6 Things I Learned These Holidays & Want to Keep Doing This Year - Expat Nest e-counselling

Your Toolkit


6 Things I Learned These Holidays & Want to Keep Doing This Year

Members of the Expat Nest family will know that I switch off completely from my emails and social media accounts at the end of every year. It takes some discipline at first, but the rewards are always more than I could ever have imagined! This year’s digital detox led to the following reflections…


  1. Time feels more expansive when we choose to unplug (even just for a day or half a day, if more is not possible in your everyday life). Our mobile phones seem to have become an extension of us; it’s only when we take a break that we discover more mental space. We begin to consciously spend time on the things that matter instead of scrolling down our screens just to pass time.
  2. If we want to be able to ‘run faster’, we need to slow down. We can’t run all the time; we need to re-energise. After a point it is important to stop and ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Is it time to take a break and slow down? An extra bonus if the answer is “yes” and comes from a place of self-care rather than from exhaustion that forces you to stop.
  3. I’d like to stick to my holiday routine of no screen time for at least 60 minutes before going to bed and on waking in the morning.
  4. Our lives are not like Hollywood movies and they don’t have to be perfect all the time to be amazing! It’s okay: sometimes things don’t go as planned and something can ruin the ‘perfect picture’ (of a family meal or party with friends, for example), but does it matter if it’s not perfect?! What matters most is togetherness, and to love the other with their flaws.
  5. It is great to take time to connect with myself, to cut through the noise and prioritise what matters to me. This doesn’t always have to be something big; small things work too (it was great to spend a whole day cooking for my friends!).
  6. An end-of-year reflection is crucial as a compass for the new year: thinking on what worked well, what I will take forward in 2019, what I will leave behind (emotionally too) and what my intentions are for this year (not New Year’s resolutions, which I don’t necessarily believe in). But also leaving some space for magic and to see where life takes me.


What did YOU learn these holidays? We love to be inspired by you! Share this article with the people you’d like to spend more time with in 2019. And subscribe to our newsletter if you enjoyed this article and would like to receive more like it.   




  1. Heini says:

    Dear Vivian,

    This article really spoke to me. Recently I have noticed that I spend more and more time just browsing through social media. Now my phone even tells me every week how much time I spend on it each day, and the numbers are shocking. How many things could I get done if I stopped looking thorugh my phone to pass time? I should definitely try a digital detox like you did.


    1. Vivian Chiona says:

      Dear Heini
      Thanks for sharing your realisation about your social media habits. It’s really easy to slip into spending hours and hours online, but awareness is the first step to breaking the habit. Do let us know how your digital detox goes, and what was revealed along the way…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

—— Discover more


Related Articles

—— Subscribe to our newsletter

Inspiring & Supportive Info  

Straight to Your Inbox

Hello, my email is