When’s the last time you truly felt calm and centered?
Was it lying in bed on a lazy Sunday morning? Cooking dinner with friends? Yoga class? Reading a book?
All of these situations have one thing in common: they’re unplugged.
When you’re “unplugged,” it means you’ve stepped away from the constant flow of digital information that surrounds us. Sure, you may not feel tugged and strained while you’re fielding emails, checking your phone, and snapping pics and vids left and right. But studies show that this constant connectedness does takes its toll on us both mentally and physically.
Exactly how is constantly being plugged in affecting us? Here are some of the indicators.
#1 Lost Sleep
Stare at your phone before bed? Who doesn’t? Unfortunately, this is exactly what you shouldn’t do if you want a good night’s rest. Studies show that the blue light emitted from phone and tablet screens restricts the release of melatonin, an essential hormone that helps us shut down for the night and get to sleep.
Yeah, that’s a word; it means we get less done! And it’s exactly what happens when we’re constantly checking social media and being sidetracked by texts, DMs, emails, gifs, and other digital distractions.
#3 Bad Posture
Can it get any worse? From sitting idly in front of a computer all day to that terrible, awkward neck-angle we adopt when scrolling through our phones, it turns out the digital onslaught can even mess up our posture.
What To Do?
We all know that nixing the digital world altogether isn’t an option. Social media is still a great way to stay connected with friends, relatives, and what’s going on in the world.
On a personal level, technology has allowed me to stay connected with my loved ones in Argentina and around the world. Without apps like Whatsapp and Skype, just sending a funny text or having a quick video chat with my family would be impossible, and I would feel so much further away than I actually am.
At the same time, I know that taking the occasional break from technology is healthy. “Checking out” every once in a while with a digital detox is an awesome way to free your mental bandwidth and allow yourself to focus on the things in life that truly matter. Your laptop isn’t the only one in need of a recharge and reboot …
4 Fuddhist Tips for Unplugging
The key to a digital detox is starting slow. Here are some great tips to start you off!
- Dig out your old kitchen timer and set it for just one or two hours of screen-free relaxation.
- Choose one specific time each day (or week!) to check social media, and stick to it.
- Do leave home without it: Your phone, that is. Pop that sucker on the kitchen counter and drive off with friends for a fun adventure sans portable.
- Make your bedroom an off-limits zone for phones. It will help you get to sleep and make for more relaxing mornings.
So what do you do to unplug? I’d love to hear your ideas – leave them in the comments below!