The lure of an upcoming vacation will inject a smile into your stress filled day and ease the steady pain of an endless workload. Images of white sand beaches and far-flung adventures can keep you motivated and focused when professional life gets you down. This digital age we all find ourselves immersed in provides tremendous opportunity and an abundance of information but can come at a cost. Constant communication keeps us tethered to responsibility like a child on a leash at Disney World – joy and relaxation just within reach but we can’t quite escape the burdens of reality…
Unplugging from the countless devices, gadgets and contraptions that accompany most of us through our daily lives is a practice in which we all should partake. While turning the phone off or even leaving it behind may seem impractical, the benefits of doing so are numerous. Studies have shown that checking out from the electronic realm can reduce stress, foster healthier relationships and even increase productivity and brain power upon returning to the robot run world. You don’t need to attend a new-age mindfulness retreat or drop beaucoup bucks on an exotic meditation oasis to see these results, though those are great options if you have the means. A few simple habits incorporated into your daily life or especially while you travel can do wonders for how you explore and interact with the world around you.
TURN OFF THE PHONE
This seems easy but give it a shot and see how long you can last. Don’t leave it in your pocket and pretend it’s not there. Turn the thing off and forget about it for a minute, an hour or an entire day! We’ve all heard that keeping away from screens an hour or two before bed can lead to better, deeper sleep but the same goes for other parts of your day. Studies have shown that when your brain knows that phone is on and nearby the mere possibility of multi-tasking can cause distraction and lead to diminished interactions with other people. Leave a thorough ‘away’ or ‘out of the office’ message, if you’re travelling, so people know you’ll be out of touch for a while if your daily life is demanding. Then try to forget about the responsibilities of the real world and bring on the rest and relaxation. Stay in the moment if you are in a new city or country. Make a local connection with a stranger. Find solitude at the beach or by the pool. These little things can do wonders for your mental state and just a little time away from your device is beneficial.
Write in a Journal
The next time you have the urge to take a photo to keep your Instagram followers up to speed or the need to spill your thoughts on FaceBook, take a breath and write it down. Pen on paper style. Slow things down and write for yourself. Collect those thoughts as you travel and revisit them at the end of the day or the end of your trip. You’ll have more than enough content to post and you’ll be happier with the focus and attention you give to important moments rather than constantly having the need to connect with the digital world. Turn a highlight of your outing into a story not just for those who follow you online but for your grandchildren or fellow travelers you meet along the way.
Stoke Your Wanderlust
Adventure and mystery have inspired countless people to leave the comforts of home to get out and explore the world. Humans seem to possess this desire engrained in their spirit at a very basic, primitive level. We have been nomads and wanderers for thousands upon thousands of years but have only been able to share these experiences with others instantly, at the touch of a button, for a decade or two. Don’t forget the true magic that exists in so many places across the globe. Much of this cannot be captured with a photo or post – it must be experienced and enjoyed with presence and purpose. Get out there and discover the world in its mighty beauty and search with abandon for those uncut gems that are found in the journey and not the destination. Use technology as a tool and not a crutch to assist you and this bounty will find you.Written by Caleb Summeril