Unplug to Reconnect and Relax

by Megan

We all know that we should put our smartphones down more often, right? I'm not telling you anything you haven't probably already thought of yourself. I see how comfortable my kids are with my phone and I know it's because they see me with it all the time, and while I want them to know how to use today's technology, I also want us all to know how to spend time without our phones, tablets and computers.

Also, we need to unplug because most of us know that: 

  • Multitasking doesn't work: you aren't able to focus on a million things at once!
  • It has a negative effect on our sleep.
  • Setting boundaries is sometimes necessary--do you really need to answer that work email at 3:00 AM?
  • That we should try to be present when with family or friends--trying to have a conversation with someone who is on their phone is infuriating as well as a waste of time.

So, how can you make this happen if you find yourself glued to your devices more often than you'd prefer?

  • No one is expecting you to completely disconnect and go "off the grid," but these are some steps to take that may help break some bad habits and lead to a healthier, happier life!Create no-tech or low-tech zones in the house. We have established the kitchen table as a no-phone/tablet zone in an attempt to show our kids that family dinner time is important to us. You could establish no-tech in the bedrooms if you want to take it a step further, the screen isn't good for your sleep, and although our kids don't have phones yet, they aren't allowed to watch anything on the tablet when we aren't there. IT may help to have a charging zone for everyone's devices in the kitchen area that everyone puts their phones or tablets in before bed. 
  • Track your phone time, try to reduce by 5 minutes each day or week until you hat the amount of time you feel most comfortable with.
  • Make screen time work for you by pairing it with a healthier habit. Only watch your television shows while you're exercising. If the kids want to watch YouTube videos, make it exercise or dance videos so they're also moving. The reason I feel zero guilt watching terrible Housewife shows is because that's when I fit my runs in. 
  • Introduce the family to something "new" to replace some screen time. Playing cards or board games are nothing new, but some kids haven't played with these things yet! Teach the kids "Spoons" or challenge your spouse to "Gin." My spouse and I had a Sudoku challenge the other night in which we saw who could complete a Sudoku game first!

What do you and your family do to take breaks from your tech?

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