Are you feeling burned out from too much screen exposure? Computers, tablets, smartphones and television can make our lives easier and more entertaining, but they can also distract you from stopping to smell the roses -- and can even start to feel overwhelming.
If you can’t remember the last time you really unplugged and went low-tech, maybe it’s time to plan a device-free day. You’ll conserve energy, but more importantly, you’ll reconnect with the time before tech.
Schedule a day when you know you can leave it all behind -- phone, email, internet and even digital music. When the day arrives, fill it with the activities you’ve been missing out on most!
The Great Outdoors
Even if you spend a fair amount of time outdoors, how often do you really get to savor it? If you’re usually rushing around or scrolling through your phone while you’re surrounded by nature, today’s your day to slow down and take it all in. Savor the sounds of tweeting birds and babbling brooks as you spend a few hours in a park or forest. It might be the meditation you’ve been missing!
Write a Letter
The old-fashioned tradition of letter writing has given way to email, but you don’t have to let it go entirely. Spend a few minutes writing a letter or two to close friends or loved ones, and surprise them with what used to be the most common form of long distance correspondence.
Read a Book
No Kindles allowed! Refamiliarize yourself with what it feels like to read right from the page with a paper copy of something you’ve been dying to read. With no beeping notifications from your phone, you’re free to get lost in a book and read for as long as you like. This is the perfect activity to combine with your outdoor time.
Have a Real Conversation
Meet a friend for coffee or dinner and really take the time to connect with no high-tech distractions. You’ll need to convince your companion to honor the rule as well, but when you’re both fully engaged, you’ll form more meaningful memories of your time together than you would multitasking through a working lunch.
Just because you’re unplugging doesn’t mean you have to rough it. Book a day for yourself at a local resort or spa, and put the TV remote in a drawer when you enter your room. Spend your time getting a massage, lying in the sun, dipping in the pool and just generally tuning out. Make it a mini vacation from everything that can make daily life a grind.
Do a Good Deed
If you’re worried you’ll be tempted to go back to the smartphone, sign up to spend the day doing volunteer work. If you’re planting trees, picking up trash or helping those who could use a hand, you’ll have no hands left to fiddle with your devices. If it feels good, make a habit out of it! There’s no reason why you shouldn’t take one day per month to unplug, do good and recharge.
However you decide to escape from your devices for the day, make a plan and stick to it. Whether we like it or not, our electronics have become an important part of the way we connect with the world, and we can’t leave them behind all the time. But every once in awhile, it’s nice to be able to remember how quiet and simple things used to be.
And if the lights don’t come on when you finally return to the wired world, you know who to call: your licensed, local electricians.