Unplug to Recharge – the Digital Detox

I can’t even begin to tell you how many diet fads are going on right now. It seems like there’s a new one every month or so. And while I’m all about living a healthy, balanced life, I’m pretty over hearing about Hollywood’s latest “tips and tricks” to make everyone lose their mind about how they look.

There is one “diet” trend to which I am particularly keen may strike you as shocking coming from a millennial. A digital detox.

That’s right. I said it. Putting the devices down. Getting away from the constant over-exposure we have to screens and unplugging from the cyber space that consumes our daily lives.

Don’t think you can do it? I’ve got news for you: it’s easier than it sounds.

Start and End Your Day Right

We all do it – the first thing we do when we get up is check our phones. Heck, I even use my phone as my alarm clock, so it’s literally the very first thing I touch when I wake up. Then it’s all downhill from there. Why do I need to check Twitter before 6am? What did I miss on Instagram since I checked it right before bed? Ugh, so many bad habits.

It’s important to nourish our bodies when we wake up, but why not also nourish our minds? Focus more on you and less on the phone. Same thing before you go to bed. Less screen time means you’ll most likely unwind quicker and sleep better. And as someone who LOVES sleep, this is a habit I can definitely get on board with.

Do More/Get Active 

I’ll admit, I’m one of those people who spends (er, wastes…) time using random apps on my phone to fill the down time. Even during commercials, I find myself grabbing for my phone to have something to do instead of just sitting there watching ads. Clearly, I need help. How did I let it get this bad?

The problem is, most people struggle to find a good work/life balance so they use their devices to unwind. Which is ironic, considering most people sit in front of a computer all day. So why sit in front of a large screen for 8 hours and then go home to play on a smaller screen?

Especially the folks who work from home – they arguably put more hours in per day than the typical office worker, since they usually have the freedom to sprinkle errands and household chores into their day to break up their work time.

That’s why it’s sooo important to turn off this mentality of needing to be connected all the time. Try being connected in real life! Pack your schedule with fun activities that bring some joy and excitement into your life so there’s less time to get sucked into the digital vortex we all turn to.

Even just a few days a week. Meet up with friends. Have a cookout with your neighbors. Try whipping up that new recipe you’ve been wanting to try. Play games with your kids. (Break out some old school board games to really blow their minds.) Or simply GO OUTSIDE. WWW shouldn’t stand for world wide web – it should stand for Whole Wide World – go explore it!

Live in the Moment

One of the biggest lessons I’ve tried to bring to my social life is being present with those around me.  The majority of my friends are all Millennials, too, so we’re all just accustomed to grab our phone and look up the funniest meme we just saw or the craziest YouTube video we recently watched. So it’s an ongoing challenge to just “be” with the people around me; most of us frankly aren’t used to it.

That being said, there are ways to break this device dependency down when you’re with friends that I’ve been wanting to try:

Let’s say you and a group are out to eat at your favorite hot spot in town. You haven’t all been together in a while, so there’s lots to catch up on. Try this: everyone stacks their phone in the center of the table, and the first person to grab for their phone has to pay the bill. Surely that will keep the conversations flowing and the distractions to a minimum. And hopefully, no one’s stuck with a huge check at the end of the night.

If you’ve got kids, try this: have them go a night without using their technology, and have them write about it the next day. Even if it’s not for a school assignment, it could (hopefully) be a fun experiment where they can use their creativity to keep themselves entertained.

So, are you ready to unplug? Who knows – you might even enjoy being offline!

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

—Anne Lamott

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