iPhones, laptops, iPads, email, computers, TVs, Netflix…the list of ways you can spend your time plugged into technology goes on and on. It can be overwhelming, and slowly but surely take charge of your life and time. We think It’s time to run our own lives and not let it overrun us. Taking time to unplug can help decrease stress, improve relationships, and give you an overall increase in freedom. There’s a big world out there just waiting to be explored by YOU, right? So how do you start? Where do you go and what do you do? Here are five ways to take a break from technology and plug yourself back into a fuller, happier life.
*Before you start: Turn your phone off or leave your phone at home for a few hours!
Easier said than done, but it’s 100 percent essential to giving yourself a break and teaching yourself to disconnect while you pursue other interests. Go wireless and see what else you notice about your surroundings and relationships. Emails, texts, notifications, and calls will all be there when you get back, we promise.
1. Utilize recreation opportunities around you.
Whatever region you’re living in, explore your local terrain by using walking trails and parks. Tune into the sounds around you, even if you are in an urban area. Check your city’s website for information on walking paths and other recreation ideas.
2. Ride a bike
Biking is a great way to unplug and explore in a different way. It also is a great form of exercise, which will increase endorphins and leave you feeling happy and energetic. Another benefit: biking forces you to unplug, because bikes and screens definitely do not make a good match. If you don’t have a bike, search your area for used options. A quick search of bike trails and paths in your area can get your away from traffic to more relaxing and quiet areas.
3. Pursue a hobby or skill you’re passionate about
What have you always wanted to learn or do but have never dedicated the time to? It could be anything from rock climbing to throwing pottery to learning to cook fine Italian cuisine. The sky’s the limit! It’s easy to lose passion for a new hobby if you don’t dedicate time to it. Schedule time a few times a week to dedicate to pursuing your passions. Make sure to turn your phone and other devices off or put them out of your reach to eliminate distractions. Turn on your favorite music and enjoy doing something you love!
4. Start reading a book in a place you enjoy
Reading can catapult you into life experience’s you’ve never even dreamed of. Make sure to pick a genre that really pulls you in and interests you, even if it’s just light reading. Again, put distractions aside so you can allow yourself to get lost in your reading. Better yet, take your book to a park, coffee shop, or another favorite spot.
5. Explore your city or town
Whether you live in a big city or a small town, really get to know where you live. Go to museums, see landmarks you’ve never paid attention to, eat at a new restaurant, go window shopping, or attend a local sporting event. Find out what makes your town unique, even if it means going to see the biggest rubber band ball in the U.S. There are unique things to discover wherever you are, so get out and find them and then share them with others!
6. Creative or journal writing…with a pen!
Writing can be therapeutic, creative, or just a great way to wind down and see your thoughts clearly. Your life is a story and what better way to celebrate it than to document it. Go somewhere quiet, bring your favorite drink or snack, and just let your thoughts wander out onto the paper. Notebooks can be cheap but it can also be fun to splurge and get one that really represents your personality.