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Why Unplugging Is Not Just For Vacation

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

Unplugging – the digital detox of disconnecting from technology: our smartphones, tablets, laptops, televisions, etc.

I used to think that unplugging was just for vacations, and even that was a struggle… I’d still check my emails, and social accounts, but that’s not unplugging, and it certainly is something that needs to be a daily practice.

I get it… technology is now a part of our lives. It makes things better, like being able to keep in touch with friends and family using Skype or Whatsapp, and when used correctly (and working properly), it helps us be more efficient and productive.

So, question for you: How many times have you sat down on your computer or phone or tablet or any other smart device to do something and then it’s the end of the day and you’ve started 10 other things, none of which have anything to do with what you set out to do initially, and you have 20 tabs or screens open?

Here’s another one: How often have you scrolled through Facebook or Instagram and felt either slightly jealous or that you’re missing out?

If you said none to either, you are my hero! If it does sound familiar, thank goodness I’m not alone here.

So why is it important to unplug every day?

Disconnect to Reconnect

You’ve probably heard this before, and this has become one of my mottos.

Being an entrepreneur has really brought attention to this. It definitely happened in my past life working in corporate, but it’s more evident to me now for many reasons.

Unplugging gives me the space to do what I need to do!

JournalingThe other day, I chose not to open my computer and have a strategy day using good old pen and paper (there were coloured pens for sure).

I’ve had strategy days on my laptop, but I get sooo distracted, especially if my phone is beside me and I have not turned the notification off on either device – not good.

So, back to the other day… I got more done in an hour using a pen and paper than I did a whole day on my laptop. When I had ideas pop into my head, I just wrote them down and stayed on task.

Normally if that happens, the idea takes over and I start working on it, and then what I actually wanted to get done is still on my to-do list.

Unplugging helps me be present

How many times have I missed a moment because I was too busy reaching for the phone or camera to capture it only to come back and the moment is gone.

Don’t get me wrong, I love when I have pictures and videos to look back on, but more and more I make it a point to be in the moment, to be present.

I’m not always good at this, but I am aware of this: When you’re speaking to someone, and they’re on their phone and not looking at me, I don’t feel like what I’m saying is important. So why would I do that to someone else?

I will make a point of excusing myself because if someone is taking the time to spend it with me, I want to be there 110%.

It’s just rude.

Unplugging helps me to focus on me

You are the most important person in your life. Period.

If I’m constantly on my phone, I can get caught up in what other people are doing (FOMO – fear of missing out) or what other people have, which can make me feel like my life is not as exciting or successful, or that I should be doing what they’re doing.

NO! That is absolute hogwash! Social Media is great but boy can it play with our heads if we’re not careful.

People post about the good times, not typically about the bad times. People post what they want you to see, not what they don’t want you to see. It’s life, but it’s not the whole story.

Be proud and confident of who you are and what you’re doing, because there is no one on this entire planet that is like you!

Unplugging saves me time

I touched on this at the beginning, but seriously! Technology is a HUGE time waster if you let it. Countless minutes and hours wasted on scrolling through social media or getting sidetracked.

When I make a point to set my devices on ‘Do Not Disturb’ or even take it offline entirely using pen and paper, I get so much done because I stay on track.

Unplugging in the morning sets the day up for success

unplugging in the morningHow many people look at their phones first thing in the morning? I used to do this and what would happen is that I would start my day already stressed or distracted.

Reading emails before you’ve even got out the door already puts in you in a state of: So much to do, so little time!

Mornings are sacred to me – it’s my time. I wake up early, do some meditation and/or yoga, write in my journal, have my lemon water, tea and coffee, make breakfast, set my goals for the day… Life is good, and I feel like I have all the time in the world.

Versus… waking up with 20 minutes to get out the door, skipping breakfast, reading emails, getting to work, grabbing a quick coffee, scarfing down a quick muffin or breakfast sandwich … I feel stressed just thinking about it.

Unplugging helps me to connect with people

Face to face communication is the richest form of communication, and human connection is so important to our overall health and wellness.

It is our ability to empathize, belong, and love – it’s why we’re here.

People make a difference in our lives so we want to surround ourselves with those that love and support us, those that lift us up and make a difference for the better in our lives.

I want to leave you with two TedTalks:

  1. Every Kid Needs a Champion by Rita Pierson. I chose this one because we are all born to make a difference – teachers, coaches, students, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, doctors,… everybody! (about 7 minutes)
  2. The power of vulnerability by Brené Brown. I chose this because it speaks to the need and importance for human connection as it relates to the relationship you have with yourself first and foremost (about 20 minutes)

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ~ Brené Brown

Unplugging breaks my addiction with technology

UnpluggingYup, I went there. Do you feel naked without your smart device?

If so, you too may have an addiction to technology. Feeling the NEED to stay connected, to see what others are doing, to constantly check email or Facebook, or whatever vice(s).

which leads me to…

Unplugging to help optimize your mind and eyes

UnpluggingThe average American spends 24 hours a week online (source), and that number keeps on growing.

The next generations are being brought up with technology, and it’s more important than ever that we unplug not only for our mental health, but also to protect our eyes. All that squinting and looking at monitors of all sizes from the phone to televisions can’t be good for our eyesight.

Check out this Healthline Article around Eye Exercises: How-to, Efficacy, Eye Health, and More for more details around eye health and exercises.

So now do you see why unplugging isn’t just for vacation?

How do you like to unplug? Post a comment if you want to share!

Until next time!

About the Author

Natalia Edelmann

Natalia is a Certified Wellness Coach through the International Association of Wellness Professionals (IAWP), a Yin Yoga Teacher, an #1 Best Selling Author, an Independent International Distributor with Young Living, and holds an MBA and CPA.

Natalia is now dedicated to helping people get back to healthy, clean living so that they can have the energy and mindset to live their best life. 

Her passion for wellness and helping people comes through in her blog writing as well as in her signature Make it Happen mentorship program geared towards people who are feeling stuck or in a rut so that they can finally get clear and live their life on purpose.

Before transitioning into her role as a Wellness Coach, Natalia worked at one of the top Canadian Wealth Management firms in Canada, acting not only as a coach and mentor to her staff, but also as acting co-chair and mentor to women enrolled in their Women’s Mentorship Program.

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