The Value of Disconnecting by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
Those of us old enough to remember only having a landline telephone often muse about how we have, like everyone else, become tethered to our phones. In fact, in today’s world, our phones are used less to call people than for the other services these provide.
Unfortunately, most of us have become so dependent on our phones that we are rarely without them. We may even feel guilty if we decide to leave our phones behind for a little while, as though we’re not being available enough for work, family, and friends.
Disconnecting from the technology that keeps us so in touch with everyone around us can be the best thing we can do for our mental health and our ability to focus on the things that are really important. If you don’t already build disconnected time in your day, it’s time to start.
Spending a few hours every day disconnected can help you focus on work, on your family, or on your favorite hobbies and interests. For an even better break, take a weekend without your phone or turn it off while you’re on vacation.
Being disconnected reduces the distractions we have to deal with, allowing us to focus uninterrupted on whatever we’re trying to accomplish. It also helps us to really relax, as we aren’t constantly having to respond to others. Disconnecting can even help us sleep better, especially if we turn the phone off an hour or so before going to bed and leave it in another room while we sleep.
Disconnecting from social media may even help us to have greater satisfaction with our lives. Many people feel stress from seeing others’ posts on social media, and begin to feel like their own life isn’t as exciting as the lives of others. This creates unrealistic and unnecessary stress since no one’s life is actually the way it appears on Facebook or Instagram.
When you first begin trying to disconnect, you may have difficulty sticking with the plan, and may even feel stressed wondering if you’ve missed something important while you’ve been disconnected. But, before you know it, you’ll find yourself more relaxed and even be looking forward to your time away from technology.