With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, ‘tis the season to practice some major self-love. The beauty of it? Self-love comes in all shapes, sizes, and shades – think bubble baths, sleeping in on Saturdays, and treating yourself to a donut for breakfast here and there, to name a few. There are no limits! A personal favorite of mine? Stepping away from the screen, aka the unplug drug.
If you had to guess, how much of any given day do you spend in front of a screen? Less than three hours? More than 5, 6, or 7? Between phones, TVs, computers, and every other gadget the digital age has given birth to, the average American spends more than 10 hours in front of a screen each day. Yeah, you heard me. Full disclosure, just yesterday I weighed in at 12 hours and 47 minutes. Almost 13 whole hours! I know, I know. Although most of those hours can be filed under the work category, I’m admittedly still a slave to the screen in my free time. Typically, you can find me scrolling on Instagram, binging on Netflix, and fulfilling my online shopping fix (you already know Tiny Devotions is one of my most frequented sites).
To combat the copious amount of time I spend screen-facing, I make sure to spend at least one hour per day – many more when my schedule allows – unplugged and completely disconnected. Sometimes, the best way to reconnect with yourself, or someone else, is to disconnect. Am I right?
Here are 10 of my favourite tips and tricks when it comes to unplugging:
- Power down. You heard me, hit the off button. Don’t just put your phone on silent or mute the TV – commit to unplugging completely.
- Kick it old school. Forget the Kindle, pick up a paperbound book. Don’t be afraid to highlight, take notes in the margins, and dog-ear pages.
- Get outside. There’s nothing like a little fresh air and Vitamin D to refresh the mind, body, and spirit.
- When in doubt, journal it out. Feeling drawn to the screen even when you’ve vowed to spend some time apart? Keep a journal of the time you spend plugged in vs. unplugged time. Write about how you feel before, during, and after. Observe and adjust.
- Craft a bucket list. Keep it on hand for inspiration anywhere, any time. Tempted to watch a movie? Try out a that new restaurant everyone is talking about.
Create and keep boundaries. When you’re in the presence of others, make checking your phone a no-go. When you commit to upholding boundaries, others will feel encouraged and inspired to do the same. Hello, eye contact.
- Get chatty. Grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee – solo – and strike up conversation with a stranger. You never know what connections may come from putting yourself out there.
- Craft like no one is watching. Paint. Draw. Knit. Scrapbook. Personally, I’m a huge fan of vision boarding.
- Take a nap. In a world where busyness and exhaustion are considered a sign of status and hard work, allow yourself to rest when you need it. Even a 20-minute nap can do wonders.
- Stay curious. Embrace your inner student and learn something new – whether it’s taking a cooking class or taking a trip to the local science museum.
Those are a few of my favorite ways to unplug, do you have any tips are tricks when it comes to disconnecting?
Jenna is a yoga teacher, writer, and brand builder on a mission to fuel her life with purpose and to explore the world. She was raised in Minnesota but considers Colorado her home away from home. Currently, you can find her in Minneapolis, where she is creating the life she has always dreamed of.