U is for Unplugged Time
Unplugging does not come easily for me.
Watching TV, blogging, playing video games, reading on my iPad, and listening to an audiobook or podcast are some of my favorite ways to spend my free time.
Knowing how much screen time negatively affects sleep cycles does give me some motivation to cut down my electronic activity.
Figuring out how to unplug has become one of my health goals for 2017. This process is still a work in progress, but here's what I've implemented with some success so far:
1. Designate one time or activity as unplugged.
Originally, my idea was to make walking our dog free of any mobile device intrusions. I didn't think walking Bernie as an unplugged activity for us would be difficult.
But then I want to take pictures of the pup. If I'm virtually hiking a trail, I like to sync my FitBit to see my progress. I also check incoming texts if I'm waiting for someone.
While 90% of our walks are unplugged, we have not reached the true goal of an unplugged time.
I decided to revise my idea for designating an activity into designating a time. Now every Saturday morning, I pick a two hour chunk of time to read a physical book.
2. Eliminate one plugged in activity.
I've stopped playing video games. I cancelled my World of Warcraft subscription last summer. While I was playing the Sims for a bit, I haven't earned any Simoleans in quite some time.
At some point, I may want to play a video game, but I'll deal with that craving when it happens.
3. Reward yourself with unplugged vacation time.
My Person and I have a big organizational project planned for this summer. We've already identified a great cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona as our reward destination for a long weekend.
While the cabin does have wifi and cable, we've already discussed limiting our use of all devices. We're planning on packing several books, our pups, and us, and relaxing at the cooler mountain altitude.
Last summer when I read Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature Rich Life, I discovered the existence of Camp Grounded: Summer Camp for Adults.
While I like this concept, I'm not certain I would want to travel as far as their camps to achieve unplugged bliss. Most of Arizona's luxury resorts offer deep discounts in the heat of our summer.
Depending on your weather, travel preferences, and schedule, you may find resorts or other travel destinations within driving distance that discount their rates in the off-season.
If all else fails and you can't find the inspiration to unplug, you can always claim that sleep is your dedicated unplugged activity.