Last spring, I did a 40-day social media detox. I chose the dates so that they overlap with lent. I live in a world of abundance, and have almost everything I could dream about at my fingertips. Consciously removing some options for some of the time is a great to remind myself about what matters most and be grateful.

The social media fast was a great success, and helped me rethink my relationship with them all. I considered repeating that, but since then I’ve almost completely stopped using Facebook, never logged back into Instagram, and curated a beautiful and friendly Twitter feed that is serving me well.

This time on the occasion of advent, I’ve decided to let go of alcohol, coffee, tea, and other mind-altering substances. I did a similar detox once for a month, and I was shocked how early I can wake up and how clearly think without even a single cup of coffee.

However, the last time I did this was in Thailand where sunshine was plentiful. It might be a very different experience during dark, short December days. Still, the more challenging it is, the more rewarding it’s going to be in the end, and the more I’m going to learn on the way.

To make up for the lack of sunshine, I’ve purchased a solar lamp. People say it’s more effective than coffee in fighting the seasonal blues. I’m counting on that, as coffee hasn’t been super effective so far. Either way, I’m looking forward to the challenge, and all the things I’ll learn from it.

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