Living in the NOW generation. Disconnecting from electronics is a foreign concept. But sometimes, we need to hit the reset button.
The world we live in today is very much connected. We have the news at our fingertips and updates on our friends in an app without ever having to reach out to them and communicate other than a “like” or a comment. If we don’t know the answer, we want it NOW. If we go through a drive-thru, we want our food NOW. There is no leisure in our day to day. We are in a rush to get everywhere and do anything. It is important to step away from that lifestyle and just hit reset.
The last 2 weeks I have been disconnected from social media, and for the most part, texting and phone calls. I took the time to hit reset. My family and I took a trip to Panama City Beach and we only used our phones to take pictures. I left my phone in the room most of the time and just used my husband’s phone to snap pictures.
Now that I am home, I can tell you how important that time was with my family. My daughters are going to remember us burying each other in the sand, looking for seashells, building sandcastles and much more without the memory of us being on our phones or worried that our phones were going to get ruined in the sand or in the water. These memories are so important to their childhood. This isn’t to say that your day to day isn’t important too, but it is even more important to get out of the day to day even for a couple of days and disconnect to reset.
Sometimes we get caught up in what I am going to call “virtual reality” and forget what is right in front of us. Virtual reality is what exists on our phones; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. Some people spend their evenings “scrolling” to see what is going on in others lives but fail to see those first steps taken right in front of them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my daughters growing old with memories of “mom always on her phone.” For me, it took this vacation to realize how much phone time impacts my girls. Pressing reset allowed me to disconnect, reflect and figure out what I want my life to look like when I do come back. No, this wasn’t an entire day anxiety session. This was over the course of the 2 weeks taking notes of who popped into my mind of “I really wish they were here” or “This would be fun with this person” or even “I wonder how they are doing right now.” I also took note of the people who asked me how vacation was once I did get my phone out.
The most important part of hitting reset, is making sure you close all windows before you push the button. If you push it while things are still running, you are going to get a ton of windows opening back up when you return. Thank you, Windows, for this lesson! For me, I cleaned up my work inbox so when I returned, it would only have what I got while I was out. Next, Closed out any tickets or gave my interim person all the information in case they asked for an update. Then, I cleaned the house – top to bottom. My husband even got out the carpet cleaner! Nothing better than coming home to a clean house. Finally, I told close friends and family that I was going out of town and would be disconnecting but I would check my phone periodically. This is important so you don’t have family or friends texting you 100000 times because you typically respond and you aren’t and they think you may have died. It is no fun to do that to your people!
Now here are the steps that are key to have a successful reset period.
Step 1: Put away the phone.
This is the hardest step for most people. But it is the most important step. If you find this too hard, you can ease into it and just do a couple hours at a time. But, the goal is to go back to a time before phones were glued to our hands and just live in the NOW.
Step 2: Read a book.
If you don’t like to read, you can use this step to draw or write or whatever brings you to a state of relaxation, whatever allows your mind to drift. I read 2 books between my time in the car and free time in the hotel. Escaping the reality and allowing my mind to drift into these books gave it the break it needed without just shutting it down.
Step 3: Relive your favorite memory from your childhood.
My favorite thing growing up was looking for seashells on the beach and finding the biggest ones to take home. We came home with an entire glass star of seashells and sand that we all got as a family. We have been home a few days and my oldest still talks about looking for seashells with me, I hope it is one of her favorite memories.
Step 4: Don’t be afraid to talk to new people.
Since your phone is put away, you have no excuse to not talk to the people around you. Get to know them, where are they from? Do they know any good places to eat where you are at? We made a good friend the first day and they were at the resort we stayed at the entire time we were there. We even ate dinner together the last night.
Step 5: Live.
THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP. LIVE. You can’t die if you don’t live, so take this time to soak up the life you were given and live it how you want to live it. I took the opportunity to order a drink at dinner, and let my kids order virgin daquiris. My husband ate the fresh catch of the day. We spoiled ourselves and the kids because vacation was our escape from reality for a little bit.
Take time for yourself today, so you can be there for others tomorrow.