Technology has become such a huge part of our everyday lives. It can be really difficult to go a few hours, let alone an entire day without using some form of technology. Whether we are checking our emails throughout the day, text messaging or chatting via social networking sites; we are always connected. When does anyone get a break these days? The sad truth is, not enough people take breaks from technology and it is affecting our physical as well as mental health.
Being connected can be great, but being constantly updating throughout your entire day gets to be extremely draining. Our mind’s can only handle so much at any given time and when you keep switching your focus; it can become difficult to stay productive and focused on the task at hand.
Ever had one of those days where you just feel as though you could toss your phone or your computer, yet you feel obligated to keep checking it? This is the problem many people struggle with on a daily basis and it’s about time we did something about it.
Too Many People Skip Vacations
Sadly, many people around the globe do not take the vacation time they need. A vacation doesn’t necessarily have to be a week or two away; it can be a day or even just a weekend spent on doing whatever it is that makes you happy. Getting out in the sun and socializing like people used to; face to face, is important for us. We are social creatures and while communicating via technology may seem to get the job done; it leaves many people feeling lonely and incomplete.
The same goes for taking time off of work. For your own sanity, it’s important to take days off and really get to do the things you love in live whether it be read a book, enjoy quality time with your family, have a BBQ or go for a walk along the beach. Stepping away from technology is a great way to restart your brain and allow yourself to relax; getting your mind out of the ‘work mode’ or ‘technology mode’ that you may currently feel stuck in.
Vacation Time Around the Globe
What’s really sad is the fact that the United States, China and Australia, among other countries do not guarantee vacation time to their workers. It’s no wonder so many people have depression and are so overwhelmed so much of the time. All work and no play (or all technology and no real life) can really weigh you down.
In Austria, and Brazil; at least 30 days of vacation are required to be taken by each employee each year; which studies have shown does great for the soul. Many places throughout the world will not pay people for their vacation time, making it tough for individuals to be able to afford to take time off, giving many people no choice but to work constantly in order to support themselves as well as their families.
High Stress Levels
If all you are doing is interacting with things such as your cell phone, computer or tablet much of each day; you aren’t getting a chance to slow down and truly enjoy the moment. First, your phone may ring, then you might receive an ‘important’ email and then suddenly there is an argument happening on Facebook. All of these things are too much for our minds to take on constantly. Maybe after all of that, you head home and decide to watch TV because you’re just so overwhelmed or you play a video game. Whatever happened to the days when people would step outside and enjoy some fresh air, do something active and really interact with their neighbors and friends? People just don’t enjoy life as they used to.
What You Can Do When You Ditch Technology
When you leave your cell phone at your hotel room or leave your laptop at home, your mind is going to feel so much more at ease. Sure, at first you may not know what the heck you should be doing but in time, you will be happy you made the decision you did.
The rest of the world can wait because you have earned a much needed break. In order to keep up your energy level and really live a productive life, you have to make some time just for you; where you don’t have to worry about anything.
What you do during your vacation time is completely up to you but we have a few suggestions for those of you who aren’t quite sure what to do with yourself: (trust us, we’ve been there. Technology has a hold on us, too and sometimes it seems impossible to plan out a day without it)
- Go to a friend or family member’s house and catch up face to face. Get some quality one on one time. You’ll notice that there are a lot of things to do without turning on a television or needing to check up on your social networking sites. Enjoy the moment and don’t worry about tomorrow or the next week. Just have some fun, quality time. Talk about the funny memories you have from the past, create new ones and show yourself what it’s like to truly interact with another human being. The sky is the limit. Bring out a good old board game, play a game of cards or create your own game. No matter how you plan out your day, just make sure you are having a good time.
- Experience nature. You can do this by visiting a zoo or maybe even a local wildlife park. There’s nothing more calming than being around animals. They are so simple and beautiful to look at.
- Wanting to get out without spending money? Enjoy your children. Take them to the park or bring your dog for a walk. Meet new people at a dog park and broaden your social scene.
- Go out to eat. Sit down and really enjoy your meal instead of rushing. Do not check your cell phone during this time; whoever is trying to contact you can wait. Really take your food in; focus on how amazing it smells, how great it tastes. It’s interesting but most people are in so much of a hurry so much of the time that that they do not truly eat their food; they do just about everything in their lives on auto pilot.
Change Your Way of Thinking
At first, ditching technology is going to feel like torture. You will probably find yourself obsessing over what you may have missed and start pondering all of the ‘what ifs’. Life is way too short to worry about what could happen; give yourself permission to make the day all about you. Really pay close attention to your body and what it needs. It may be tough to read at first, but over time it will become much easier and you are going to see major changes. The more enjoyable experiences you have in life, the more energy you are going to have once you do return to work. You will notice that you are able to handle much more than you used to, all thanks to your much needed (and deserved) break from technology.