Technology can be pretty amazing. In no time, we can connect with anyone all over the world at any time. The flow of information has never been so accessible in the history of, well, anything. But we also know that this constant hyper connectivity can also leave us feeling exhausted, alone and unsatisfied with what we perceive as our less than Pinterest-perfect lives. Sound familiar? You, like us, may need a tech break. Finding ways to unplug this summer could be just the shot of rejuvenation you need to reconnect with the real world. If you don’t know where to begin, we’ve got six simple ways to unplug for a much-needed digital vacay.
- Power down one hour before bed. Take a break from all screens at least an hour before bed for better sleep and to begin setting more boundaries around healthy tech usage. Since this includes television, laptops, and tablets, you’ll have a little more time freed up for mug of herbal tea or another relaxing pre-sleep routine for sweeter dreams.
- Buy an alarm clock. Seriously. Instead of using your phone as a bedside clock, power it off and leave it in another room when you go to bed. Rely on the good old fashioned technology of an alarm clock to rise and shine on time. And even if your phone is in silent or Do Not Disturb mode, the blue light from the screen stimulates your brain, disrupting health sleep patterns with every text and notification.
- Monitor screen time. Set limits and monitor your screen usage to become more mindful of how much time you spend on your devices. Sometimes seeing that we’ve spent 4 hours mindlessly scrolling on social media apps Monday night is enough to realize we need a break. The little rushes of dopamine we get whenever we receive a notification can keep us coming back for more so try an app like Screen Time to set time limits on various apps and activities.
- Take a mental snapshot instead. Do we really need 12 photos capturing every angle of our morning coffee? Probably not. Enjoy life’s little moments and commit them to memory without having to record all of them digitally. When on a trip or at an event, be more selective when you do choose to take a picture and share it later- the world can wait until you’ve got some down time to post it.
- Sign off and say sayonara for a specific period of time. Just like setting up your out of office message alerts people that you’re away and unavailable for a brief period of time, similar messages can be posted on social media so folks know you are taking a break. It might take some getting used to but devoting your attention to the things that matter the most will likely replenish your energy when you do plug back in.
- Get social in real life. Schedule a get together in real life instead of posting another photo or logging on to scroll through a Facebook group page. Invite friends or family over for a barbecue, a hike, or start a book club for deeper discussions. Spending time sharing your life with people in real time enriches your relationships and wellbeing more fully than from behind a screen.