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Healthy Ways To Unplug & Step Away


Most of us spend a great deal of time staying connected electronically for work and for pleasure. We move about and happily make everything connect in our special little world. And when it doesn't work perfectly, we tend to get irritable quickly.

So What Happens?

At the end of the day, we may still feel like we are vibrating as we try to drop back and spend a little time relaxing with family or friends. On a daily basis we may find that we are so immersed, that we skip gym workouts, dodge lunches with friends, or even forget birthdays or other special dates.

For some it is almost impossible to completely step away.

Everyday Health cited a recent research study that ask, “How would you feel if you could not use the Internet for a whole day? Weird? Sad? The same? Fifty three percent of the people said they felt upset. Forty percent felt lonely when they could not go online for even a short period.

I have known some people who simply let this spin forward, spending the bulk of available time online, or in front of one absorbing TV series after another.

Now psychologists are advising families that this can even be a sign of depression. If you see a family member spending more and more time online or parked in front of his favorite old TV series, it is worth a second look.

So how do we re-balance the world?

If you feel like you may need a little re-balancing, start small and build up. At lunches and dinners turn your phone off and just enjoy the moment with friends or family.

Then take a good look at your work schedule, and start building in a few breakout afternoons. It can be just a few hours here and there, but it can make a difference in the freshness of your perspective. Next, try to make sure you leave room for a weekend getaway or two. If work spills over into weekend after weekend the creative edge gets dulled too.

Other Ways to Unplug

Creating an outdoor room out of a patio, balcony, or backyard space can serve as a quiet retreat apart from electronics to help reseed the brain. Stress drops away and everything becomes a little better.

Using an extra room inside as a spot to doodle or dream a little can work too. Reserve the space for favored pieces of art, glass, and books. Furnish it with a second desk that is just used for thinking, with lots of sketch or note pads, pens and markers. At first this may feel really strange, but gradually it may be just the place you need to refocus or come up with something totally new.

As you master the art of unplugging, watch for lots of good stuff, like more creativity, new weight loss, less stressful moments, and a clearer head.


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Jim Larrison

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