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“Unplug” for A Day

By January 1, 2014December 29th, 2018Blogs

Happy New Year! As you make resolutions for a healthy and happy 2014, consider scheduling “Unplug Days.” These are days where you resist using technology, including cell phones, computers, and televisions, in order to relax, revive, and reconnect. Technology has multiple benefits. You can contact people across the world instantly and answer questions within seconds. It allows you to move faster and more efficiently with everything that you do. However, technology can also increase your anxiety and stress levels.

Although it may often seem as if technology is controlling you, in reality, it’s the other way around. If you allow it, you can be reached 24/7; and sometimes, you may even think that you SHOULD be reachable at all times. This adds unnecessary burden to your life. Similarly, persistently checking for new emails, texts, or voicemails can increase preventable stress. In the same way, constantly posting status updates on social media and having to wait for your audience’s response can add uncertainty to the experience and result in needless anxiety. Unplugging for a day will show you that waiting to return a phone call or an email can actually be beneficial! It allows you to slow down, be thoughtful in your response, and be more efficient in your communication.
Being glued to your devices can also negatively impact your relationships. You may feel more connected whenever you take time away from the moment to send a quick text or email. However, you may actually be distancing yourself through this impersonal communication. Spending face-to-face quality time with family and friends, without staring at a screen, will keep you more connected.
It is a new year and a great time to try something different. Resisting the urge to use technology for a day will allow your body and mind to relax and reset. Here are some tips for a successful Unplug Day:
Let friends and family know. If you have loved ones that you speak to every day, it’s a good idea to let them know that you will be unreachable. Save people the worry of a missed call or an unanswered text by letting them know ahead of time that you will not be returning phone calls, texts, and emails for a certain period of time. There are many apps available that will send an auto-response to texts and calls received. You can also set your email up with an away response.
Plan ahead. If you will be traveling, make sure you have the directions before you unplug. If you want to make an appointment or reservation during your Unplug Day, schedule it ahead of time. Think about the little things you typically use technology for and get that information before unplugging.
Start small. Even an hour of technology-free time can be beneficial. If unplugging for an entire day seems too difficult, start by spending an hour without technology. When you notice the benefits, you may be inspired to try unplugging for longer periods of time!
Do not give up! You may realize that it is incredibly challenging to not sneak a peek at your phone or computer. You may feel unable to resist the urge to watch “just a few minutes” of television. That is okay! Being mindful of how and when you use technology puts you in control. In the future, you will be better able to decide how and when you use technology to benefit you instead of causing anxiety.

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