Unplugging and Spending Quality Time With Friends and Family

A friend and I recently took a trip to NYC. It was for pure pleasure and to get away from our normal day to day worlds. We opted to leave most of the technology at home and do NO work while away. I know NY may not sound like a place to unwind but we had a blast. Like two school girls going on a class trip.

Four days of no emails, no responding to phone calls except those related to the trip and letting family know we had arrived.

Granted there’s no way to get totally away from technology in Manhattan – it is all around but it’s not something we really had to deal with from a work standpoint. The lights, sounds and smells all so different.

And the city that never sleeps. We ate supper late the first night so it was dark by the time we had finished enjoying our meal and family. We were amazed at the increase in the number of people that were out and about after dark compared to the number we encountered during the daylight hours.

We chose to use something called Uber. My friend had never used it (my only experience was with another friend one time) so we saw it as an adventure. We hailed a cab for the first time in our lives and we laughed as the cabs always seemed to be on the opposite side of the street from us.

Everyone we met and talked with were friendly and helpful. Not exactly what we had expected but certainly a heartwarming experience. There was no itinerary except for one show. We had a few things that we wanted to check off the bucket list but for the most part we just did what felt right for that moment in time.

Simple things like sitting in a park, watching the kids and dogs frolic. Hearing the wind rustle the leaves and seeing the blossoms float to the ground like snow in a fairy tale. Gazing at the buildings, the contrast of old and new. Listening to the sounds of the cars in the street, the Saturday morning street musicians and smelling fresh baked bagels.

‘Happiness is not by chance but by choice’ Jim Rohn

We wanted to get away and about 30 years ago we took a side trip into the city for just a few hours. It was an experience to say the least since I was driving and she was the navigator. We promised ourselves that we would return some day to see more we just didn’t expect it to be so long. But it was worth the wait.

So why am I sharing this with you? I honestly think that we sometimes get so caught up in technology, life events, work, and family that we forget to enjoy the little things like eating a hot dog from a street vendor for the first time or just kicking back with a friend and laughing til you cry. It’s good for the soul.

You don’t need to go to NYC but take some time away from the tech stuff. Give your brain, fingers, eyes and everything else a break.

11 Ways to Unplug and Unwind

1. Find a park near you and leave the cell phone in the car or turn it to silent if you absolutely can’t leave it behind. Listen to the birds, the trees rustling, dogs barking, say hello to other walkers. Oh and in order to hear those sounds ditch the iPod music.

2. Have a family game night – no phones, no TV, no computers allowed.

3. Curl up with a good book.

4. Dig in the dirt – plant a flower

5. If your fitness watch tells you to move and you jump up at that moment – then consider giving it a rest. Leave it behind on occasion.

6. Have a chat with a friend – face to face – over a cup of coffee. No cells allowed.

7. Play Frisbee with your kids, friend or dog. It’s hard to talk, play and run at the same time.

8. Go for a swim – cell phones don’t like water.

9. Take a Yoga class – cell phones are frowned upon.

10. Find an Unplugging Camp for Adults – they do exist.

11. Start and end your day without technology even if it’s just a few minutes. I know people who check their cell phones as they wake up in the morning and as they are going to bed at night.

Bonus ideas – take a hike. Carry your phone for safety but put it in silent mode.

Watch a sunrise or sunset.

Have a great day!


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