1. Recharge Your Soul, And Your Mental Health
Our brains aren't wired to process the vast amount of information available to us over the Internet. It can be very overwhelming, especially when you add in the emotional impact of recent events; mass shootings, protests, the presidential election. We are inundated with stories of victims, rumors, and heated discussions that too often are turning ugly. We may start feeling anxious or depressed.
We need to give ourselves space. While I don't advocate burying your head in the sand and avoiding the world around you, I do advocate disabling your social media apps and disconnecting from the Internet and television at least once a week. The hardest part is letting go of the feeling that you are missing out on something. But while you may be, you will be gaining something else, space for your own ideas, space to create and come alive away from the virtual world.
2. Focus On the Here and Now
We've all witnesses it, maybe even are guilty of it. The table of friends out at a restaurant for dinner, and all of them are checking their Facebook statuses or texting someone not present. Bluetooth and wifi have given us the ability to stay connected almost everywhere, but at what cost? Do you really want to be checking your email or reading your Facebook status everywhere? Turn your phone off and really take notice of who and what is around you. After all, the here and now is all we really have.
3. Increase Your Productivity
Pinterest is my time waster. I get a lot of great ideas for projects. As a teacher, it is a valuable resource. However, I often get swept down a rabbit hole of information, clicking from one link to another until I look up to find an hour or more has passed. I can tell myself that I was being productive, but really, it's the glorification of busy and an excuse to procrastinate. You have been there, too. Admit it. Maybe not on Pinterest. Maybe your vice is checking your email. You are looking for that one important email, but get lost reading all the unimportant stuff that can wait or should be deleted. Unplugging for a day, or even a few hours, opens up time to focus on hands on tasks. We have given ourselves one less distraction. I know I am far more productive at home when I unplug.