Unplugging: Why You Should Disconnect Sometimes

Yes, I get the irony

I’m going to talk to you about disconnecting from your technology, and I’m using technology as my platform to do it.

But really—when was the last time you stepped away from your technology, even for a little while? Are you ready to consider it?

The problem is real. I know we often joke about being addicted to our phones/tablets/TVs, but psychologists would tell you that it’s absolutely possible to have an unhealthy attachment to our technology. Just like addition to a substance like alcohol or food, a moderate amount of usage can become an excessive amount, and therein lies the problem.

 What does it look like?  Do your family and friends repeatedly ask you to put your phone away at social events?  Do you find yourself watching television and checking Facebook at the same time?  Do you become anxious at occasions when you need to turn off your phone?  Do you reach for your phone sometimes just for a mood lift?  Yep.  That’s what addiction looks like. 

 What to do about it?  If you’ve decided it’s time to unplug from your technology—a bit, or a lot—there are some great ideas out there to help you loosen the grip technology might have on you.

 1.  Start the day without it. I am terrible about checking my phone first thing in the morning, before I even get out of bed.  I need to stop that.  Allowing yourself to start the day tech free can change the trajectory of your entire day.  So consider giving yourself an hour without technology every day.  Is morning not the best time for you?  Maybe the last hour at night, or an hour when the kids are awake.  You pick when you can get the most benefit of some unplugged time.

 2.  Let technology help you.  Here’s a big surprise: if you want to step away from technology, there are apps for that.  You can install an app that will shut down your social media for set periods of time, or another that will block upsetting posts that contain certain key words (I find politics to be an emotional spiral).  You can also turn off all of the pings and buzzes on your phone that alert you to posts, so that you don’t feel as compelled to check so often. 

 3.  Take an Unplugged Vacation.  I think we’re all guilty of saying that we’re going on vacation “to unplug,” but do we?  Or are we checking messages while waiting in a line, or posting pics of that great lunch or a pretty view.  That’s not being unplugged, my friend.  Here’s a great article on the benefits for your brain from taking an  unplugged vacation, which includes lessened depression and a break from mental multi-tasking. 

 4.  Join me on the National Day of Unplugging.  This organization is asking all of us to unplug for 24 hours March 1-2.  What an important statement we can make to our children, friends, and loved ones if we will stand together and commit to a day of authentic connection and communication.  Take a look at their great website for free resources and information on what unplugging for this day can be.

 I’m partcipating in the National Day of Unplugging on March 1.  Who’s joining me?

Becky Eason, PhD, is an Associate Certified Coach and Certified Leadership Coach.  She would love to come with you on your journey for wellness and a happy heart.  Learn more on her website: wequestforwellness.com

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