Five tips to unplug and unwind this Christmas
By Claire Lamicela
Part of achieving a healthy work-life balance is allowing yourself to take a break. Whether you are going away for a short weekend away, or a longer trip, it is easy to unplug from a constant state of connectivity and unwind – with a little self-discipline!
Technology and social media have made it easy to connect with friends and family, know what is going on in the world at any moment, and search and purchase whatever we need instantly. The negative impact, however, is that it can limit our attention span, memory, mood, energy levels and our ability to feel ourselves and live in the present moment.
There are many benefits to stepping away and taking time to actively disconnect. You will be giving your body, mind, and emotions the time to unwind and recharge, from the constant stimulation of electronic devices.
It is well known that the blue light from computers and phones leads to fatigue, stress and strain. When you are on alert constantly, waiting for the next message or notification, your nervous system cannot fully unwind, which affects your ability to rest deeply at night.
If you take the time to have a break and unwind, you will be more productive; a break can bring in higher levels of thinking, reflection, and creativity. This in turn will help you connect more to you and be in the present.
Being in beautiful open spaces in nature gets you earthed and at one with nature. Exploring new activities opens your heart and mind, creating new memories, as does enjoying being by yourself and/or in the company of others.
Start by planning when you will be away and for how long, and what level of connectivity you will need.
Set clear expectations
Set the expectation that you will be unreachable until you return, so fewer people will try to get in touch. This will allow you time and space to unplug completely. If you do need to attend to work-related matters, create a few ground rules and stick to them. E.g. Pop into your inbox once a day, for no more than 15 minutes.
Filter your email inbox
Set up an automated out-of-office responder email to inform people you are away and include the date of your return. Set incoming emails to automatically be filed in a folder, so you do not have to deal with them until you return. Unsubscribe from emails you do not read.
Limit your phone access
When you are at home, turn your phone on silent and put it in a drawer in another room. Set no-phone zones in your home e.g. the dining room, or an entire living space. Create time to sit down with friends and family in person versus communicating with them on your phone. If you are going out visiting, leave your phone at home. If you are away, leave your phone in a drawer for as long as you can, and try not to take it out with you. Set a time limit of under 10 minutes for scrolling in the morning or evening.
Plan your return
Often people fail to take a break, because the thought of returning to work means there will be an overwhelming number of tasks to complete. Plan your return by blocking out a couple of hours to respond to emails the day you get back. Also, schedule times to connect with colleagues to get updated on anything you may have missed.
Commit to unplug and unwind
To unplug and unwind you need to commit, follow through and disconnect from technology. Notice how grounded, centred, and settled you feel when you do not spend your day responding to text messages, or reacting to social media posts.
Essential oils can be supportive in helping you re-connect to your senses as they trigger many healing responses. At Docklands Health, we have a popular selection of pure therapeutic grade essential oils for purchase. Our in-house therapist has created a wonderful uplifting “Christmas Cheer” blend, that contains pure Australian Native essential oils with lovely citrus notes and the rare honey myrtle that smell like a burst of sunshine. These can be purchase at our clinic at Shop 4/860 Collins St, Docklands.
Massage is another way to stay connected to your body and take that all important pause and time out to de-stress and unplug. Our three therapists have a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Call us on 9088 3228 or book online at Docklands Health.