How to unplug and unwind

Do you want to unplug and disconnect but are afraid to? As hard as it is to get away, you need to do it regularly because you need to recharge if you want to prevent burnout.

Here are 10 ways to help you unplug and disconnect when life gets busy.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”  -Anne Lamott

It would be nice to completely unplug from the world for as long as we need to without worrying about anything else.

Since people don’t always have this luxury, I’ll share some quick as well as some long-term tips on how to unplug so you can recharge, re-energize, and relax.

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.

If you want to have more breaks without having to think about it, let Mother Nature do it for you.

Drink half of your weight in ounces of water. I got this life hack after reading the book, “The Good Enough Job” by Simone Stolzoff.

Not only are you getting properly hydrated, you’re forced to get up, even if it’s just going to the bathroom.

It’s not the most ideal way to take a break, but it can help if you’re like me and can spend hours sitting at your desk without getting up.

By getting up to walk, even if it’s very short, you get your muscles moving and blood pumping to re-energize you.

Here’s how to do it:

If you weigh 150 pounds and divide by 2, then you get 75 pounds. Replace the pounds with ounces, and this is the total amount of water you’re supposed to drink.

2. Keep Your Cellphone Out Of Reach.

This one is hard for me and I’m sure you can relate. I take my cellphone with me everywhere, so it’s harder in theory than in practice.

But I find that when I do, I feel more relaxed because my brain isn’t constantly searching for stimulation.

I can enjoy my shower, my breakfast, and even my family because I don’t have my cellphone to distract me.

Also, it’s easier to silence my phone and keep it out of reach than it is to silence notifications.

So as much as I can, I try to keep my cellphone out of reach so I can relax and be at peace when I’m at home.

3. Do A Digital Detox.

One great way to unplug is to do a digital detox. Digital detoxing is cutting out digital devices for a certain period of time.

My digital detox is refraining from looking at email and social media at least once a week for 24 hours.

Because I’m not scrolling on my phone to find something entertaining, I can enjoy what’s in front of me and it puts me in a lighter modd.

4. Go For A Slow Walk.

Walking is a great way to help you unplug, especially if you are feeling anxious or if you’ve been working on something for a long stretch of time.

I would suggest to take a slow walk outdoors for at least 10 minutes. If you absolutely can’t go outside for 10 minutes, shorten the length of the walk, do it indoors, or both.

Walking slowly, even from your bedroom to the kitchen, gives your mind a break by shifting its focus. It’s a great way to reset, refocus, and recharge.

5. Leave Your Work At Work.

Some people check work emails or make client calls, even after coming home from work.

It might seem like you can get ahead by squeezing in more work, but it can be counterproductive. If I’ve been working long hours, my mind starts to shut down.

I can’t think as clearly and I make more mistakes. I’ve even made bad decisions when because I didn’t know when to stop working.

The best thing you can do is leave work at work so you can unplug and recharge at home.

6. Take Frequent Breaks.

Taking more breaks, especially if you’re working on a big project, will help you reset your mind and body. When you allow yourself to rest more often, you are preventing yourself from burning out.

Taking more breaks can help you:

  • Reduce fatigue.
  • Increase your motivation.
  • Stay focused on your task.
  • Process information better.
  • Feel more balance and harmony in your personal life.

7. Check Your Email Once Or Twice A Day.

Email can suck you into a time warp. I know because I’m guilty of checking my email at all hours of the day.  

When I see something interesting, I click on it and it takes me to an enticing article, and before I know it, an hour has gone by.

To prevent this, I try to limit checking my email to twice a day on the weekdays and just once on the weekends. I also try my best not to reach inbox zero because I know it’s never going to happen so it’s better if I just let it go.

Of course this is easier in theory than in practice, but I keep practicing because it does get easier with time and I can enjoy my time off even more.

8. Meditate.

Meditation is a wonderful way to unplug each day. You don’t have to spend hours doing it either.

You can spend just a few minutes each day meditating to reap the health benefits.

There are many ways to meditate, like sitting quietly with your eyes closed, going for a walk, eating your lunch slowly, or doing something you really enjoy without distraction.

9. Set Up A Digital Free Zone.

A digital free zone gives you a space to unplug so you can reconnect with yourself and your loved ones.

I make a point to keep our dinners digital free as much as possible. This gives me and my family a chance to enjoy our food and each other’s company.

Pick any space in your home and designate it as a digital free zone. This can be your bedroom, dining room, or even a cozy little corner of your house.

10. JOMO – Joy Of Missing Out

The next time you feel like reaching for your cellphone or television remote, remember JOMO.

Kristen Fuller, M.D., a writer for Psychology Today, found that JOMO is “the emotionally intelligent antidote to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and is essentially about being present and being content with where you are at in life.”

Although the study focused on social media users who had FOMO, JOMO can be an antidote to other behaviors that keep us from unplugging such as being work obsessed and having a constant drive to achieve status & success.

Instead, JOMO can help you be fully present for the things matters most, like:

  • Spending quality time with people you care about
  • Being more present with your kids
  • Having a spontaneous date with your significant other
  • Doing something creative
  • Doing things you really love
  • Taking up a new hobby

Why We Don’t Like To Unplug.

We Have FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO is short for “fear of missing out”.

I went through most of my young life without a cellphone and even spent a third of my college years without one.

I got one to use mainly for emergencies. But now that I use my phone for everything, I have FOMO if I leave my house without it.

We’re Wired For Connection

Another reason why we have a hard time unplugging is that humans are innately social creatures and we naturally want to connect with other human beings. This is how we were able to survive for thousands of years.

Nowadays, we spend an average of 4 hours a day connected to our cellphones. Unfortunately, it disconnects us from each other in so many ways and also keeps us tethered to our devices so we can never truly get away.

We Work Too Much

According to the American Psychological Association, more than half of employed adults check work messages during the weekends, before and after work, and when they are home sick.

More than 40% confessed that they worked even while they were on vacation. This makes it especially difficult to get away and get some much needed rest.

What It Means To Unplug.

According to the Miriam Webster Dictionary, to unplug is to remove a blockage or to physically disconnect from something.

It’s easier to physically disconnect than it is to do it mentally & emotionally.

Sometimes, when my family and I are on vacation, I can’t disconnect from my stress right away.

Just as my mind would begin to unwind, we would have to go back to the real world too soon.

I think for humans to truly unplug, we have to feel it physically, mentally, and emotionally so we can recharge from the inside out.

The Benefits Of Unplugging.

When you unplug, you are:

  • Getting clear on what truly matters most.
  • Removing yourself from distraction.
  • Putting up boundaries.
  • Are able to focus on what is in front of you.
  • Able to have peace.
  • More balanced.
  • Wasting less time.
  • Enjoying the present moment.
  • Able to engage more meaningfully with others.
  • Curtailing FOMO.
  • Making more room for creativity.
  • Possibly gaining some insightful solutions for issues you have.
  • Giving your mind and body much needed rest.
  • Able to sleep better.
  • Reenergizing your mind and body.

Last Thoughts

Unplugging for a given period of time is necessary in this day and age. It gives you a chance to disconnect from distraction and busyness so you can get back to the things that are most important to you.

Learning how to unplug can be as simple as drinking plenty of water, taking frequent breaks every day from work, and practicing JOMO, the joy of missing out.

More ways to unplug:

What is mindfulness and what are the benefits?

What is the goal of meditation? Misconceptions and benefits.

How to declutter your mind in 6 simple ways.

How do you unplug? Please share your stories and ideas down in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *