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7 Ways To Disconnect So You Can Reconnect

7 Ways To Disconnect So You Can Reconnect

Last Wednesday I had an extraordinarily full and over-committed day.

,

I was up early in the morning and out the door by 6:30 AM to make the first of many meetings.

After my second meeting of the day, while I was running errands for Thanksgiving, I dropped my phone.

And it broke.

For real. 

The screen went black and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to turn back on.

So, in the 20 minutes before my 3rd meeting of the day, I raced to the AT&T store and very quickly purchased and activated a new iPhone (the ease in which that transaction occurred is not lost to me – that in and of itself was a miracle).

But they couldn’t transfer the data from my old phone to my new phone until I was able to get the screen fixed, and I wasn’t able to get that all sorted out until Sunday.

So for 4 days, I was effectively disconnected from the world.

I didn’t have access to anyone’s phone numbers except for the one’s stored in my mind.

I couldn’t easily access my email or social media.

I didn’t bother to take pictures with my new phone because I was going to have to completely reset it in order to sync it with my old phone once this whole debacle was figured out.

And something magical happened.

Instead of filling my time doing many productive things with my smartphone such as texting, calling, emailing, downloading, reading, researching, googling, facebooking, instagraming and photographing – I filled my time with being.  
 
Being with my family.

Being with my friends.

Being with my thoughts.

Being with myself.

And it was wonderful.

Sometimes, disconnecting from the overconnectivity of the world is just the thing you need to reconnect with yourself and the ones you love.

To regain focus and clarity.

To revive your spirit.

And having those moments of simply being are incredibly restorative.

You don’t have to break your smartphone in order to get more of that in your life (although in my case, it felt rather divinely inspired).

You can start small – begin with just 30 minutes a day.

Put your phone away and turn the ringer off.

Then spend 30 minutes reconnecting with yourself.

Do whatever your heart desires.

7 Things You Can Do Without Your Smartphone (That Also Support Relaxation and Reconnection)

  1. Go for a walk: Amble around your neighborhood, hop on a nature trail, or take your family to the park and walk around together.  Leave your phone in your pocket.  Take in the sights and sounds.
  2. Gaze at the stars:  When was the last time you star-gazed?  Before the last blood-moon in September, I was shocked to realize that it had been such a looooong time since I had spent time watching the heavens.  And when I did, it was an amazing feeling – looking up at the big beautiful sky that we all share.
  3. Practice deep breathing: Dedicating time to deep belly breathing allows you strengthen your relaxation response, which in turn improves your stress response.  Here’s one way to do it:
    1. Sit up straight
    2. Place the tip of your tongue up against the back of your front teeth. Keep it there through the entire breathing process
    3. Breathe in silently through your nose to the count of four
    4. Hold your breath to the count of four
    5. Exhale through your mouth to the count of four, making an audible “woosh” sound
    6. That completes one full breath. Repeat the cycle another three times, for a total of four breaths
  4. Take an epsom salt bath:  This is one of my favorite all-time activities.  Not only do epsom salt baths feel relaxing, but they are truly therapeutic.  Epsom salts promote relaxation and detoxification.  Add 2 cups of Epsom salts to a tub full of warm water.  Soak and enjoy for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Color a picture:  Have you noticed that adult coloring books are really popular right now?  My daughter (who is 5) wants to color all the time – she can’t get enough of it.  And once you get started, it’s so easy to lose yourself for a while making a pretty picture.
  6. Read a book:  A real one.  The kind you turn the pages and write notes in the margins.  Not the kindle version or iBook version.  Purchase a real book and carry it around with you in your bag.  Whenever you get a few minutes, pull it out and get lost in the pages.
  7. Get a massage: Who doesn’t love a massage?  You can’t help but relax and disconnect when you get one.  Gift yourself an hour of relaxation and disconnection for the holidays!