Thoughts From My Annual Month of Unplugging

So I’m back after a month offline. It was spent with my loved ones, enjoying life and focusing on living – not documenting. This has been my best vacation so far, and a lot of it has to do with me unplugging from my digital self.

Let me explain.

I’ve chosen to work with something I love – storytelling. And because of the world we live in, most of my work is done digitally. Thus most of my days are spent in front of screens. Sharing, consuming and communicating. I love it. I LOVE it. But it’s hard to find the balance.

Often I caught myself spending more time with my phone than with the people around me, getting stuck in the endless scrolling of our feeds, or checking email for 2 hours. This is not healthy – and not the way I want to spend my time.

That’s why I’m focusing on finding balance in my life again, or… actually I don’t think I ever had balance… until maybe this last year. It’s been quite a ride. And I’ve never been more present, happy or felt more alive than I do these days.

So what was my focus during this annual month of unplugging?

  • Less time with screens. I used my “dumb phone” when I needed to communicate with my friends. I did not check email or social media. I only used my computer for writing.
  • Writing. I want to get better at writing. I wrote at least 500 words every day, both on my computer and on paper. I wrote in my journal and also finished the first draft of my next book, it’s about… unplugging and finding balance (It’s called LOGG AV (Log off) in Norwegian and I’m writing it with my friend Lars).
  • A no camera policy. I wanted to really take in all my experiences uninterrupted. So I chose not to take any pictures (I don’t really look at them that often anyways).
  • Read more. This month I read three books. THREE! That’s more than I usually read in a year.
  • Meditate and exercise. I’ve been meditating almost every day, and went for runs 3-4 times a week. All to keep my mind clear and my body healthy.
  • Live in the moment. The most important element of all the things I focused on was really being in the moment. One moment at a time. Really connecting with the people around me. Giving the moment all of my attention.

All these things made my summer perfect. I never felt so creative, so energized, so focused – and so happy.

You should give it a try.