So I landed in the hospital with 9 injections, 4 drips and a bed.
48 hours earlier, it was just a little cold, headache and fever; my body can fight this off as usual (I said to myself). When the warmth of a car without AC is not enough to stop your body from shivering due to cold and you need to use the car heater; that’s when you know you need urgent medical attention. But still, I didn’t go to the hospital; I went home, took a hot shower & went to bed (forming super woman & complicating the matter). The next day was really bad and I had to ask a friend to take me to the hospital.
The doctor ran some tests, results came out – no malaria, no typhoid, nothing and I was like ”huh”, so why all these symptoms? The doctor asked, ‘what exactly do you do’? I told him what I do and the nature of work (explaining that I sometimes don’t sleep at night/sleep late and wake up very early); basically my work and side hustle is on social media. He said, ‘you are going to run your body down if you continue going this way; there is no sickness in your body but you have drained yourself too much and not eating well so your body is revolting’. You are dehydrated because you don’t drink enough water and your mental health is not strong because you are overloading yourself with mental work without adequate rest. Ok…. I got what he meant but truth they say, is the most bitter pill to swallow so I said thank you and he left my room.
Fast forward, two of my bosses come to visit in the hospital and literally placed me on automatic social media detox – we don’t want to see any social media post from you on any platform for one week, no Instagram, Facebook or Twitter (I can’t even escape this one because we are all connected on social media so if I try anything, they will know). One of them (my office mummy) turned off my wifi, told the nurses not to allow me use my phone except to receive calls and if possible give her sleeping pills at night because she doesn’t know how to sleep. My laptop was in my friend’s house which she won’t release to me; I was stripped of my gadgets and that’s how my induced 7 days social media detox started.
We live in a digital world and an era of information overload – the ringing, the binging, the notifying, the swooping in and out of emails etc. These are enough stimuli to make your head spin even though social media can be incredible – the ease of knowledge sharing, the business & personal connections we maintain despite distance, the convenience cannot be overemphasized. But how do you find a balance between healthy, mindful living and this fast paced social media phenomenon?
I whined about the whole thing (stripping me of my gadgets) but I thought it was about time I took a break & #epp my situation; so this is what happened –
- No freelance writing for 7 days
- No post on LynnVille for 7 days, this is my first post since last week Friday
- No post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter for 7 days (I cheated small, liked some Instagram photos & left few comments. You’ll agree with me that some photos are just too cute & irresistible).
- BBM & Whatsapp messages were responded to at a very slow pace unlike before when I clear all notifications as they come in.
- Read a book – Instincts by TD Jakes (still reading though, started last year and hope to finish soon)
- Finally concluded the Blood & Oil series (please is Season 2 out?) and watched Season 3 of Jenifa’s Diary (laughter is medicinal)
- Above all… RESTED & SLEPT WELL especially at night. I’ve come to understand that there is a reason sleep was made for the night; if your body bypasses the natural law of sleep, it will pay for it somehow that you may not like e.g my story.
Did social media detox help? Oh yeahhhh… so the benefits of social media detox are –
- Mental sanity (literally clears your head)
- Reduced stress level
- More focus on other things I overlooked e.g reading a book
- Active brain cells/Increased creativity
- Appreciate the little things of life that we sometimes overlook
…and what did I loose?
Absolutely nothing, just 3 unfollowers on Instagram (pere/only). So my advice (especially for those who work late into the night) is, you don’t have to wait till you land in the hospital like me before you learn how to rest/balance work life. If you’re a social media freak, sometimes take a social media detox break to focus on other things, it is mentally therapeutic. The world will still continue if there’s no activity on your timeline but you’ve only got one life to live.
Cheers to a healthy work/social lifestyle.