Rituals: Unplugging

Rituals: Unplugging - Episode 134 of The Slow Home Podcast

Last year an Australian study found that we spend more than 46 hours per week on a screen, and just 6 hours with family and friends over the same period. Another study revealed that Brits will spend over 3 years of their adult lives updating social media – only marginally less than the three years, two months they spend on holidays. Americans, meanwhile, spend more than 10 hours a day attached to a screen of some description – a full one hour more every day than was revealed in a similar study a year earlier.

All this to say – we spend a lot of time attached to a device of connection. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, video games… we’re constantly being beeped at, notified of or vibrated at and it’s taking its toll.

While much of our online life is necessary and part of the modern workplace, we also allow it to impose on our downtime, with many hours spent watching TV, scrolling social media and falling down endless internet rabbitholes. Not only does it stop us from doing other things with our time, but the blue light of smartphones and tablets also impacts our ability to go to sleep – and stay asleep – meaning we’re more tired and more wired than ever.

In today’s episode Ben and I look at a very simple daily ritual that can help you break the habit of constant connection. Learning to unplug regularly not only breaks the social media/procrastination loop, but it also turns our attention elsewhere – to the people nearby, the conversations, the trees, the light, the breeze, the feelings, the sensations. It can also help us sleep more soundly, wake up more refreshed and minimise the lost moments in the morning where we accidentally check every news website and email account before jumping in the shower.

We talk about the benefits of having a screen-free bedroom, as well as how you can actually harness technology to help you become more mindful and to schedule in pockets of disconnection throughout the day.

This week’s action is to set an alarm each evening for 30 minutes before bed time, and use it as a reminder to disconnect from the phone, the computer, the TV. Try to use this time to unwind from the day and prepare yourself for a good night’s rest, and simply see if it has an impact on your sleep after doing it for a week. It’s simple, I promise!

Hit me up on Instagram or Facebook and let us know how you go after a week of ritual unplugging. In the meantime, enjoy your week!

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