After more than a year of exclusively online events, we were so looking forward to organising the first in-person event since the pandemic. The idea was that language professionals in and around London would gather for an al-fresco meet-up experience in Regent’s Park, London on a beautiful summer day.
After months and months of cameras, microphones, chat boxes, screen sharing and links in the chatbox, August seemed like the perfect occasion for an e-break. Or at least it should have been. Sadly, the great British weather tricked us and our picnic had to be called off on the day.
The theme of the month was ‘Disconnect’. How apt!
We wanted to talk about how we disconnect from the world of technology and take a break.
Though the picnic was cancelled, we did gather some of the ideas language professionals sent us about their best practices when it comes to disconnecting: “switch-off” routines, dos and don’ts, special going-offline rituals. Here they are:
“I switch off by practising the Korean martial art of Taekwondo. Depending on how energetic I am feeling I may choose to focus on stretching, cardio, or techniques.”
“As for switching off, once every 6 weeks I carry out a 24 hour digital detox.
I switch off everything – computer, digital devices.
Each one can decide their own rules.
But generally, I used the time to declutter, read books or go for a long walk.
It gives a good “reset” and even a few days on you don’t feel the constant need to check social media.
Not owning a TV also helps too! “
“I do it at weekends. I really try to leave my smartphone as far as possible to avoid checking what is happening online constantly.
Being freelance is not always easy and I think we need some rules like “stop working when we are supposed to enjoy our free time instead.”
“I started taking a contrast shower from 1st January every morning. So a normal temperature shower and then a minute or so of cold shower. It’s very refreshing!”
“When I need to recharge my batteries I take a long walk in the mountains or along the seashore, just me and the music. There is nothing that works better for me than this to disconnect for a moment from my duties and worries and connect more with myself.”
“What do I do to recharge my batteries? Usually I go out for a walk in the mountains, especially on quiet and isolated paths. I love immersing myself in nature and contemplating the landscapes that surround me. But, when I’m too tired to go out or the weather is not the best, I simply take a nap. When I sleep I literally disconnect from everything and everyone and the outside world goes off.
Another thing I do – which is a little more extreme, yet needed sometimes – is delete some apps on my phone, especially social media. Everything that is not essential and may be a source of stress, concern or distraction is gone for a couple days. And I have to say it works! I’m not tempted to check my phone, I don’t care about what is going on in the online world and I manage to do everything without losing focus and in a more relaxed way.”
I disconnect and recharge with the help of an app – a bit of a paradox, I know. Headspace is the name of my secret weapon. It’s an app that helps making meditation accessible to anyone. I’ve been using it for over 3 years on a daily basis. My favourite bit is their sleepcast selection. It’s audio content designed specifically to create the right conditions for healthy, restful sleep. Each one transports you to a different sleepy environment, to add a little happily-ever-after to your bedtime routine. My favourite sleepcasts are Light’s Journey and Indigo Gallery. I know the beginning of them by heart and they are my favourite way to unwind and prepare for a restful night, every night.
Thank you very much for your contributions. It’s interesting to see how everyone has totally different ways of unplugging. Would you like to share what works for you? Do leave a comment below and let us know.
In a few months’ time, we’ll be back with another offline event that won’t be ruined by the London weather. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, have a look at Signal, the first 1-day online festival hosted by Language Professionals’ Networking Event. It will take place on the 24th of September and it will include networking opportunities, talks, brilliant speakers, hot topics, a panel discussion, and a surprise live show at the end. To discover more and get your ticket, click here.