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Sometimes, you just have to unplug and get in touch with the natural world. Here are a few tips!

In the digital age, it feels like everything needs to be connected to a power source, including ourselves. In fact, the first question we usually ask when we initially arrive at a hotel is, “What’s the Wi-Fi password?” That seems strange given that we typically go on vacation to experience new cultures, places, food and more. Nevertheless, we’re attached, and that connection has made it extremely difficult to pull ourselves away from the screen, unplug and connect with the world. Sometimes, though, it’s just necessary to power down. It can help us get more in touch with ourselves, the people around us and Mother Nature. Here are a few tips to help you unplug.

  1. Designate Time without Electronics

One of the best ways to cut the proverbial cord is to designate time to be away from your electronics. Whether it’s during family meals, evening walks, or predetermined time for bonding, you can take connections to the next level by eliminating distractions that come with phones, televisions and the internet. Additionally, do you ever find yourself tossing and turning in bed before finally giving up on sleep, picking up your phone and scrolling through your social media feed? Putting your phone away 60 minutes before you go to bed can be a great way to get better sleep. It gives you more time to decompress and get into a restful mindset. Screens also typically produce blue light, which hinders the production of melatonin. Reducing your exposure before bed can help your body get the hormones and chemicals it needs to shut down for the night.

  1. Connect with Nature

Another great way to disconnect from the online and electronic world is to literally get out of your house and into nature. That can mean visiting a national park, going for a hike, going to your local park, or even something as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy simple outdoor activities. Taking in different plants, animals and climates can be fascinating, and the fewer distractions you have, the more impactful they may seem. This can also be a great idea for those looking to learn more about a new place. Maybe you’re on a vacation, or maybe you recently moved to a new city. Exploring is the perfect way to get acclimated to a fresh location or to learn about those hidden spots longtime residents always talk about.

  1. Spend In-Person Time with Your Loved Ones

Hitting the off switch isn’t just about getting in touch with nature. It also means building your relationships with those who matter most. And we get it. That can be tough when everyone you know is a few taps away, making it easy to connect over social media, text or even phone calls. But nothing matches the meaning and connectiveness of in-person interaction. In fact, face-to-face communication is proven to enhance our bonds. That’s because we can communicate non-verbally or take part in the same activity at the same time to develop shared experiences. Furthermore, simple proximity can be helpful, especially for couples. Often referred to as “parallel play,” this is when two people are doing different things in the same place. For example, one partner might be reading a book while the other does a puzzle. While those two things may seem disconnected, parallel play helps both partners develop independence while still facilitating closeness.

  1. Prioritize Your Physical and Mental Health

Sure, being on the internet or using electronics can be fun and stimulating, but it can also induce stress. Specifically, think about news cycles, social media, online gaming, or even using electronics to work from home. These can all be major sources of unneeded pressure. And it goes beyond your mental health. You can instead use that time to take up active hobbies that enhance your physical health, like working out, hiking, playing a sport or doing yoga. All of these can help you reset, connect with yourself and stay in good physical shape. More leisurely activities may also help you replenish your energy and regain your stamina. That can include taking a nice candlelit bath, reading a book about a subject you’ve always wanted to dive into, journaling about your day and feelings, playing music, painting, crafting, or meditating. Stepping away and giving yourself a digital detox can be the perfect way to put your mental and physical health first.

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