You may have heard by now that too much technology can be bad for your mental health. It’s hard, though, to detach from our phones and computers when so much of our lives are there.

Still, unplugging from time to time should be a priority. Here are 8 things to try next time you’re powering down your devices for the day.

Go out to a meal alone.
Unplugging from tech is a great time to reconnect with yourself. Doing things alone can be scary at first, but it’s so empowering and so fun. Try taking a book and going out to lunch one weekend alone. You’ll be able to relax and eat a great meal while also enjoying some social downtime.

Write in a journal.
When’s the last time you wrote in a physical journal with a real pen? If you don’t have a journal, that’s okay. Jotting down your ideas on paper, any kind of paper, stimulates your brain in a way that typing on a computer doesn’t. Start with a few minutes and see where your mind takes you.

Photo by Tamarcus Brown on Unsplash

Even if you’ve never meditated before, you can practice sitting and paying attention to your breath for a few minutes. Technology is one of the main distractions that pulls us away from being mindful, so unplugging is the perfect time to center yourself through meditation.

Call someone on the phone.
On the other hand, this is also a good opportunity to reconnect with others! Is there someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with—truly catch up with, not just exchange a few texts here and there—but haven’t had the time? Go out on a limb and call them on an actual phone.

Try a new recipe.
Many of us rush through meal times without much planning or thought. Is there a cool recipe you’ve been meaning to try, but haven’t had the time to actually shop for? Do you have recipe books that you never use? Now is the time to take a couple hours and conquer those dishes.

That new hobby you’ve been neglecting.
We all have one. An unfinished knitting project, a pack of watercolor pencils we’ve never opened, or a guitar tucked away in a closet. Without putting pressure on yourself to become a master in one day, try approaching the hobby again with a beginner’s mind.

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Move your body.
Sign up for yoga or spin, or perhaps give weight training a try. If you’re not into gyms—or even exercise—put on your favorite music at home and let your body move, however, it wants to move. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you work up a sweat, and it’ll put you in a great mood.

Head into the outdoors.
When all else fails, leave your Wi-Fi signal behind for a nature trail. Make sure to plan properly before you depart. Once there, try to walk slowly and really appreciate each step. Use all of your senses to take it all in, and remember that you are a part of something much, much bigger than yourself.

Unplugging from your devices forces you to remember the world around you, whether you stay in your apartment or head to a nearby trail or cafe. It’s much easier to reconnect with your surroundings when they’re a joyous place to be, so if your home isn’t giving you much joy lately, consider relocating to one of our communities. We care about our homes, so you can enjoy more peace of mind, put the phone down and live your best life.

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