It is near impossible to go 5 minutes without checking our phones, tablets, and laptops. Technology has done so much to advance our world. Yet in the midst of the rush to automate everything, technology has gone from useful to at times demanding.
To deepen relationships, staying connected via Twitter and Instagram have become the cultural norms. At least, that is what many believe.
While technology can help us achieve success, studies show that technology can interrupt relaxation and sleep patterns. That is why recharging and unplugging are important to help reduce stress.
Spending time away from our favorite gadgets has many benefits. But with technology imbedded in almost every facet of life, what activities are left that don’t require our digital devices?
Here are a few examples of activities we can do without needing technology.
Walking, hiking, and running are all great ways to get away from technology. Taking a break and walking outside helps refresh and energize the body. Regularly walking strengthen bones, increases muscle strength, improves balance, reduces body fat, and improves mood.
Walking briskly for 30 minutes or reaching 10,000 steps per day can prevent various health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. It also manages high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and joint and muscle pain. Take the time to disengage with technology and get outside to the beautiful world while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Allowing time and space to make art helps creativity flow in other areas of life. Even though we often work on designing beautiful websites for our clients, the time in front of the computer can be draining. Artistic activities like painting and coloring gives the brain an opportunity to be used in another way and without the distraction from the glare of a screen.
Painting helps reduce stress which makes it an ideal activity to incorporate daily. In one study, levels of cortisol were reduced in participant’s saliva after just 45 minutes of making art. The artwork doesn’t have to be a masterpiece to be beneficial. Just painting whatever comes to mind will take the stress away, one swipe of a paint brush at a time.
Just like painting gives the brain the freedom to be creative, playing a musical instrument can be just as beneficial. Albert Einstein spent much of his time playing the violin while contemplating mathematical equations. The music accessed his creativity while allowing him the ability to meditate on a problem at hand.
Musical training boosts the brain, improves memory, and develops better academic performance and language ability. Spending just 30 minutes a day playing a musical instrument reduces stress and allows for the body to refresh before going back to work.
Journaling is an imperative way to relax and reflect. Journaling offers an outlet of sharing innermost thoughts, penning them to paper and allowing them to be released from the mind. Many times, our minds are cluttered with to do lists, keeping clients happy, and calendar reminders. Journaling is a great outlet to help clear the mind.
Framing issues as a story makes the problems seem more manageable and allows for order to come into the chaos. This offers a sense of predictability and control over parts of our lives that seem unstable and overwhelming.
With a busy schedule and a plethora of restaurants to choose from, cooking at home has taken a backseat. People eat out more than cooking at home and many view cooking as a chore. Taking the time to cook a new meal not only gives you a sense of accomplishment but also taps into the creative side of the brain.
If cooking is viewed as a chore, baking is another great way to unplug and recharge. The sweet smell and yummy goodies makes baking a relaxing and enjoyable pastime.
Laughter increases endorphins and promotes empathy, compassion, and trust in others. One way to add laughter is through board games. Playing board games with friends and family is a great way to connect and have fun.
Games teach players to follow rules, interact with others, and strategize to win. Board games offer a healthy distraction and is an excellent way to unwind, relax, and relieve stress.
Technology demands us to stay connected and keep busy. Setting aside time to stop, reflect, meditate, and stare at the beauty of nature buoys our spirits and allows us time to digest our day.
Taking time to sit still deepens our perspective on things, connects us with the world and nature, grows our appreciation, and gives empathy for others. Stargazing offers us a time and space to find the stillness in the busy world around us.
Taking a class of interest is a great way to grow and learn something new. Going to a local community college to take courses of interest, finding groups and classes at community centers, or learning a new craft like painting at an art gallery are all great ways to recharge.
Usually local art stores offer monthly classes at an inexpensive rate. Finding a skill of interest and taking classes on that interest gives us something to look forward to. Many times, life gets so busy and we get into survival mode. Partaking in classes that energize us is a great way to unplug and recharge.
Writing and mailing a letter is not only a great way to convey our thoughts to someone else, but has become a lost tradition. No one sends letters now so receiving them makes others feel loved and appreciated. This is a great way to connect with others without having to take too much time.
Letter writing creates an authentic correspondence, conveys the thoughts and emotions that matter, and is a wonderful surprise to the recipient. This memorable way to keep in touch with someone is a great way to confirm the importance of the relationship.
So much of our time is spent in front of computers or the television that we miss life happening around us.
Taking an evening this week and doing just one of these activities allows for our mind to think on other things than a screen and to allow our mind, body, and brain to relax and refresh.
No matter what you choose to do, dedicating time outside of technology will bring your family closer, establish stronger relationships, and allow for our minds and bodies to recharge by unplugging.
What activities do you do to help you recharge and unplug?