IT IS REGULAR criticism of modern life that we are stuck on our phones for 16 hours of the day.
Addiction to electronic devices is such a problem that it has its own WebMd page.
Switching off can be a challenge, and this month Harvey’s Point hotel in Donegal is looking to address this by hosting a ‘Digital Detox’ weekend.
Over the course of the two days guests will surrender their devices at the door and take part in healthy eating and mindfulness activities.
The idea was thought up by owner Marc Gysling, and has been organised by member of the sales team at the hotel Roger Kündig, who explains: “It’s a tour back to the past of maybe 15 years ago when we didn’t have so much social media and phones.
We’ve gotten a great feedback… It is only 13 rooms, so we hope to fill the lodge this time.
But would it not be easier simply to close over the laptop screen and put the devices in a drawer?
“When you’re on your own you’ll find 100 different things rather than sitting down and practicing mindfulness. So often a group can inspire people as well,” says Keith Corcoran, a meditation instructor from the area who will be leading activities during the weekend.
“Our minds are going always from morning until night,” the 38-year-old explains, “thinking about the past and the present and the future. I’ve noticed myself over the years that your mind is not really switching off.
You take your mind on this kind of incessant thinking.
The weekend will also feature mindfulness walking, which apparently is different to regular walking.
Through a few pretty basic techniques that I impart, you can kind of slow down your thoughts and really, really appreciate the walk. People might say afterwards that I never saw a bird singing like that, or felt the breeze on my face or saw leaves falling in Autumn.
While this might sound a bit new-agey for some people’s tastes, Corcoran is quick to clarify that the focus is on learning techniques, and that he’s “no guru when it comes to this”.
“I just find these techniques myself beneficial. I am just an instructor, I just instruct people. Definitely there are benefits to be taken away from a weekend like this. Tools that we impart to do with breathing and mindfulness,” he says.
The weekend will be taking place from 22 to 24 January and anyone interested in it can find further information at Harvey’s Point Hotel’s website.