At the beginning of 2017 I was challenged: unplug.
I’ve “unplugged” before, but mostly out of force. We were traveling in another country and didn’t have access to reliable wifi. So maybe that isn’t exactly unplugging. Because any change I could, I was searching for a connection. I was thinking about all that I was missing. What would happen if I missed a Snapchat? An Instagram post? An update in the Facebook newsfeed!?
Well nothing happens. Nothing except being able to connect where I am. Being able to focus. Being able to enjoy. Being able to truly be present in the moment instead of trying to be present everywhere online.
I’ll admit it – I’ve become addicted. I love the notifications. I love the constant updates. I love being in the know of what’s going on in the worlds of those I follow.
But it had taken over. It can be overwhelming.
We live in a world more connected than ever, yet so many of us feel disconnected.
The comparison games run strong the more “connected” I am. The highlight reels become too much. I’d find myself with eyes glued to my phone, constantly switching between multiple apps missing what’s happening right in front of me.
So in January, I was challenged. I was setting my monthly, weekly, and daily goals and I knew unplugging needed to be a part of it.
But honestly, I was scared. I run an online business. What would happen if I wasn’t present online? Sometimes it’s easier to just continue with what we’ve been doing instead of doing what we know is best for us.
A full weekend felt too much, so I tried for a day. And it was amazing!
I deleted the social media apps on my phone and kept my laptop shut. I knew if I gave myself an out, it wouldn’t happen. I’d fall back down the social media hole I was trying to take a break from.
I unplugged. And I plugged into what’s most important to me.
It felt so weird at first. In my spare moments I found myself reaching for my phone and scrolling over to that familiar place of entertainment, only to be reminded it was out of service for today. It happened so many times that first Social Media Free Saturday, but I did find other things to fill the spaces.
I read. I relaxed. I spent time fully present with friends. I hung out with our crazy dog, Stella. I prayed. I went for a walk. I was still. I was at peace.
Once I got a taste of it – being plugged into what’s important – I totally understood why it was so encouraged. It felt like a big weight lifted. My world wasn’t going to fall apart if I didn’t post or missed an update. That sounds silly to say, but that was my fear.
It’s done me so much good to unplug and get out of the madness, even just for a day. It resets my system. Refocuses my heart. For a day I can check out.
Unplugging has made it to my weekly goal list every month since. I don’t always do it perfectly, sometimes I don’t do it at all. But I try to make an effort to unplug where I can. Maybe I can’t do a full day, so I’ll leave my phone at home for a long walk.
It’s so important to take care of ourselves the way we need to and that means unplugging for yourself every once in a while. Take time for you! You don’t need to feel guilty or uneasy about it – we’ll be okay without ya and will be even more excited to see you again when you’re back 😉
So how do you unplug?
I guess it’s pretty simple, but since I was doing this as a weekly thing, I wanted some structure. I needed to be clear with myself so I knew if I was achieving my weekly goal or if something needed to be tweaked.
I chose a day of the week and determined what I would unplug from.
Of course, this is different for every person.
When choosing a day of the week – Is there a day that would be better than others? Are there certain days you absolutely have to be available online? Is there a day in particular you’re more distracted from what’s happening around you? For me, Saturday was best. That’s the day I’m naturally more checked out because there tends to be other things going on: trips, events, dates, etc.
When determining what you’ll unplug from – Will this be all apps? Will you limit to social media? What about emails or texts? Some people may choose to turn their devices off or on airplane mode. Others, including myself, may just delete the distracting apps and then reinstall once the unplugging is complete.
The most important thing is to make it work for you and your family. I’d suggest letting those close to you know about your plan to unplug so they do not worry if they’re not hearing back from you and they can help hold you accountable. Goals tend to be reached easier when we share with others what we’re setting out to do.
This is a dedicated time to connect back to what’s most important to you! Enjoy it <3
Share: I’d love to hear below your plans for unplugging! I encourage you to join me for Social Media Free Saturday – or whichever day works best for you!