Technology is incredible. We can search for restaurants that are open for a late-night bite after a long shift at the hospital, tell us where the nearest drugstore is, and even add appointments to our calendar by simply asking Google or Alexa. Not only does technology help us organize the chaos of our day-to-day, but it gives us immediate gratification. Whether we’re looking for a new pair of running shoes or researching current events, there’s a plethora of information at our fingertips, 24-hours a day.
Despite the convenience technology brings to our lives, we’ve become reliant and even addicted to it, moving from one screen to the next—all day long. From our phones to computers; smartwatches to Alexas and TVs—screens and smart technology surrounds and controls much of our days. This can take a toll on our eyes, backs, and mental state.
In honor of National Day of Unplugging (Friday, March 4), we challenge you to set your electronics aside on your next day off. If you’re wondering what to do in exchange for the six hours (or more) of accumulated screen-time, here are some ideas:
- Go for a walk or jog.
- Take your dog or borrow a friend’s!
- Spend the day at the beach. It may be brisk, but the scenery is worth it.
- Check out a local coffee spot you’ve been wanting to try.
- Plant some flowers or make a succulent garden for your kitchen.
Be one with your words
- Journal. Spend time inside your head. How are you feeling? What are you grateful for? What goal do you want to accomplish next?
- Write a letter to a friend or loved one. There’s something charming about this old-school art.
- Read a book, a physical book. One that you actually have to turn the pages.
Enjoy the homestead
- Clean out your closet and donate old clothes.
- Meal prep for the week. Set yourself up for a healthy menu this week.
- Take a nap and catch up on some sleep.
- Play a card or board game.
- Channel your inner artist—grab some paint and a canvas and go to town.
By intentionally unplugging on a regular basis, you’ll not only work toward breaking bad habits of mindlessly scrolling your social accounts, or impulse Amazon purchases, but there’s a good chance you’ll notice other benefits, including improved sleep, less eye strain, and improved relationships with co-workers, friends, and family. Being present isn’t a trend, it’s a practice that takes practice.