Whether you’re taking a short break from social media or spending the day away from the push-pull of the wired world, we believe in the restorative value of disconnecting. Be it for work or play, many of us spend hours if not days sitting in front of our laptops, iPhone in hand, switching back and forth between push notifications. We’re not knocking technology—far from it, in fact—we love being able to connect with our LIV Fam online. However, taking time away from the digital grind is essential for a well-rounded life. Since 2009, National Day of Unplugging (March 5-6, 2021) has served as a way to educate the public on the importance of a healthy tech/life balance.
While we can’t all take an entire day off from work, there are plenty of ways to unplug and unwind. Here are seven tips anyone can try.
1. Break For Lunch
A great jumping-off point for anyone who feels daunted by the thought of disconnecting—or those who don’t have the work flexibility to go off the grid. It may sound simple, but using your lunch break as an excuse to unplug is a great way to reclaim your day and rev up for a more productive afternoon. If, like so many of us, you’re currently working from home, use this time to get lost in lunch. Taking the time to cook something special will make your midday meal feel like a vacation from the sad desk salad norm. Remember, it’s not unplugging if you’re searching for recipes on your iPad.
2. Walk It Out
Going for a stroll is a great way to reconnect with your body, and—if you can leave your headphones at home—it’s the perfect time to unplug. While music and podcasts can be a fun addition to your daily commute, chances are, you’re streaming them from your phone. And as long as said phone holds center stage in your hand (or lurks behind the scenes in your pocket), you’re opening yourself up to the potential of getting sucked back in. If you do choose to take your phone for a walk, be sure to silence notifications to get the full benefit of unplugging.
3. Board Not Bored
Not so sure you’re cut out for the unplugged lifestyle? Try going back to basics with a classic analog activity like a game of checkers or your favorite board game. Got a whole day of unplugging to do? Buy or borrow a book on chess, and spend your afternoon getting lost in a new game.
4. Still Life Session
Try setting up a bowl of fruit, a vase of flowers, or any other collection of inanimate objects on your kitchen table. Even if only for thirty minutes, try sketching your still life without judgement. So you don’t identify as an artist—so what? Remember: there’s no such thing as perfect.
5. Get Sporty
Perhaps you used to play tennis in high school, or maybe you’ve never set foot on a court, field, or diamond in your life. Either way, consider this your excuse to pick up an old hobby or explore a new one. Team sports like basketball, football, and hockey, and solo sports like cycling and kayaking are great ways to get active while you unplug.
6. Get a Library Card
Whether you check it out or buy it outright doesn't really matter, as long as it’s a physical book with actual pages—not the digital copy buried in the depths of your Kindle or hiding who-knows-where in the cloud. Holding a book, feeling its weight and the texture of every page, will better allow you to disconnect from the digital world.
7. Push Notifications: Disabled
If these words send chills down your spine and a rush of sweat to your palms, then fear not. Full disconnection from work, family, friends, and social media can feel like a huge ask. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to go cold turkey. Try disabling push notifications on your phone, watch, iPad, or any other device for a whole day—even while you’re working. Don’t be surprised if you feel lighter and more calm without the constant buzzing.
There you have it, seven LIV-approved tips to help you create a more balanced relationship with tech on National Day of Unplugging and beyond. Got tips of your own? We want to hear them. Tag us @liquidiv on social to join the conversation.