The Art of Unplugging

In our January newsletter, I on my goals and wish for my circle of people as we head into 2018.

PS- if you missed out January newsletter, check it out here! My goal this year is to learn the art of living in the moment, but most importantly to learn the art of unplugging.

Disconnecting and unplugging seems impossible in this society we find ourselves in. If our laptop isn’t open in front of us, our tablet is still chirping, or smartphone always buzzing, and our phone still vibrating. Without being dramatic, it seriously seems impossible to be able to disconnect from everything and tune out the noise.

Let’s also take note, that the music industry is one that never stops — news happens while we are asleep in the blink of an eye. Clients, artists, media outlets are always “on”, and it is a rarity that we find a lull in the excitement of this industry. The con to that is that it can leave us burnt out, overwhelmed, and exhausted.

It seems that disconnecting and learning the art of unplugging would be beneficial for many avenues of our life; we just need to understand how to do it. It’s a process, for sure. One cannot (very easily) entirely shut off from the world and not feel a sense of anxiety and urgency to get back online and see what we missed. Here are a couple of tips I’m already utilizing as I learn the art of disconnecting and unplugging.

Delete the apps. I know, I led with a tough one, hmm? I cannot believe how much less I am on my phone when I remove my social media apps from my phone. I find that when I use my phone to check one app, I then have to check another app, and then another network, and then respond to that one person’s DM. Before you know it, I’ve wasted a half hour of my time just looking at my apps. Deleting social media apps from my phone dramatically cuts down on this sense of urgency and distraction.

Get AntiSocial: I discovered this website and app years ago, and it has been a true lifesaver as I hammer out deadlines.  Anti-Social is an amazing software that blocks out social network sites, other sites you frequent, and can even pause getting emails for anywhere from 5 minutes to 8 hours at a time. The company has also designed an app to do the same thing on your mobile device, as well as their critically acclaimed software, Freedom,  which can block your computer’s internet for X amount of hours while you work and write offline.

Feed the Monster (in Controlled Doses): Okay, nobody ever said you had to go cold turkey with social media, your phone, apps, etc.! Moderation is everything and so key here. Let’s face it; you need these apps to succeed and get work done. We just have lost sight on how to do it healthily. Something that has helped me is to allot myself a set amount of time, like an hour in the morning (after my meditating, after my breakfast) to just catch up on my social feeds. I do the same thing at the end of the day while on the treadmill at the gym. Be sure not to be on your phone right before bed to check in, though, as being on your devices will stimulate your brain as it brings forth anxiety, restless, insomnia, etc.

 

So you’ve disconnected from social media and your devices, now, how can you “learn to be”? Here are ten things I’ve done to replace the time to learn the art of “being” and living in the moment.

1. Read an actual book — one not on a tablet.
2. Ask your roommate how their day was — genuinely care, truly listen.
3. Go to the gym— push yourself ten more minutes.
4. Pick out a relaxing playlist on Spotify.
5. Go for a walk
6. Pick a new coffee shop order a beverage and people watch
7. Write / Journal
8. Sit in your room— stare at the ceiling — take in the sights, sounds, smells, feeling. Work on your breathing.
9. Take up a hobby.
10. Cook yourself a meal instead of turning to the app-based pleasures of seamless, instacart, and postmates.

How are you choosing to disconnect in 2018? What’s worked, what hasn’t?

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