How connected we have become to our electronics. Recently, my neighborhood was without power for almost 14 hours followed by a 3 day trip to a remote, albeit out-of-this-world gorgeous, island.
I will openly admit, those first 14 hours were a living hell! I work on the internet, I keep in touch with my kids on the internet, and my cell phone only has data with internet! I may have flipped out a bit…more than once.
Then something amazing happened. I stopped checking my email every 20 minutes to see if it was working. Those 20 minutes turned into an hour into an “Oh damn it I forgot to check my email before I left today!”
Before I knew it I was in the middle of the Caribbean sea without internet or a signal. I stopped wondering if anyone was trying to reach me. If I was missing out on something or needed to comply with a deadline. Instead I lifted my head up, saw the friendly faces around me and the amazing environment I had been plunked into.
Conversations were truer, meals tasted better, the sky looked bluer and my energy level was just that much greater!
By the second day, I was in the groove baby! I woke up lazily, greeted my loved ones with hugs and kisses, had my black coffee over laughter and a view. It wasn’t until almost 4 p.m. that I had a small panicked thought of : “OMG where is my phone?” and as quickly as it entered my mind, it gently flowed from my mind as the realization of where I was set back in.
By the time I returned to civilization I was dreading the switching on of the cell phone and spanning through the some 400+ emails. I had to do it though, not only for work but to be in contact with my children overseas.
I learned a profound lesson. Unplug. Unplug and often. There is no need to wait until a power outage happens or a remote vacation to unplug those tech devices.
I set a new schedule and it has helped relieve me of so much tech-induced stress I never even knew I had. All computers and phones off (I turn off the data but keep the line on for emergencies) 20-45 minutes prior to going to bed. (not to mention saving your battery charge)
I leave them outside of the bedroom to help me break the habit of late night checks online during bathroom breaks.(international business people will relate to this habit of time zone checking)
All devices are turned on 20-60 minutes after waking. This allows me to meditate, give gratitude and a quick yoga routine without allowing my mind to drift to the day ahead.
No matter how or when unplugging is necessary for your mind, body and soul. Just do it and unplug.