5 Aug 2018 25 comments

How I Really Switch Off From My Online Life.

How I really switch off…

A question I seem to get asked a lot is how I cope with spending so much time on social media. I see where they’re coming from, the internet can be a toxic place at the best of times, never mind when it’s your job to be online day after day. But somehow, I prevail (mostly).

I’ve grown up on the internet and so I feel almost… wise to it now. I don’t let myself feel guilty when I take a weekend off (who even notices anyway?) and I have never gone down the self-comparison route. I don’t believe anyone has it all, no matter what their Instagram feed suggests.

Saying that, I still need time away from it. Working from home and for myself means there’s no end to my day; even if I do consider my to-do list ticked off (this has never happened), there’s always comments and emails I could reply to. This is further muddled by the fact that I love reading through the messages I get, so is it really work if I enjoy it this much?
Whatever the outcome, I need time away from screens, and I need a schedule that allows me to take time away from my online life and to be present in the real world more often in order to feel sane!

No-Phone Hobbies

I think summer in general brings about a lot more opportunities to be off your phone, and I’ve definitely been embracing a technology-free life without even thinking about it.
Making evening and weekend plans helps me to stay offline, so I try to organise to meet with friends who live nearby to go for brunch or coffee or a walk around the park quite regularly. Even a short walk on my own to break up the day really helps to revive me, so I go back to my desk with fresh eyes and a bit more motivation (and probably 10 more emails to reply to…)

I also like to set my phone to ‘do not disturb’ throughout the day if I feel like my notifications are distracting me. It means my phone doesn’t keep flashing up when I’m reading or with friends, and it also allows me to do work uninterrupted so I’m not spending unnecessary time at my computer to compensate.

A Girl Gang That Gets Me

I am forever thankful for having a group of close friends (and an extended circle of good people) to help me navigate life in general, not just the trials and tribulations of Janet on Instagram calling me fat.
My friends have never seemed overly interested in what I do (obviously I know they care, but we don’t often chat about our jobs in general) and I think that keeps me grounded. I talk to them every day and I get FOMO (fear of missing out, FYI) when I see them hanging out together when I’m away on my fancy blogger trips. It feels good to know I have a life waiting for me back at home, in some weird way. I have people who hold me dear no matter what my Instagram follower count.

Making Time For Mindful Downtime

In all honesty, I’m still making sense of mindfulness. Do you have to actively take part in being mindful or is existing enough??? Unclear tbh.
Anyway, I’ve definitely been trying to be present and aware as much as possible. Sometimes if I’m too busy, especially when I’m rushing around running errands and hurriedly replying to messages on my phone at the same time, I get this peculiar feeling like I’m not really here… almost like an out of body experience.

Activities like sitting in bed in the evening and carrying out a bit of beauty prep while Jordan talks to the cats next to me, or spending time in the bath without my phone (shock, horror) and losing entire weekends to a good book all make me feel like I have more of a grasp on my life, but maybe even then it’s not enough. Maybe I need to focus more on being happy doing even less than that, I’m not entirely sure.
It’s all a journey, and any time I spend being present and listening and taking everything in is better than time spent scrolling mindlessly on my phone.

Taking Steps To Protect Myself

I am lucky enough to be reasonably thick-skinned (I grew up with three brothers, which is probably the most you can do to prepare yourself for a life on the internet), but more than that I take measures to protect myself. When hormones come in to play, the slightest hint of negativity can have an effect on me. During these times is when I tend to spend less time on the internet; I won’t be so diligent with my Instagram inbox, I’ll be good to myself and get more sleep. I think sometimes that’s all you can do. Some days it’s definitely more about just making it through the day!

I didn’t really have too much of a plan for this post, but the more I wrote down how I felt, the more I realised that this is a work in progress for me. I’m continuously trying to balance my work life and my downtime (along with socialising, sleep, life admin and all the rest), and that is okay.
It’s good to admit you don’t have it all figured out, but that a willingness to learn and some sort of plan for at least the immediate future is enough.

Do you guys have any tips for switching off? Please add yours below, I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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  • YZ Chan

    Great tips! It’s good to switch off and take a break once in a while. 🙂 I used to sleep with my phone on the bedside table, so I would check my phone first thing in the morning when I wake up. Now I put it away out of sight so I’m not tempted to keep checking it.


  • Lisa Autumn

    It’s so important to switch off! Love all your tips Kate!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • I think its so important to make time for some mindful downtime away from the internet. My favourite way is to spend time out and about with loved ones, not checking my phone every 5 minutes and just leaving it in my bag where I can forget about it!

    Lucy | Forever September

  • A little self love and care … disconnect to be reconnected is always a good start. Love ♥️it! 🌷👍🏼🌷

    🌸🍃ROSES FOR FRIDAYS 🌸🍃| by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

  • I love to switch off during the night time! Usually it’s when I get to read a good book and do some meditation. I usually just take the sound off from my phone and place it as far away as possible. That way I won’t be tempted to to get it.

    Wishing you all the best,

  • Юля Журавлева
  • Brit Matheson

    Switching off is so important, and sometimes it’s so hard to switch off. Love this list of ways to switch off!


  • Anni Moody

    I’ve just had a little boy… so connect online for actual adult sensibility to see what’s happening away from bath time & burping. However I always make sure I read my book at night & haven’t shared anything about him online to keep his awesomeness private. I also make sure cuddle time is his time, as that’s far more important 🐈

  • I love doing activities that don’t involve my phone. Nowadays everyone is on there phones. ☺️

    Arianna | Southernbf.blogspot.com

  • These are great tips. If I’m feeling down on myself, or if I catch myself obsessing over other people’s internet life, I switch off immediately. I am trying to start gardening or get in a tub and read as well.


  • These are such good tips. I need to get better at relaxing!


  • Thank you so much for sharing these great tips, Kate! 🙂 I’m balancing a full-time job and my blogging venture, so at times, I definitely feel overwhelmed to use every other waking moment when I’m not working at my day job to work on my online blog presence. Thanks for the reminder that we all need a little break/breather sometimes! <3

    XO, Elizabeth T.

  • Mindfulness is certainly something that I have taken to heart throughout the entirety of this year. After I took Psychology my first semester, I was keenly aware of all that I learned in that course, and one of my biggest takeaways was that I need to be more present, more aware of my existence (not to sound narcissistic), and therefore be more mindful about life and all it throws at us: not just the big milestone, red letter days, but every day — the daily grind. I can safely say that doing so has greatly improved my outlook and gratitude for life!! Absolutely loved this post x

  • Юля Журавлева
  • Flo la vita

    These were really helpful tips. I often feel so overwhelmed by Instagram and how fast-moving it is. I’ve never massively compared myself to others, gotten down about numbers or had some sort of negative experience through Instagram in a specific way but just looking at it a lot can really take its toll. Although I like to see what other people are up to and look at the gorgeous photos, I do also love some time away from it too xx


  • Crystal Parker

    This is speaking to me. I recently had an epiphany about why I never feel like my weekends are relaxing. It’s because I’m at my computer more than eight hours a day (I work from home), and then to unwind I’ll play a video game or chat with a friend on FB. But then on the weekends I was also sitting at my computer, catching up on social media and celebrity gossip. No wonder by the time Monday rolled around I was feeling deprived; I never leave this desk. So I decided I need to turn off on the weekends. Focus more on real world things or reading or taking my dogs to the dog park. So far it’s been really freeing and well worth missing out on emails or phone notifications.

  • Sarah Dawn

    I struggle with the same question — is it work if I actually enjoy it? But I make a point to take ‘me time’, whatever form that takes for me in the moment. Sometimes, it’s a video game. Other times, it’s a good book and a cup of tea, or a swim in the local pool, or even just playing with the cat!

    I wonder the same thing about mindfulness too — but the attempt to be more ‘present’ in the moment, well, it’s a work in progress, but it’s something to progress towards, I hope! I’ve actually started meditation as a way to help with being present and mindful, and it’s definitely forcing me to slow down and actually think about my day, rather then simply running from task to task with whatever demands my attention, so I figure that’s a win!


  • 这里真心不错,每次来都有新收获!

  • anni

    what kind of cameras do you use for video / still photography? i would love a youtube video about it!

  • Aline Cristina

    I’m not a connected person, I’m that person who always miss a call, or read a text message too late, and I still have the feelling of being too much time online. I feel like when I’m online, I’m missing out my life and the things that are happening around me.
    I loved your tips because helps me to find my way to live better and love myself better too.

  • From time to time people would need to do this. Being online for a long period is a little exhausting. I’ve picked up something new from this.

    StyleSprinter Blog by Katya Bychkova

  • Natalie Redman

    Great tips! You’re right that we’ve grown up on the internet and therefore it’s a part of us which is difficult to sometimes cut off completely from.


  • I enjoy posts like these so much. It can double as ways to destress. I always try to remind myself to be on my phone, and all electronics, way less. I thought it was going to be hard at first but it was surprisingly easy.


  • Alexandra Sasha Zvereva

    Hi Kate, I wanted to buy the tray, but when i click on the link, the page is blank 🙁

  • Alexandra Sasha Zvereva

    its the wooden tray that does not load