When I began the Unplug Initiative, it was with no rigid goals or quotas in mind. I didn’t have an agenda, but I knew I didn’t want to waste my life on Tumblr for 5 straight hours, either.
Then recovery got legit. 12-step program, therapy, intense breakup. Massive crying sessions, severe emotional pain.
Suddenly, I was wrought with all sorts of emotions, old and new, with coping mechanisms that didn’t suit me anymore. I entered a whole new phase of my journey that I call, “Oh, shit”.
The Unplug Initiative, both as a “movement” and a blog (this very blog), got moved to the backburner. I needed to focus on taking care of myself. My self-improvement project could wait.
As much as I am wont to be a perfectionist–following a numbered list of steps, executing them as quickly and as efficiently as possible–I knew that I had to lay off of it for awhile. I couldn’t keep chasing the new, bold, and adventurous when I was worried about just doing normal tasks, like brushing my teeth, or leaving the house, with any sort of energy.
So I gave myself permission to relax.
With that, I relaxed the Unplug Initiative as a whole. In addition to other aspects of my therapy, it was equally important for me to have safe distractions and enough downtime to facilitate my recovery. This ultimately meant returning to the world of mindlessly scrolling through blogs and newsfeeds and watching The Office all evening.
I realized that I needed those distractions, those stress-free moments to myself to decompress and build myself back up. This special type of seemingly self-indulgent self-care is actually part of my self-improvement. I can’t improve on myself if myself isn’t being taken care of. And damnit, if late-night Tumblr posts are how I take care of myself, then so be it.
As much as the downtime has helped me recollect myself, I’ve reached a point where I am itching to take action.
Consider the Unplug Initiative revived. I’m ready to learn new things, go on adventures, be spontaneous, and live life. The time to be happy is now.
While lazy days will happen in my future (and will not be mutually exclusive with self-care days), I am ready to do. Maybe not everything, maybe not all at once. But the point is to do something.
I will create positive memories, strengthen friendships, learn new things, cross off items on my to-do list, better myself, build character, and recover my true self. But I can’t do that if I’m on social media and Netflix 90% of my free-time.
So I have re-challenged myself to the Unplug Initiative. Still no quotas or goals to meet. It’s my time, it’s my moment. I might as well spend part of it doing something beneficial for myself.