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Switching off for 17 hours

February 25, 2019

Recently, things have been getting on top of me.

My day job has been full on and I’ve had more work coming in from my blog and Instagram than ever before (Which I’m obviously over the moon with!), but combine that with everything else that comes with life, I’ve been finding myself feeling a little more than overwhelmed.

Those of you who work full time know how hard it can be to fit everything else in as well in the few hours you get either side of work. Getting enough sleep, keeping your home clean, exercising, eating well, keeping up with social activities, replying to messages, and general life admin are just a few of the extra parts of life that take time. It seems impossible to fit them all into 24 hours a day.

At the moment I’m tired all the time.

My average day goes a little something like this:

Somewhere in between all that I’ll post to my Instagram feed as well as Twitter, I’ll be uploading to stories throughout the day as well as responding to notifications and messages.

Currently, my screen time is around one hour 30 per day and I’m picking my phone up on average around 65 times. If you’ve got an iPhone it’s well worth taking a look at this data, just search ‘Screen Time’ and you’ll see stats such as which apps you spend most time on, which you get most notifications from, and how much time you’re actually spending on your phone a day.

If I think about the amount of ‘free time’ I actually have based on the schedule above, it works out to be about two hours. Now minus the one hour 30 I’m spending on my phone and really, that’s just 30 minutes of free time.

Which is MAD.

Last weekend was a busy one. Corr, how ironic that I seem to be blabbing on about how busy I am when I literally have a post titled Being busy isn’t a competition. But I promise this is all good context! I was shooting for a brand collaboration and we spent some of the weekend in London at a family party which of course was lovely, but it meant the days slipped away quickly.

On Sunday morning I made a choice. I was going to do what I needed to do work-wise, set myself a deadline for when it needed to be done, and then switch everything off.

Completely off.

I responded to all notifications, emails, and messages and when 2pm hit I switched my phone and my laptop off and put them away.

So how did it affect me?

I felt lighter

This is a difficult feeling to explain, but it was similar to the feeling you get when you’ve been anxious about something for a while, it may have been building up and once you’ve done the thing and it’s out of the way, you feel a big relief.

Like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders! That was the instant feeling when I switched off.

I could concentrate more

When was the last time you watched a movie? Like actually watched one without doing something else half way through on your laptop or phone? I watched THREE movies in full on Sunday. Well, I may have fallen asleep during one but naps are totally acceptable on a Sunday right?

I was able to just fully concentrate on what I was watching rather than being distracted by notifications or taking a break to deal with messages.

I felt less stressed

No surprise really, but what struck me the most about this time period is how much my stress instantly lightened. Now I’m not the kind of person who gets stressed about being without my phone, and I wouldn’t say i’m glued to it, but the interesting thing about switching off completely was realising how my phone actually affects me even when I’m not on it.

How I described this feeling was like having to look at a constant to-do list. Even if you’re making a conscious effort not to spend as much time on your phone, if it’s on and near you you’re still able to look at it and therefore you’re constantly reminded of things you haven’t done.

Like Instagram comments you need to respond to, messages in a group chat, or work emails. When I switched off my phone I realised how nice it was not to be reminded of those things for a while.

I slept better

That Sunday night sleep was one of the best ever. An actual dream.

I made sure we had fresh sheets, candles lit before bed, I put relaxing night cream on and wore my favourite pjs. It was bliss. I don’t think I woke up once which is unusual for me at the moment.

I felt actually relaxed

Do you ever get the feeling at the end of a weekend that you need another weekend? It’s a regular occurrence for me unless I actually make an effort to schedule in some do nothing time.

Even though my weekend was jam packed, just having that time after 2pm on Sunday to do absolutely nothing made the world of difference. I woke up on the Monday feeling ready for the week, refreshed, replenished and like I could handle anything that came my way.

There was absolutely nothing about this experience that affected me negatively, yes I missed out on a few cute photos of my little cousin but they were still there for me to enjoy the next day.

Switching off for 17 hours pinterest

I would recommend anyone and everyone giving this a try if you can. Even if it’s just a couple of hours on a weekday evening I guarantee it will make the world of difference.

It’s time to switch off!


8 responses to “Switching off for 17 hours”

  1. Kayla Cooke says:

    I loved this post Esther + can relate SO much. I also work a hectic fulltime job + this weekend just gone was the first weekend all year that I didnt have plans (other than a 4hr hair appointment) + it was bloody wonderful! I try to keep my phone in my bag at work but am definitely going to give this a go at the weekend. Kayla xxx

    • estherruthwyse says:

      It’s so hard finding the balance isn’t it? I just don’t know how we’re supposed to fit everything in!! Glad you had the chance to relax – you deserve it! xxx

  2. Em says:

    This is a fantastic idea, and I think its really healthy to have time away from social media and screens in general.

    We have a rule in our little group that when we are socialising together, phones are banned, and anyone who keeps picking up their mobile gets it put in the safe! Its lovely, because we get to interact exclusively with each other, and the people who are actually around us.

    Even with that though, I do think I need to do as you did and switch off the phone for an evening, I dread to think what my screen time is!

    Em x

    • estherruthwyse says:

      That sounds like such a good idea! It can be so distracting when others are occupied with things on their phones and sometimes you end up feeling like you’re not actually seeing the person. Definitely give it a go lovely! Thanks for reading and the lovely comments xx

  3. OMG I feel like this at the moment too! I had a pretty quiet November – February on the blog and now it’s suddenly picked back up and gone crazy. We are getting so many hotel reviews through (definitely not complaining!) which is incredible but it means lots of going away which makes it even harder to fit in time to write around a full time job! Sometimes I literally just want to hide under my duvet!

    I get up early to blog in the morning too, my alarm tends to go off around 5:00 am – 5:30 am (depending on if I need to wash my hair) just so i can have an hour on the blog in the morning before I head off to work! No wonder I’m so tired all the time!

    I could definitely do with taking a day out to switch off … just need to decide when!

    • estherruthwyse says:

      That’s amazing! You are doing so well – I really do think you’re like superwoman! :’) Maybe you could just quit work and blog full time!? And that is an extremely early wake up time…I find 6am difficult! What time do you go to sleep in the evenings?! DO IT – Even if it’s way in advance, book it in! xx

  4. Ellen Miller says:

    This is such a relatable post and I’m absolutely going to try this! I went away for a couple of days with my boyfriend last week precisely because my constant to-do list felt too much and I needed a break – the plan was to switch off my phone but I wanted to take pictures and before I knew it I was checking messaging and scrolling! Next time I’ll try harder.

    Nell ||

    • estherruthwyse says:

      Honestly I know how hard it can be, especially finding the right time to do it. I found it was best when I had no plans at all so a Sunday was great xxx

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