorite decaf tea before bed. I love to sprinkle turmeric in hot water or use Trader Joe’s turmeric and ginger tea.
  6. Use your favorite sheets and blankets on your bed. I love my purple sheets and cream blanket.
  7. If you are NOT allergic to scents, smudge yourself and your bedroom or home with a smudge stick to remove any negative energy. I use my smudge stick in the morning and evening.
  8. If you are NOT allergic to scents, burn your favorite incense or candle in your bedroom or home an hour or two before you sleep. You can also use a room freshener with essential oils to spray your bedroom or home. I like to use Mrs. Meyer’s lavender room freshener.
  9. Take an evening shower or bath to relax yourself. Showers are my favorites.
  10. Meditate for a 1, 5, 15, 20 or 30 minutes before going to sleep. Meditation with breathing exercises is a great mindfulness practice that can help you slow down and become aware of your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. It can also help you go within and connect to your higher self. I like to practice a short meditation while laying in child’s pose, one of my favorite yoga poses, before going to sleep. Listen to my #ThrivingMindfully Podcast Series for a guided mindfulness meditation. Here’s a guided compassion meditation to open your heart. Check out my Mindful Living podcast playlist for more resources.
  11. Try gentle yoga. Like I mentioned above, child’s pose helps me relax before sleep. Go to YouTube and try my teacher Faith Hunter’s gentle yoga session. Also, do a search for gentle yoga or restorative yoga for beginners on YouTube. Check out Yoga In Bed: 20 Asanas to Do in Pajamas by Edward Vilga, one of my favorite yoga books. Learn more about my journey as a gentle yoga teacher (includes my yoga, reiki, and meditation services) and my yoga-inspired novel, Love’s Troubadours (available on Amazon). My novel tells the story of Karma Francois, a 30-something yoga teacher who is on a self-discovery journey that allows her to heal, forgive, and reinvent her life with art, meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, therapy, yoga, travel, and the support of family and friends.

If you are unable to try these tips today, I encourage you to use Sleep Awareness Week as inspiration for getting more rest in your life in 2018. Try one or more of the tips and let me know what happens in the comment section.

Happy Unplugging and Sleeping!

Photo Credit: National Sleep Foundation

 

Poetry Month Day #24: “Unplug”

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Happy Day #24 of National Poetry Month!

Today’s poem is entitled “Unplug.”

Unplug

Step back
Take a moment
5 minutes
30 minutes
1 hour
5 hours
A whole day
A weekend
A week
A month or more
To unplug from your digital devices
To unplug from your online life
Rest
Recharge
Do it on a regular basis

Copyright 2015 by Madelyn C. Leeke. All rights reserved.

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday – Do Know About Amy Jo Martin’s ReadySetPause.com?

Photo Credit: http://renegadeswritetherules.com
Photo Credit: http://renegadeswritetherules.com

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today, I’d like to share a discovery I made while reading Digital Royalty founder Amy Jo Martin‘s book, Renegades Write The Rules: How the Digital Royalty Use Social Media to Innovate in July.

Photo Credit: ReadySetPause.com
Photo Credit: ReadySetPause.com

It’s called Ready, Set, Pause, a social movement that encourages individuals to take an eight-minute ‘pause’ in their daily lives. Did you know that by taking a daily pause, you lower stress as well as increase productivity, creativity, and overall well-being?

unplug1The pause reminded me of my “Flowista” unplugging practices and Digital Sisterhood Unplugged Weekends. So I tried it and discovered it does in fact work. I have also recommended the practice to my coaching and yoga clients. Click here to watch Martin discuss the movement and mindful self-care practice.

Are you under a lot of stress each day while using your digital devices?

Are looking for a way to take better care of yourself?

If you answered YES, I encourage you to try the Ready, Set, Pause. To learn more about the practice and movement, follow @ReadySetPause on Twitter and use the #readysetpause hashtag to share your experiences with the RSP community on social media sites.

Happy Unplugging!

My Digital Diet for the Week of April 9

Writing a book is a magical and messy process for me. My blog gives me the space to share how the process impacts me. Last week I came to some conclusions about my time online. I realized I need to set deeper digital boundaries.

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley - http://www.leighmosley.com

Today I came up with a schedule I think I can live with for the next several months. Here’s my digital diet for the week of April 9.

  • Check my smart phone for email, texts, tweets, and Facebook posts in the evening.
  • Leave my smart phone at home during the work week unless I am meeting someone in person and/or travelling.
  • Post one blog per week on WordPress and Tumblr.
  • Use Pinterest two days a week (no more than 1 hour).
  • Tweet on Twitter on Digital Sisterhood Wednesdays (end tweeting by 9:00 pm).
  • Post on Facebook and Google+ two days a week (that includes Digital Sisterhood Wednesdays).
  • Use Flickr, YouTube, and Vimeo when I have photos and videos to upload.

What do you think about my digital diet?

Have you ever unplugged from your tech life, gone on a digital diet, or taken a digital sabbatical?

What did you learn from your experiences?

Any tips?

Good Friday Positive Inspiration for My Writer’s Soul from Kelly Rae Roberts & Brene Brown

Happy Friday!  Happy Good Friday! Happy Early Easter!

How is your day going?  I hope it is treating you well.  Mine started with a confession and a double dose of positive inspiration for my writer’s soul.

Here’s my confession: when I write books, especially memoirs, I have an opportunity to really explore some deep parts of myself.  Sometimes the writing journey can get emotionally draining, scary, and overwhelming.  When that happens, I look for positive inspiration. Today I reminded myself to slow down, breathe, and look for some positive inspiration.  Guess what? I found two great sources.

Photo Credit: KellyRoberts.com

Artist Kelly Rae Roberts’ April 5th blog post was the first source of inspiration.  Roberts’ post about the benefits and pitfalls of an online life reminded me I need to continue taking great care of myself by setting more boundaries on my online life.  In short, it’s time for me to revisit my online boundaries, establish a new schedule for going online, and have a more consistent practice of daily and weekly UNPLUGGING (my digital sister and friend Danica Kombol calls it a digital diet).

Photo Credit: Brene Brown photo from The University of Houston

My second source of positive inspiration came from a YouTube video featuring storyteller/researcher Brene Brown’s TEDx Houston Talk on the power of vulnerability. Click here to watch the video.  What a game changer!  It’s making me dig deeper into my Digital Sisterhood book writing journey. I’m so grateful for Brown’s talk, the power of connection, and the belief and acceptance that I am enough as a spiritual being having a human experience as a woman, friend, daughter, sister, author, artist, coach, yoga teacher, innerpreneur, speaker etc. etc.

So what positive inspiration have you discovered lately?

How do you keep yourself inspired?

Any plans to unplug, set boundaries on your digital life, go on a digital diet (check out Daniel Sielberg’s The Digital Diet — great tips), or take a digital sabbatical (similar to the one Gwen Bell talks about in her book Digital Warriorship – fantastic book I read in 2011 — had a chance to participate in Bell’s BlogHer 2011 workshop — awesome experience)?