A Gentle Digital Detox (Simplify Your Media Life with a Month Long Challenge) | Kathleen Moss | Skillshare

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A Gentle Digital Detox (Simplify Your Media Life with a Month Long Challenge)

teacher avatar Kathleen Moss, Teaching Self Care and Minimalism

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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. How the Challenge Works

    • 2. Each Monday's Challenge

    • 3. Each Tuesday's Challenge

    • 4. Each Wednesday's Challenge

    • 5. Each Thursday's Challenge

    • 6. Each Friday's Challenge

    • 7. In Closing

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About This Class

Have you ever wanted to try a digital fast or detox and felt like it would be too demanding? This is really just a partial detox that allows for you to take the withdrawal from apps and screens as far as you are comfortable doing at this stage in your life. Try it out, and take it at your own pace. We all have different needs in this area, so feel free to make this digital detox your own. You can always come back to it later and challenge yourself more deeply. The template used in this course is meant to be used for a  month, and it is designed to go a little deeper in one of five areas each weekday of the month. Use the printable guides provided to follow along with video tutorials as you go, and share your progress in the project section along the way!

Meet Your Teacher

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Kathleen Moss

Teaching Self Care and Minimalism


Hello, I'm Kathleen. I am a YouTuber who puts out weekly wellness retreat themed videos on self care, mindfulness and simplicity. I'm starting to post courses here on Skillshare to go into more detail on the videos that I find viewers are more interested in going deeper into.

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1. How the Challenge Works: Hey, my name is Kathleen Moss and I'm a certified spiritual director and a board certified holistic nutritionist. I have a YouTube channel called Seeking Deeper Health. And for the last month I've been doing topics on simplicity as an effort to help my viewers really relax into self-care and awareness and intentionality around the lifestyle choices that we make every day. As part of that series, I did a little talk on digital minimalism and digital detoxing. And I found that it really didn't get the kind of time that I needed to spend. And so I thought I'd do a course. And so I'm doing a course here with you on Skillshare. So this course is a month-long digital detox challenge, and it has the ability to take every weekday of your month a little bit deeper in terms of making little changes and becoming less dependent on media, both digital media and news media. If you've already made some progress and done some digital detoxing, you might not need a whole month. But the likelihood is if you haven't done any changes in this area, you will really benefit from a full month. And we'll have a theme of the day on Monday through Friday. And you'll go a little bit deeper each week as you hit that day and the theme of that day. So for example, Monday we're gonna talk about turning off app features. And each Monday we'll come back around to that and think about going a little deeper, making another change in that area. So I have some visual aids and guides if you'd like to follow along on paper. And I encourage you to do so. Down in the resources section, you can get my PDF that shows a month-long calendar and it gives just a little space to write in what the changes were that you made that day. So I encourage you to do this because it will not only help you with your accountability and sending in your progress to me periodically, on a weekly basis as what I encourage folks to do. You can certainly do it at the end of the month too-- but it will also help your classmates who are looking in that project section and looking for ideas and creative ways to make these changes. There are unique ways to take these steps and you'll have ideas that I don't mention. And your classmates will really benefit from seeing your ideas. So I encourage you to write down the changes that you've made on a given day and share it with us at any point. I want to let you know that there is no pressure to make any of these little changes permanent in your life. I'm not asking you to give these things up forever. It's just for the month. It's just to try it out and see how it feels. If at the end of the month you really like some of the changes that you've made I would encourage you to keep them permanently. If at the end of the month you don't enjoy any of the changes that you've made. I would say, adapt back to your normal routines and habits. Don't feel badly about doing this. This is all about learning. You're learning about yourself and what you can take right now in terms of these changes. If you can't handle them, that's okay. Maybe next year you want to do the same thing, and maybe next year you will make some changes. That's great. You're just getting to know yourself. And that's the whole point of this. There's no competition. There's no reward at the end of the month for the person that made the deepest changes. That's definitely not how I roll. So I will see you on Monday and take care until then. 2. Each Monday's Challenge: It's Monday, and this will be the video that you watch every Monday of the month. So hopefully you'll come back to this video and make deeper changes each week. On Monday and Tuesday, we're really focusing on the idea of compulsive curiosity and destruction. So one of the really problematic things about social media and digital media in general is that it is so distracting. We can be really working deeply on a project. And then here a little notification and go off. And we will not be able to let go of the idea that it might be something really interesting or important. And so we lose our train of thought. We lose our progress on that deep work that we've been doing. And we go ahead and give into the temptation to look and see what that notification was all about. So Monday is all about those notifications and getting rid of them. The audible ones as well as the inaudible ones. So mostly notifications come through on our phones these days. You might get notifications on a tablet. You might also get notifications on your computer. Facebook is famous for flipping in the middle of computer work and letting you know that Uncle Charlie just had some chocolate cake. Which is really irrelevant to what you're doing and unnecessary to know in the middle of your work day. So you probably already turned off your Facebook notifications on your computer. But if you haven't, I have some hints about how to do that below in the resources section. And I'll update that as it changes over time. But your challenge for each Monday of this month is to turn off notifications, turn off those alive notifications that are represented by the little red bubble on your phone. I'll show you on my phone, you'll see down in the bottom I have a text message or two that have come through in that little red bubble is telling me the number is growing. You'll see also that I have Gmail set up on my phone and Gmail is in the thousands because I actually don't use that Gmail account anymore. So no matter how that number grows, it really doesn't bother me that much. And then the App Store is telling me that I have a certain number of updates. That's fine. You can leave notifications on for apps that you don't really care about, especially if they're not audibly on. I have my phone on silent almost all the time. So even if they are audibly on, I'm not going to hear it because my phone is on silent. So every one of us has a little bit, a little bit different dynamic and system when it comes to our notifications and our apps, the most important thing is that you know, the things that distract you, the things that are most distracting to you and annoying to you, and really disappoint you when you give into the temptation to look at them. Those are the ones that you want to work on, on Mondays. Feel free if you have eight or 10 of these to work on, to do two at a time each Monday. But if you only have three or four to Oregon, then just do one each Monday and take it incrementally. There's no need to make drastic steps and drastic measures. The important thing is that we're cutting down on that compulsive curiosity, the temptation to find out what other people are doing in the middle of our workday, the middle of our rest, or in the middle of the creative project that we really care about. We really don't want to get distracted by these things and that's why you're here taking this course, right? So I challenge you to turn off live notifications on one or two things this Monday. And come back to this video each Monday to turn off another one or two notifications. The live notifications are the most important thing. So if you don't ever do anything else in this challenge, this will be a huge, huge benefit to you. Try it out for a month, see how you like it. If you don't like it, put him back on. It's that easy. No guilt either way. I'll see you on Tuesday for another compulsive curiosity challenge. See you then. 3. Each Tuesday's Challenge: Hey, it's Tuesday and I'm here for your second compulsive curiosity challenge of the week. Every week on Tuesday we're going to be focusing on airplane mode. So this is just another way to get those distractions down. And this one is going to be a little bit more customizable. So, you know how addictive you are to your phone and your notifications. You know how important it is to hear from your baby sitter if your child is sick. So based on the urgency and the needs of the day, based on your ability to have a backup phone lines somewhere in your background situation. I'm going to challenge you to do at least 10 minutes each Tuesday of airplane mode. So that is so, so, so minimal, It's almost so minimal that you'll probably not notice that Timmons have gone by and maybe you'll do 30 minutes by accident, and that's good. So I would say that for those of us who don't have young children who are sick today, maybe you could afford to do 20 or 30 minutes per Tuesday, but I'm going to leave it up to you. So for the sake of doing some of that deep work that we're looking forward to really getting into and not being distracted from whether it's creative work, whether it's work, you're getting paid for your job, or if it's just rest work, if it's just self-care, being in the bath to doing some yoga, having your workout routine on interrupted, whatever it is you deserve for it to be uninterrupted for 30 minutes. So decide on the increment whether it's ten minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes per Tuesday, and every Tuesday. As you come back to this video, remember how important it is to repeat and increase that habit for the week. And this is just once a week. You could do it so much more on the weekends potentially. But I'm encouraging you to do it on a work day just because I know it will be difficult on a workday and I want you to see the rewards. You'll notice the rewards so much more on the days that you're not used to having that kind of unplugged feeling and being out of touch with all the people that text you and message you every day. So let me know how it goes down below and the projects section. Say if you're struggling and that's okay because this is a tough one. If you haven't been a video producer like me, then you may not have ever turned your phone on airplane mode on a regular basis. So this is just an option. You might really hate it. It might give you way more anxiety. If that's the case, then you don't need to adapt it as a permanent habit. But I would love to hear how it goes for you and see what you get done during this time of uninterrupted silence. And I really, really wish the best for you during this challenge. So I will see you on Wednesday for a new kind of challenged, one that you might not expect. See you then. 4. Each Wednesday's Challenge: Welcome back to the digital detox challenge. Today is Wednesday, and there's a reason I'm wearing this t-shirt. Today's challenge is all about going back in time and taking a little break from the technology that we love and depend on. Now, I really love e-mail. I love that I can send an attachment to anyone anywhere about anything. I can create a document and send it off and it flies off to them across the world and they have it instantly. It's really handy. It's a great tool. But we sometimes use email for conversations to, and I find that I really like writing better than I like talking. And that's okay. But what I've been trying to challenge myself to do recently is to do more writing with my hand, with a pen and less typing with my fingertips. And that's just because I really want to not lose touch with the personal aspect of writing for communication. I want to go back in time and go back to the handwritten note and litter. And I want to do this for my own sake to because I love receiving letters, I love receiving notes, and I don't receive them as much as they used to. So I want to challenge you this week on Wednesday and next week on Wednesday to try out the art of the handwritten note or letter instead of an e-mail or a text. This is gonna take some creativity. It's going to take having it in the back of your mind. So you might want to take your ring off and put it on a different finger for awhile. I have my stepson living with me now and I'm often tempted to e-mail or text him about things when I could just straight and my cute little note and a Smiley face that would warm his heart a little bit more. So think about just the people you're closest to. And next time you're tempted to text or email them about something that does not require an attachment, make it a note instead. And I know some of us are environmentalists and I, and I am too. But I think that the heart that is gained, that the heartfelt warmth that is gained in paper and pen communication is definitely worth the trade off of a little bit of paper going into the waste stream. So I want to challenge you to do at least one note or letter. Everyone stay this month. And I really want to hear from you hog, oh, this is the most exciting thing to get feedback about. So let me know how it goes, who you write to and whether they respond in the same fashion or whether they take the easy way out, send an e-mail like a response. So good luck to you. Good luck finding those pens that are sitting in the drawers. Kind of yearning for your love and attention. Good luck finding the beautiful paper that you use to turn to at times like this. So when you wanted to write a note or a letter, if you need to purchase some paper, maybe I'll put some notes in the resources below about some of my favorite paper companies that are locally made and resourced. And let me know how it goes. And I will see you on Thursday. 5. Each Thursday's Challenge: Welcome back. It's Thursday and today we're gonna be talking about the idea of screen time. And I'm going to be limiting it just for convenience sake to your smart phone. So those of you who have smartphones, we're going to talk about your screen time and a way to be a little bit more aware and deliberate about the way that you spend your screen time. So if you go to settings and you kinda scroll down a little bit, you'll see a little on the iPhone at least it's a kind of a purple hour glass icon that's representing the idea of screen time. And if you go over to your screen time, you'll see that you have kind of a running count every week of screen time. And if you go down and check on C all activity, you can see what your averages. So my daily average is between 12 hours. It looks like it's about an hour and a half per day average. And that's over a long period of time, kind of averaged out. And this week, it looks like my average has gone down a little bit from last week. It's got 40 percent less than last week for whatever reason. So so far this week I'm doing really well, but I want you to look up your average because your average is going to be the basis on which you set your goal for your Thursday work and this challenge. So you're going to have a goal of reducing your screen time by ten to 20 percent every Thursday on a weekly basis. So this is a daily average, but you're going to look at it on a weekly basis. You can look at it every day, but you want to kind of see how you did every Thursday. So go back next Thursday and see what your daily average is running and how much he reduced it from last week. If you're really intentional, you can easily go down 25 or 30 percent. Like I said, I'm already down just naturally, I'm down 40 percent from last week, this week just by chance. So you can make a lot of difference if you're trying to cut your screen time. And again, this is something that for some people will give you anxiety at the offset. Because if you're a performer and you want to achieve a goal and you're not sure that you are going to be able to, this could give you that kind of anxiety. So again, this might not be something you want to do on a regular basis. You might want to feel what it feels like to cut your screen time, but then stop monitoring it because the monitoring is what gives us anxiety. So this is a week to experience some anxiety over that perhaps, and learn something about yourself and then on into the future. You can use the lesson that you learned about yourself and see what worked for you to cut the screen time and then give up the monitoring of it so that you can let go of some of the anxiety and the performance. So I would like to challenge you to at least cut your screen time from this Thursday to next Thursday by 10 percent and then add another five or 10 percent on top of that as a cumulative goal for the following Thursday. So come back on Thursday. So this video and remind yourself of how this works. You're going to look and get your baseline, write it down on your chart. And then next Thursday you're going to see how you did how many percentage points you cut your screen time, your daily screen time average US down over the week. And then the following thirsty, you're going to want to come back and look again and see did you further cut it down? And what were the techniques that you use? What were the mental cues that you used to get yourself to put your phone down instead of picking it up. That's really the lesson that you want to hold onto write that down. That's even more important than the percentage points that you've gained or lost. So write down what works, share it with us because we want to know what worked for you. It might work for us to write. So share it down below in the project section of our little learning environment here. And I will see you on Friday. Tomorrow is the last day of this weekly challenge, and I will see you then. 6. Each Friday's Challenge: Hey, welcome back to the digital detox challenge, day 5, Friday, this is your final day of each week. We're going to switch things up and move from digital screens and lessening our screen time and notification time and screen communication tools to looking at another type of media. It's not really social media, it is news media. And this is something that probably depresses you instantly, just as I say it, the news has been such a source of conflict and just discouragement and rage sometimes for us in the last few years. And yet we seem to want to know what's going on in the world at the same time, we have the availability of a 24 hour news cycle. So we have news available to us anytime of day in a 100 different colors. You can look on the progressive end of the spectrum. You can look on the conservative end on this spectrum. You can look around personalities or you can look at networks. There are so many different ways to get your news. And we all have our little flavors that we prefer. Of course, some of us get it on podcasts, some of us read it on the screen or on paper. Some of us just watch good old TV like we used to. But most of us have some kind of reliance on news media in some little way or another. Maybe it's just on Facebook. Maybe we just subscribed to our local news channel or a national news channel of choice on social media and we get the headlines that way. I would love to challenge you to take a little bit of a fast from your news media consumption. This is something that's probably been the most important thing for me over the last few years in terms of just kind of winnowing down my dependence on media. And it's been so good for my mood and my ability to have a bright outlook in life over the last few years. In 2016, I took a whole year off of the news and I relied on my husband to let me know what was going on in the world. My mom will let me know a certain kind of area of the world and my husband will let me know a certain air, other kind of area of the world and somehow I get a good mix that way. And I survived. I did not die. I do not die of misinformation that year. I was just fine. And it was actually a real blessing to be away from the news for that year. But I've come back around and I started to consume news again, I like to do my news on a podcast, my podcast of choices and our long, and it comes out Monday through Friday. So I've got plenty of air time available to me. And what I've kind of settled on over the years is I like to listen to the headlines a couple days a week. And one day a week, I will let myself listened to that full hour. If it's an interesting hour, if the things that they're talking about for that, our sound interesting and there are things that I really care about that are going on in the world. So that's kinda where I've landed myself. But what I would like you to be able to do is to kinda withdraw from that addiction of news media and then come back to it. So I feel like the best way to figure out what's best for you is to get away from it for awhile and then come back to it in the amount that you desire to come back to it. So with your own choice, involved with your own kind of premeditated decision and not under compulsion. So fasting from news media. This is a wide-open box. It really depends on you. How many hours of the news do you consume every week? Kind of take your temperature this next week and see, notice how many times you want to go toward news media. Then maybe next Friday you can just do a total news fast. And then when you come back the third Friday, after two weeks of experimenting with this, think about what's reasonable and what you'd like to come back to. So on your third Friday, after doing a full week of news fasting, relying on other people to let you know the really important things that are going on. And this is assuming we don't have anything like absolutely catastrophic in your neighborhood. But if you're gonna do it for a fully come back that third week, that third Friday and say to yourself, how much do I really need? And try a week with the minimal amount that you think you could handle that you can live with. And then finally, on the fourth week, you can decide what to go back to permanently. So this is something that's way more messy, way more individual, way more dependent on who you are and how much news you bring in in the first place. Maybe you're someone that just doesn't like the news in the first place. So fasting from the news is not going to be a big deal for you. But if you're someone who is dependent on the news and really likes your news personality of choice. See if you can just live without them and what that week feels like without that personality and your life, without those voices in your ear and kinda rolling around your mind all day really as what we do. We just have to carry around the cares of the world. You know, a 100 years ago, we didn't even know what was going on on the other side of the world, we have the ability to know everything, every crisis, every war, every famine, every natural disaster. And those things weigh heavily on us, especially when we're a sensitive person. So think about your news culture. Think about your news media consumption this week. Just observe for a week to see what it looks like. Take notes. Say to yourself, is this really the kind of news I want to see or can I just take this off of my menu of news items? Think about it for a week, then make those changes next week when you come back, come back to this video, review these options. Look at what you're doing. Look at what you've learned. Take notes. Do a little diary, maybe just write the diary down and the project section of our classroom here below. Share it with us so that we can learn what you're doing and maybe being encouraged and inspired to make some changes on our own two. And this is the final day of the whole digital detox challenge. I'm going to have one more video for you, just kind of as an exit and a farewell. So stay tuned for that. And I'll see you there. 7. In Closing: Congratulations, you made it through this amazing experience of digital detoxing. How do you feel? Do you feel changed? It's great if you feel like this has been a really transformative experience. If you feel really stressed out and like you've had the lifeblood taken out of you. That's okay too. Maybe it hasn't been a good time for you to detox from the things that you've been reliant on and you have my full permission to go back to all of those things that you've taken away. Now, after this challenge has finished, like I said, there's no competition we're all different, we're ready for different things. We've all had different things that we've already tried to take out in the past perhaps. So everyone's in a different place in their life. Everyone has different needs, be it business needs, or the needs to be in touch with certain people that need to be emailing constantly, possibly because that's just a part of your job. And that's okay. We're all different. But at the end, I just want you to be able to stand back and review and see how you did give yourself a pat on the back. It's been hard work for everyone, I think. And if you've seen the areas where you will be able to have more life and more joy and more rest because of these practices. Those are the ones that I really want you to implement long-term. If you need some accountability about that, definitely keep in touch with us down in the project section below. Let us know how you're doing long-term, come back and say, "Now I'm struggling now this is something that came up for me and I didn't expect it." Also, I really want you to come back and do this challenge AGAIN, because I have found that that is what makes the most difference to me is not just contemplating the changes and trying them out for a little while, but just like with a physical detox, when I do juice detox every few months, it really changes over time when you add that cumulative effect. So you've had a chance to consider this time around what it would feel like and what it would look like to give out these parts of your life. And maybe you're not willing to give them up yet. That's totally okay. But don't let that stop you from doing this same process again, because chances are this time next year, you will come back and you will have a fresh perspective. Maybe you'll have a different job and that changes your perspective. Maybe your family dynamic will be different and that changes your perspective. Whatever it is, you may have a real life shift and have the ability and the ownership to be able to make some of these deeper changes. So I really encourage you to revisit this challenge and come back to it often, as often as you need to. I'll be here for you. So remember to check out my videos on simplicity. They're at YouTube under the channel Seeking Deeper Health. And my contact information is below if you'd like to reach out to me. And I just hope the best for you over this next year. I hope that this detox challenge has made life a little bit more roomy, a little bit more warm, and a little bit more restful for you. Hope to see your here again. Bye Bye.