Sunday, 28 February 2016

The benefits of unplugging

I love my phone, I really do. I also love my tablet, my computer, my tv, and the family laptop. When you put it that way, it sounds like a heck of a lot of technology, and it kinda is. Apart from when I'm asleep, it can be a challenge for me to stay off all of these things- even for time slot as short as an hour. But it's really important that I have some me-time. Actual, real, quality me time. Over the past year, I've written a few posts about how important 'me' time is- such as Why it's absolutely essential that you take time out and Relaxing at it's finest. (Just to clarify, I class 'me time' as time I have to relax and recharge- to me, this doesn't necessarily mean being alone all the time). 

Today I want to take relaxation to the next level. I want to challenge you to unplug, and I'm going to tell you exactly why you should.
A few years back, when I was about 16 years old, I did a bad thing, as many 16 year olds do. My parents, being the loving, caring and protective parents that they were (even though I didn't see it like that at the time) took my phone and computer wifi stick from me, and hid it away. A few days passed, and I asked for them back. No luck. After two weeks of persistent begging, I decided it was time to give up- it didn't look like I was going to be getting them back any time soon.

It got to the point where I had read, and re-read all the books on my shelf, and had ran out of money to go out to town with. I had to improvise, and desperate times call for desperate measures. After two technology-less months, I started knitting. I literally sat in my room, knitting away while listening to green day at one point- now that's one thing that not many people can say they've done, lol. 

After three and a half months had passed, I got my beloved phone and computer wifi stick back, and was instantly hooked again. Yup, those three technology free months were not only thrown out the window, they were shipped right off to no mans land. I just wanted to forget all about it. Ew, torture.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, though, and looking back, I can see that even though my 16 year old self was completely against it, those three technology free months actually did a world of good for me. When I went to school, I didn't hide behind my phone, and I noticed that since I didn't have my phone out, neither did my friends. We had actual, quality conversations- and of course they kept me in the loop of all the internet drama. I leant a few new skills- like the knitting, yes, haha. I now have a few little knitted lavender pouches sitting at the bottom of a box somewhere under my bed...

The point is, it was actually really good for me to have that time to unplug. A bit like a technology detox. And I was never completely cut off from the people I talked to. If it's important, you can always find a way.

But you all, much like me, love your technology much too much to just let it go like that. I get that, really, I do. But you need to combat those excuses that you're making up. As you read this post right now, I bet that your mind is racing with possible excuses to get you out of unplugging.

But I need to communicate with people... It's really important
Taking care of yourself is really important too, though. You need to sort out your priorities, before you start cutting yourself slack because of this excuse. Besides, I'm not asking you to take 3 whole months away from your phone (I mean, if you want to then that's great but...); all I'm saying is that you need to take some time out. You could start it step by step, for example:
Week 1: 3 hours without technology
Week 2: 5 hours without technology
Week 3: 7 hours without technology (that's one hour a day)
Week 4: 15 hours without technology
Week 5: 24 hours without technology

But how am I going to arrange nights out and meet ups with my friends
I know a guy in my psychology class who doesn't own a phone. You wanna know something? He still manages to host parties with significant attendance, meet up with his friends and girlfriend, and communicate with them all. You can always talk to them, or if that's not possible, wait until your planned unplugged time has ended. It's really not that hard.

But how will I carry on blogging while unplugged?
This is such a huge topic in itself, that I think I might just write another post just for this, so keep a look out in the upcoming weeks. But for now, trust me when I say that you can blog while unplugged. Here are a few things you can do for your blog while unplugged;
-Brainstorm blog post ideas (This could be titles, descriptions of posts...)
-Keep a diary (seriously, it'll give you great content for your blog every so often, and help you find your voice on the days you've got the bloggers blues)
-Make a list of all the things you want to achieve on your blog
-Map out a monthly planner of your blog posts


Alright. So let's say that you've decided to be a wonderful human being and do what wonderful human beings do- unplug. What do you do during this technology free time? Here are a few of my favourite ideas... (no, knitting isn't one of them)

  • Colouring in (You know those cute adult colouring in books? Yeah, colour me obsessed)
  • Play an instrument. My personal favourite is guitar
  • Meet up with friends for a coffee date... and leave your phone behind. That's like two hours unplugged, and you probably won't even notice it!
  • Treat yourself to a pamper night- whip out the face masks and lush bath bombs!
  • This one doesn't take a genius to get... read a book!
  • Write a page in a journal a day
  • Go for a jog, or go to the gym
  • Pop some music on and sort out your wardrobe... it wont hurt!
  • Go shopping, and get fresh food to cook a meal from scratch with
  • Bake a cake, and then invite friends over of some afternoon tea. 
I dare you to unplug for a whole day this week. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!

2 comments:

  1. Great post. I try to go phone free sometimes. Some days I'll just turn off my phone and have what I like to call down time. Its really relaxing.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Vanessa! It's really good to do that, you never really appreciate it until you do it!

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