WHY YOU SHOULD UNPLUG EVERY NOW AND THEN (TOL #26)

So, I’m nearly two weeks back from a fantastic 10 days in California with my sailor.  Sometimes I wish I was still out there, even though I know it wouldn’t always be a vacation. And there’s work and school and life and bills to pay. UGH. Adulting. *sigh* But, anyway, it was a great trip and I’m happy to have had that time with him while we are living apart (woo, military life!) for a while.

We did have a few things we planned on doing (Navy function, hiking, wine tasting) but for the rest of the time, we just kind of flew by the seats of our pants. (Okay, am I the only one who thinks that’s a weird expression?) I took my planner and laptop with because I had some blog posts that I’d planned on writing and some other social media stuff I’d planned on doing.

But, I didn’t do any of it.

I mean, I did participate in a Facebook live discussion with my Personal Development book club (so much fun!) and I was kinda active on Instagram but I didn’t blog, I didn’t really tweet, and I didn’t Facebook (too much, anyway. just a few pictures.).

And, it was okay. In fact, it was more than okay – it was necessary.

Why you should unplug every now and then

We read “Present over Perfect” (link added in case you’re interested. NOT an affiliate link.) for book club and quite a bit of it really resonated with me. I can often feel like I need to do all the things and then, I miss out on some fun stuff because I’m just so busy. I don’t really ever relax. If I’m relaxed, it means I’m sleeping and then, honestly, even though….I’m not so sure I’m really relaxed. I can’t remember the last time I actually slept through the night.

We did do a lot while I was out there but it was unstructured and we often had time to just sit and be because we didn’t have anything or anywhere to rush off to. We just took our time and enjoyed each day. And it was glorious.

We’re all already just so busy and so much of our lives can be sucked up by hopping on the social media train that we miss what’s happening right in front of us. Ahh, good ole Facebook. The social medium that can suck you in and give you a serious case of envy (hello, comparison trap!). Or frustration (hello, people who don’t check facts, or Snopes, before they share something). Or whatever.  I’m better with Instagram (way less frustration) but still, there are times when I can mindlessly scroll through my feed and completely disengage from life. I don’t want that. I don’t think YOU want that.

I wanted to be present while I was spending time with my sailor. I only had 10 days with him – why would I want to waste a single moment goofing around on the Internet when what was happening right then in that moment was so much more fulfilling?

Experience the life right in front of you by becoming a part of it. #sweatpink #iamempowered Click To Tweet

Unplugging can be hard, I know. I know plenty of people who carry around multiple phones and they are basically tied to them. I know some people who practically live on Facebook. I know some people whose phones are basically an extension of their arm. I can be that way sometimes too.

But, unplugging, even if for just an hour (and no, taking an hour long nap does NOT count as unplugging), is so beneficial.

1. You’re present and in the moment. Let’s say you’re out at a kid’s soccer match and that kid scores a goal and looks to you for cheers and you’re staring at your phone. Um, well that’s a bummer. Unplugging (put away the phone. put it on silent. hell, turn it off!) helps you capture those moments and be a part of them. And you become a part of others’ experiences. You’re sharing them. And that can be so amazing.

2. You don’t have to compare yourself. You are you and that’s awesome. Unplugging gets you away from the comparison trap on social media. You know, most people don’t show their real lives and all about it over social media – they just show the good stuff, the stuff they want you to see. Your life is good too! But you’re not going to know it if your nose is stuck in your phone or your laptop has adhered itself to your legs. Don’t try to live the lives that others portray – go out and live your own!

3. You can stop and smell the roses. Okay honestly, my normal breakfast routine generally includes drinking my coffee and checking social media and catching up on stuff. While I was in California, I poured my coffee and went out on the balcony and took in the sights and smells of the morning – the sun coming up, the colors in the sky, the seals barking down by the bay, the smell of the salt in the air, the acorn woodpeckers chattering away, deer ambling by, a random dog barking in the distance…. My days were so much better, so much lighter when I did that.

4. You get a break to just … be. I mean, wouldn’t you like one? It’s refreshing! It’s relaxing. It’s rejuvenating.

5. You can reconnect with the people you love. When was the last time you went out on a date? Yes, even married couples can go on a date!! Okay, when you were on said date, did you two talk and laugh and stare lovingly into each other’s eyes? Or, were you too busy playing on your phone to notice? Relationships – marriages, friendships, parent/child bonds – take work and attention. They’re like flowers and attention is the water. Take care of them and they’ll bloom!

You only get one life to live. Don't miss out on it! #sweatpink #iamempowered Click To Tweet

TELL ME:

  • What are some of your reasons to unplug?
  • How often do you check your Facebook or Instagram?
  • Any tips for those who may struggle to let go?

So many, many thanks to Amanda for letting me link up and Think Out Loud.

16 COMMENTS

  1. San | 8th Oct 17

    I just took a break from blogging (and blog reading) for the last few weeks because I had visitor’s from Germany and we went road tripping… the only thing that got me kind of nervous was the thought of how I was going to catch up upon my return (hence all the late commenting ;)).
    But yes, unplugging is so good and necessary sometimes!!!

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer | 8th Oct 17

      Road tripping and friends are the best reasons to unplug! I’m glad you were able to do that. Looks like you had a great time, too!

  2. Lyss | 6th Oct 17

    unplugging is SO important for me so I can just be in the moment!! tune out the rest of the world, just appreciate the silence and the beauty that comes with it!

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer | 8th Oct 17

      There is something just so beautiful about silencing the world and just being in the moment! <3

  3. Chocolaterunsjudy | 6th Oct 17

    Most of the time, I tend to be somewhat unplugged, oddly enough. If you want to get ahold of me, my friends will tell you that the phone is rarely the way to go!

    I wasn’t online much this past weekend. Now, if it had been just me & Mr. Judy, I probably would’ve been on more, actually. Because somehow my running 13.1 really tires him out . . .

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer | 8th Oct 17

      Haha! My running copious amounts of miles also tires out my husband. Why does it work that way? lol

  4. runningintiaras | 6th Oct 17

    I love this post, Jennifer! I definitely don’t unplug enough, but I need to. This was a great reminder to do it more often! Xoxo

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer | 6th Oct 17

      I think we all could use more unplugged time. I hope you take some soon! <3

  5. Lisa @ Lisa 3D | 6th Oct 17

    Unplugging is such a great feeling, and I definitely don’t do it enough. Thanks for the reminder to do so!

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer | 6th Oct 17

      I definitely don’t do it enough either. Will it defeat the purpose if I set an alarm in my phone reminding me to turn it off? lol

  6. Emily Swanson | 5th Oct 17

    LOVE this so much. It does give us so much freedom to just be and reminds me that my identity isn’t rooted in Instagram. Even though Instagram has been such a blessing from God to connect with likeminded people and build meaningful friendships, I do need to step back from it now and again to remind myself of who I am in Christ and what life looks like without social media.

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer | 5th Oct 17

      I feel the absolute same way about Instagram. I could take or leave Facebook and be okay but I’ve really developed some amazing relationships over Instagram, which is a little weird to me but I love it. But Instagram is just a small part of my life and it should not be in control of it. Life outside of it looks pretty good, especially when I’m getting hugs and kisses from my grandbabies! <3

  7. amanda -runtothefinish | 5th Oct 17

    agreed, I absolutely need to unplug sometimes. I think it helps us get out of the tied to our phone mentality too!

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer | 5th Oct 17

      It really does! My husband is really good at it and it frustrates me sometimes. Mostly because he didn’t text me back right away. lol I think that’s why we love camping so much. We’re usually out in areas where there isn’t cell service so we’re forced to talk to each other! haha

  8. Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off | 5th Oct 17

    Love this post, especially the relationship parts. So true that phones can suck out the connection between two people in just an instant. I know when I’m telling my friend a story and they check their phone, I just feel kind of like I don’t want to keep telling them the story.
    We’re actually totally on the same page; I just wrote a post called The Importance of Doing Nothing, which is about leaving yourself room to breathe in the day so you can stay present. Give it a read if you’d like!
    I also would love to check out that Present over Perfect book; sounds right up my alley!
    Have a great Thursday!
    http://www.laughingmyabsoff.com/the-importance-of-doing-nothing/

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer | 5th Oct 17

      We totally are on the same page! It’s so frustrating to be talking to someone and watch them tune out because they’re glued to their phone. We have a “no phone at the dinner table” that started when my kids were teenagers and I still make it a rule when everyone is at my house for dinner! There is definitely something glorious about doing nothing – taking that time for yourself. And you should definitely read that book. I think you would really enjoy it! (if you can squeeze in pleasure reading between schoolwork. I know that’s hard.)

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