Disconnecting from technology sometimes can work wonders for your mental health. Digital wellness is emerging as an important part of self care. With social media and so many apps flooding our minds with notifications, it is important that we ‘Disconnect’ ourselves from it from time to time.
“We live today not in the digital, not in the physical, but in the kind of minestrone that our mind makes of the two.” — Paola Antonelli
Just like that, the holidays are officially here. I don’t know about you, but it feels like 2018 was just yesterday. ‘Tis the season of sparkling lights, family gatherings, and holiday cheer. ‘Tis (also) the season of stressful travel, unmet resolutions, and last-minute gifting. While I love the holidays, I’ll be the first to admit that it can come with some stressors.
As a digital wellness expert, I know one of the best ways to stay present (and sane) is by disconnecting from technology.
Not only does disconnecting give you space to live your life in the moment, but it also allows you to build a deeper relationship with yourself as well as those around you. The holidays might be about festive cookies and winter cocktails, but they’re mostly about celebrating the people we love (ourselves included).
The best way to truly experience the holiday season? Changing your relationship with technology.
Here are five Digital Wellness Tips for disconnecting over the holidays:
1. Go for a walk outside to collect your thoughts before spending the day with family.
I recommend getting outside in nature for the best results, so venture out to your local park for a morning or midday stroll. Spending time in nature can help alleviate stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost your wellbeing.
“We need solitude, because when we’re alone, we’re free from obligations, we don’t need to put on a show, and we can hear our own thoughts.” – Tamim Ansary
2. Start the day writing a gratitude list of the top 10 things you are grateful for this year.
This journaling exercise is a great moment to self-reflect on what you’ve accomplished and realize how far you’ve come since last year. The other benefit? It will give you great topics of conversation for when your family asks what you’ve been up to during holiday get-togethers.
3. Turn off your phone on the day of the holiday.
If that sounds too scary (although I know you can do it), then turn off your phone during the hours you’re with family and allow yourself to be fully present with them. If things ever get tense, then have a non-tech related self-care plan (aka a micro-moment like walking the dog or taking a long shower).
4. Break out an old board game or puzzle!
Play whatever game you choose with your family and friends while the food is cooking or heating up. Let your down your guard and get rowdy over some Monopoly. Some good old fashioned fun reminds everyone that nothing has to be too serious, especially family gatherings.
“Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” – Earl Nightingale
5. Speaking of food, try a new recipe for the holiday dinner.
Get creative and use that recipe you have been saving on Pinterest for a special occasion. This is that occasion! Spending time in the kitchen and preparing a delicious entree for your family is an act of love and an act of service. It shows your appreciation for them as well as yourself. Plus, you get a full reign on licking the spoons as you taste and prepare (and who doesn’t love that).
While the holidays might be a bit stressful, there’s a lot of joy to be found as well. Chances are that joy is not going to be found on Facebook or Twitter. Take care of yourself during the final stretch of the year by caring more about your relationship with technology.
“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ― Bill Watterson
The more you allow yourself to disconnect, the less you’ll feel like you’re missing out on your college ex-boyfriend’s Instagram post or the latest meme about what it’s like to be a millennial. The more space you create to be present, the more you’ll realize how many things you want to be present for. In disconnecting, you give yourself a real opportunity to reconnect with everything truly important to you. Whether that’s spending time with family or your winter self-care routine, remind yourself that your time is valuable and then find that value away from your phone. Trust me, “2020 you” will thank me (and thank you).