I mentioned this in my Temperance River camping post that one of my favorite parts about camping is turning our phones on airplane mode. So much of my daily life is on a screen, and while I love what I do, it's nice to get a break. I find myself feeling more present and more connected with nature and others. After our recent camping trip, Blake and I were talking about how to bring this type of presence and connection into our daily life, and one thing we came up with was unplugging from technology on Sundays.
Since being diagnosed with SIBO, I've been on a mission to reduce stress in my life, and just taking away distractions one day a week has been so good for me! Sundays have become one of my favorite days of the week because of this!
Here's how we've done it, and what I've learned!
I will be honest, I did experience some FOMO when I thought of completely disconnecting once a week, but in the couple week's we've done this, I don't feel like I've missed out on anything. Instead I've gained so much (more on that later).
We turn our phones on airplane mode and have also committed to not using our computers (which are also our TV) the whole day. We will listen to a sermon online in the morning and in the evening we may watch a show together if we want. Now, if there is a family situation or we are waiting on some news, we will keep our phones on, but try to keep them at a distance.
What we do instead? It's humbling to realize how much I use technology to fill in time! Now, Blake and I will have a leisurely morning drinking coffee and talking (they're some of my favorite mornings!) and the rest of the day will be listening to a sermon, lots of reading, prepping food for the week, going on a walk, or visiting family.
I haven't been perfect at not checking my phone, but it's all about progress, right? It really helps to be doing this with Blake! We keep each other accountable and get to experience the benefits of it together!
WHAT I'VE LEARNED AND GAINED
1. I subconsciously check my phone a lot.
Again, so humbled to admit this! I use technology to avoid uncomfortable emotions or when I feel stuck. Even as I've been writing this post, I've check Instagram a couple times when I've hit writer's block. When I don't have the phone there as an option, I have to recognize what's going on inside me and work through it. Most times that means taking a moment away from what I'm doing and taking a couple deep breaths. Friends, deep breathing is MAGICAL!
2. The world will go on without me...and that's okay.
As an entrepreneur and perfectionist, one of my biggest anxieties about unplugging is that nothing will move forward or keep going if I take a break and slow down.The truth is that things WILL. Everything that needs my attention is not going to fall back in progress by you taking a deep breath and removing myself for a set amount of time. This is an act of trust, which I'm always working on in so many areas of my life. It's okay to take a break. Your business will not crash and burn. Instead, it will YOU not crash and burn.
3. I feel more connected with Blake.
It's crazy how you can spend so much time with someone and yet still feel disconnected. Anyone else relate? Blake has been working from home since April and especially since we live in a 500 square-foot apartment, we’re together all the time (which I love, by the way), but so often by the end of a workday I can feel like we’ve never connected because we’ve been doing our own thing. On unplugged Sundays, Blake and I have the best conversations and by the end of the day I always feel so connected.
4. I feel more grounded and my anxiety is lower.
Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and my work, but again I’ve learned that I need a little space from it in my life to help me feel more present and grounded. Unplugging has helped slow my mind down and given me the space to work through my thoughts. I don’t know the science behind it all, but I do know that my anxiety is lower on Sundays, and I go into the next week feeling refreshed and ready to take on the week.
5. I read a lot more.
Do any of you remember the days before smartphones, where you could sit and read for hours on end without distraction? I feel so old taking about the “good old days” haha! This was middle and high school for me - I remember getting cozy in my favorite armchair and read undistracted. Oftentimes now when I try to read, I find myself picking up my phone every couple of pages. Getting rid of that temptation on Sundays, I have been able to read so much more, and it’s the best!
6. I’m excited for the week ahead.
Before unplugged Sundays, I was already taking Sundays off of work. As entrepreneurs, it’s so easy to work all the time, but that’s not sustainable. Taking time to rest and rejuvenate is so important for cultivating creativity and having energy for our work. It’s hard to step away, but remember, your business will not fall apart. Taking a day off a week, was really helpful for my mental health, but completely unplugging has taken it to the next level. After a day unplugged, I am so excited to get back into my work, which involves a lot of connecting with people online, working with my Beautycounter team, and the entrepreneurs I support.
I cannot recommend regularly taking time away from technology enough! Whether that’s a whole day, half a day, or a little time each day, it makes a difference. If you want to try get into the practice of unplugging, here are my top tips!
1. Get support.
Don’t go it alone! Having your partner, roommate, or friend do it with you makes it so much easier and keeps you accountable.
2. Use techniques to connect with yourself.
Take this time to connect within and actually listen to your thoughts. Some great tools to help you do so include breathwork, yoga, journaling, and meditating.
3. Turn everything off and put it out of site.
Out of site, out of mind! If your phone is within site or easy access all the time, you will be tempted to “take a quick look.” Put it in your closet or if you’re out and about, leave it at home.
4. Find ways to recharge.
These are the best days to recharge, so find what recharges you! Maybe that’s getting out in nature, connecting with a close friend, doing a creative project, reading, taking a nap, or playing an instrument. Do the things you love to do, but feel like you never have time to do!
5. Give yourself grace.
This isn’t about perfection, and truly there’s no right or wrong way to do this. The right way, is doing what gives you life! And if you mess up and look at your phone, don’t beat yourself up. Be curious about why you picked it up, and work through anything that comes up for you.
What’s your favorite way to disconnect?