Thoughts on daring to unplug during weekends to be more artsy

Andrea and Zim-Zim painting

“Hi, I’m Andrea, and I’m a cyberwebs junkie.”

“Hiii Andreeeaaaa”

Yes, I’m a hopeless case. I check my phone every other minute, not even exaggerating when I say that. It’s like a tic. My need to constantly get my fix of updates, likes, and attention has become this unhealthy habit as the year’s gone by. I’d had enough. It’s too much for my poor absent minded little head. My life is too short for that.

Allthough it’s still boosting, one just can’t deny how insanely draining it is the same time.

Trying to unplug during the weekend

I tried something very difficult last weekend. I saw one of Louise’s post on insta, where she mentioned that she went offline for the entire weekend. #Unpluggedweekend to be exact. Höli Cräp, that sounded scary as hell at first. Then inspiring. Then exciting! And very well needed if you’re a highly sensitive person who gets overwhelmed by todays constant noise. Check one of her blog posts too on the subject, will ya. Her posts awesome AND she’s one of those rare Swedes who blogs in English too. Yaaaas!

I wanted to give it a try too.

Allright said and done. I put my phone away, closed all my browsers on my laptop and forced myself not to touch it unless I really, really, needed to.

Well, I didn’t go full hermit though, since I streamed movies, used my e-mail to upload my photos etc.

BUT! But but but.

I managed to stay away from social media, blogs, and all those other major distractions online. HA!

unplug painting

And It. Felt. So. Good.

So worth it. I could actually do things I love, and needs full focus. Like painting! Last saturday  I actually painted for more than 5 hours straight. Until the sun went down. It felt amazing.

Instead of scrolling my life away, I actually felt like what I was doing is meaningful. Felt so calm and collected. Just the way I used to feel in my teens, before all social media boomed for real and sucked us into this big black slimy hole of distraction.

I found my old watercolor set and brushes that I used when I was 15-18. That feeling, you guys! It was like seeing an old friend. Except I won’t lock old friends into closets, I swear…

As huge horse lover back then, you can pretty much guess what my favorite subject was. So what’s a better way to celebrate this reunion than painting another horsie!

Fjording and foxie by Andrea Femerstrand aka Noukah

It went better than expected, despite my rustiness. I actually finished something. I just wanna practice more now, experiment and discover.

I’m very tempted to turn these offline weekends into a new habit

Looking forward to next weekend already. I’ll add it to my weekly planning, so I can prepare things better. The goal would be to stay away from the internetz completely during these days. Another step towards my minimalistic lifestyle.

Painty painty

Needy, clingy monkey-Zimba will have to stay though. I can’t really lock him out, or he will get devastated… He’s such a toddler sometimes. Plus, he can open doors, so I got no choice but to accept him forcing his cuddling needs on me. I highly doubt that this critter is a cat at all…

Beside painting, I finally took the time to back up and sort all my files, fold the laundry, and take photos for future blog posts. Three times as productive as usual! I even relaxed for a couple of hours, managing to watch an entire movie without fiddling with my phone.

If you too feel overwhelmed, easily distracted and stressed out by all the online noise, I highly recommend you to try this out. It really helps, and you realize that all those things you felt the urge to click, read or search for, isn’t really that urgent and important as you thought. We only live once, right?

Fjord sketch

Have you tried to unplug for a period of time?

 

8 Comments

  1. MarschelArts 22 November, 2016 at 09:17

    It is a funny coincidence, but just this morning on my way to work I had a discussion about that with myself ( i walk the last 30 minutes of my commute through a park, where I tend to reflect on myself ). My Problem is not the phone, I have no problem ignoring that thing for days, it is just the browser. I realised that my concentration span heavily decreased and as soon as I am at the computer, I have to check my mails, twitter etc pp… almost every few minutes. I get my work done but not much else. And at home it is even worse. Like yours, my mind wanders and jumps to everything distracting like a playing kitten.
    It is a bad, bad habit I nurtured myself and, like yours it has to go the way of the dodo. It sounds awful but it is motivating to see someone go through the same and share the experience! SO thank you very much for that :). I will try it myself and unplug from the web during the weekend, only checking business-e-mails and nothing else. Need to get a grip on that!

    Reply
    1. Andrea 2 December, 2016 at 17:16

      Oh wow really? Haha!

      Lol, your mind acting like a playing kitten, I can totally relate :D Glad my experience and struggles can inspire haha, thinking about talking a bit more about this.
      Did you manage to unplug?? I’m doing my third Unplugging Weekend in a row now, it’s been a game changer so far. I feel so much happier, energized and collected.

      Reply
  2. Andreas 22 November, 2016 at 14:38

    Good for you! I completely understand you, as I’m very easily stressed after my burnout some years back, with daily headaches caused by stress, work, commuting, computers… And grumpiness, as I know I’m spending far too much time on the internet instead of drawing, reading and plainly living.

    Here is a very thought-provoking article I read yesterday and really enjoyed, which you might appreciate: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/jobs/quit-social-media-your-career-may-depend-on-it.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0 “[Social media] diverts your time and attention away from producing work that matters and toward convincing the world that you matter.”

    Reply
    1. Andrea 2 December, 2016 at 17:12

      Sorry to hear about your burnout! I hope that you can maintain things better now, we gotta be nice to ourselves :)

      That article really hit home, especially that quote you referred to. Oh my god. So true. Been digesting and processing this ever since. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  3. Louise Stigell 23 November, 2016 at 10:22

    “Scrolling my life away”. Such an accurate description. =)
    Thank you for this inspiring post, and for the link love. <3

    Reply
    1. Andrea 2 December, 2016 at 17:09

      Of course! Right back at ya, keep up the awesome posts :D

      Reply
  4. Miguel Angelo 28 November, 2016 at 08:33

    Andrea, can i recommend you something?

    Watch Netflix’s Black Mirror series, especially the 1st episode of the Season 03 of it (don’t worry, each episode is a anthology so you won’t miss anything – most of the series are really good though)

    I think you going to identify with the main character (somewhat).

    Anyway, before i go, i like to say this: You shouldn’t care that much for “likes” for validation, you and your art are far above this nonsense.

    Take care and i hope your weekends can bring you much joy, so you can keep making this awesome art of yours.

    Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Andrea 2 December, 2016 at 17:08

      I’ve watched all seasons of Black Mirror, and I love it! It’s very scary at the same time, and I like that every episode opens up for discussion. Whether things are ethically right or wrong. That first episode on the latest season really got to me, along with your link about social media. Damn it was so spot on. It’s pretty obvious for me that I’m totally sucked in and have developed an addiction. Tomorrow will be my third time in a row of “Unplugged Weekend” and I’ll definitely continue doing it from now on. You realize how much you change when you manage to switch that constant online buzz off.

      I agree with what you say! It’s so hard not to care about others validation, but that quote you referred to really hit home. Been discussiong this a lot with friends lately. So thanks!

      Cheers! :)

      Reply

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