From Apple Watches to Alexas, we rarely have time away from technology. Step away from your screens from sundown March 4 to sundown March 5 for National Day of Unplugging. This 24-hour period is meant to help people maintain a healthy balance between real life and technology, according to nationaldayofunplugging.com.
If you’ve been shocked to see how high your screen time is recently, National Day of Unplugging is the perfect time to disconnect from your devices and reconnect with yourself. Here are some ways to detach, relax and enjoy this tech-free time.
- Turn off your notifications
To really commit to the act of unplugging, turning off your notifications is a must. You can put your devices on do-not-disturb mode, or manually turn them off. To avoid missing urgent calls and messages, you can customize this feature by allowing certain people in your contacts to still reach you. Eliminating the buzz of incoming notifications will take your mind off your technology.
- Spend time with friends and family
Encourage your loved ones to participate in National Day of Unplugging with you! Pull out some old board games like Monopoly or Scrabble and have a game night together. Surround yourself with people you love, and enjoy some real-life company.
- Go for a walk
Taking a stroll has many benefits beside helping you unplug. Not only is it great exercise, but it is also an excellent way to unwind and collect your thoughts. Get outside, get some vitamin D and absorb the nature around you.
- Read a book
Yes, this means reading a physical book – not one on your Kindle or iPad. Bring a book on your walk and find a neat place to read outside. Reading reduces stress and exercises your brain.
- Make some art
Embracing your artistic side is another way to reduce stress and forget about your devices. It doesn’t matter if you don’t consider yourself an artist; anyone can make art! Grab some pencils, pens or paint, and let them guide you. You never know what you might create.
Writing anything from your current thoughts to your hopes and dreams can help you get in touch with yourself. It can be difficult to figure out what to write about, so here are some ideas: things you are grateful for, your favorite things about yourself or where you hope to be in the next five years.
- Do some spring cleaning
The first day of spring isn’t until March 20, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a head start on your spring cleaning. Vacuum, dust or reorganize your desk to reduce the work you’ll have to do later.
Take a few minutes to close your eyes, sit and breathe. Collect your thoughts for a moment. Meditation rejuvenates the mind and increases self-awareness.
- Update your planner
Or, if you don’t already have a planner, make one! Planners help you stay on schedule and complete your tasks. If you use a digital planner or calendar, making a physical one can help commit important dates to memory.
- Do some self-care
Whether this means doing a face mask, making tea or taking a shower, take some time to treat yourself. Light a candle and do whatever self-care means to you. Your future self will thank you later.
- Cook or bake something
For some of us, this may be difficult without searching a recipe online. However, even making something simple can be fun! If you feel like taking a risk, experiment with different ingredients and see what you can make. Maybe you’ll end up creating something revolutionary like the chocolate chip cookie (which wasn’t created by accident, despite the rumors).
- Go through your closet
Take a look at your wardrobe and see if there are any items you no longer wear. Make piles of clothes to donate or get rid of. Or, come up with different outfits to wear – try mixing and matching different pieces together!
- Watch the sunset
Watching the sunset is a great way to end National Day of Unplugging. Although you won’t be able to take any photos because it is still device-free time, just enjoy the beauty of the sky (weather permitting, of course).
Not only will these tips help you complete National Day of Unplugging, but they will also help you maintain that balance between real life and technology every day. Give your eyes and your brain a break by forming healthy habits without technology – be more present in the present moment.