Unplug to Connect
Power down your digital devices and connect to what matters most.
Being ‘plugged in’ to our digital devices is a huge part of modern life. Our smartphones, tablets and computers help us stay connected to our social networks, up-to-the-minute world events and endless amounts of online data. Technology can become as much a burden as it can be a tool: when that happens it’s time to make a conscious effort to unplug and connect to what matters most.
The key to disconnecting from the digital realm a regular practice is to focus on the positive aspects. Unplugging isn’t just about losing your connection to a device – it’s about gaining connection to the rest of your life.
Power down your electronics and turn it into an opportunity to power up your connections to the environment, the people in your life and even yourself. Hitting the ‘off’ button will help you to find the clarity and quietness you need to refocus, revitalize and live your best life.
Here are four areas of life where you’ll feel the most connected when you unplug.
Connect with friends
Most of us know the ‘phone stack’ game, where everyone’s cellphones are stacked together on the dinner table so that they don’t get more face-to-face time than your companions. The first to reach for their phone has to foot the entire bill. While friendly competition can be fun, try replacing the threat of individual punishment with the promise of collective reward. Reframe unplugging as a special time to connect – without distraction – with friends and loved ones.
Gather your besties for a round of Q&A with slow-burning questions designed to spark deep conversation. Complement your stack of cellphones with a stack of question cards, then challenge each other to answer with no inhibitions and an unfiltered approach. There’s a good chance that deepening your relationships by learning more about your friends will feel even better than having someone pick up the tab.
Connect with yourself
As our Co-Founder Jean-Pierre LeBlanc says during his in-store seminars, “Your body is sending you signals: are you listening?” When we’re constantly plugged in, we may not even realize how much of our time and energy we are giving away. Rather than looking online, look inwards and explore the inner reaches of your body and mind – chances are, there’s a backlog of mental notifications you’ve been ignoring. Is your body comfortable with your eating and sleeping patterns? Are your physical or mental muscles aching for more activity? Do you crave more – or maybe less – stimulation?
Get offline, let your mind come to a place of rest, then pay attention to how your brain and body really feel. Jot down the feelings that come to mind, then let your notes guide your decisions on how to improve your sleep, movement and nutrition.
Connect with nature
Spend some screen-free time with possibly the most neglected member of your family: Mother Nature. The earth is happiest when you unplug, reduce your energy consumption and shrink your carbon footprint. Turning off your devices also removes artificial blue light from your view, allowing you to soak up more from natural sources of stimulation. Start your morning by going for a walk outside to embrace Mother Nature’s fresh spring beauty. Getting some fresh air full of negative ions will help you feel centered in your body and rooted to the natural environment, even if you reboot later in the day.
Connect with your space
Oprah said it best: “You are responsible for the energy you bring into a space.” Whether it’s a boardroom or a living room, understanding your own impact on your environment is the first step in ensuring the space is filled with positive and productive energy.
Pay attention to the way your environment is making you feel. Does the electric hum of your home or workspace drown out its inviting natural atmosphere? Check in before and after you unplug and notice the difference – does your connection to the space grow when there’s less digital, electronic clutter? Make adjustments to all your spaces and pay attention to how much better you feel, and how much more positivity you are adding to your environment.
In an increasingly plugged-in world, finding time to disconnect is a key part of finding balance between online and offline life. Commit to spending time unplugged and you and your connections will reap wellness rewards, inside and out.