Holiday Unplugging: 5 Benefits and 5 Tips

Even the most sociable individual will want to sneak away and enjoy some alone time during the holidays due to the assault of family, friends, and social events. It may be time to put away the electronics and start unplugging for the holidays if your concept of unwinding amid the Christmas craziness includes checking Facebook, salivating over Instagram-worthy photographs, or playing a marathon video game session.


Image via: Forbes

Benefits of Disconnecting
Holiday unplugging involves more than just leaving your smartphone or other technological devices in another room for a short while. Instead, it’s about actively trying to relax your brain and allow yourself to take pleasure in life’s simpler pleasures: genuinely enjoying a meal with loved ones without taking pictures of it or even simply relaxing mentally If that sounds a little too woo-woo for you, there are actual, proven advantages of unplugging and reconnecting with the real world:

1. Put an end to a phobia of heights
Do you have FOMO when you put down your phone? If so, you are not by yourself Nearly one in ten Americans have used their phone at private moments, and about half of American adults check their phones several times every hour You’ve entered the world of nomophobia or the anxiety associated with losing your smartphone If you cut back on your screen time, you’ll have more time to do the things you’ve been putting off because you “have no spare time,” like baking more, taking up a new hobby, or simply relaxing with a good book. You may need some time to adjust, but eventually, you’ll find yourself always having your phone on.

2. Decrease Anxiety
Too much screen time might worsen anxiety and despair in people who are already under stress Mental health may eventually suffer as a result of the anxiety of anticipating a new like and the apparently unending scrolling on social media. For the holidays, unplugging can, fortunately, counteract those impacts.

Take advantage of every chance (or these helpful natural stress relievers) to lower worry because it can produce a variety of negative effects, such as headaches, difficulty sleeping, and a raised heart rate that can result in heart disease. You’ll feel better, and your body will reward you for it. Additionally, your family will appreciate your improved disposition.

3. Your Mind Will Be More Focused
Do you frequently hop between apps, converse on the phone while using a computer game, or just attempt to listen to your partner while checking the weather tomorrow? Your brain is suffering because of all the multitasking, which is not good You see, we don’t genuinely multitask because our brains aren’t built for it. Instead, our minds just change their focus very fast, diminishing cognitive function in the process.

Multitasking can actually boost the production of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, making multitaskers more agitated and impulsive than those who have one stream of thought.

You can practice mindfulness and give your whole attention to what is going on in front of you by turning off your technological temptations so that you can play with your nieces and nephews or savour that mouthwatering taste of apple pie. The ability of your brain to concentrate on the topic at hand and process information more rapidly may cause you to discover that you remember minor things a little bit better.

4. Sleep more.
Your sleep is being ruined by Netflix in bed or one final email check. Your favorite electronic devices’ screens give out a blue light.\Blue light that inhibits the generation of melatonin because it appears to your brain as daylight. That’s significant because melatonin regulates our circadian rhythms or cycles of sleep and wakefulness. This makes it more difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep for the length of time necessary for our bodies to rejuvenate. It is impossible to exaggerate the value of sleep. Lack of sleep might actually shorten your lifespan by years. Additionally, it may cause you to put on more weight, raise your risk of getting sick, and have a poor impact on your mood.

Fortunately, unplugging can make it easier to fall asleep. Sleeping appears to aid in helping new ideas “set” in the brain, so you might notice an improvement in your memory In addition, getting enough Z’s lowers inflammation in the body, which lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

5. Enjoy Better Health and Happiness with Loved Ones
It’s possible that spending too much time together is what have you turning to technology for solace, but it could be time to curl up. In fact, socializing with friends and family is good for your health It seems that the more isolated and shy you feel, the more likely it is that you will get dependent on your smartphone. Additionally, having weak relationships doubles a person’s risk of passing away too soon, outpacing the effects of obesity and inactivity by a factor of 50% Taking a break from technology over the holidays allows you to reconnect with loved ones and develop relationships that are essential to you. Very good!

5 Tips for Disconnecting During the Holidays

Ready to unplug but unsure how to do it? These suggestions will enable you to disconnect for the holidays and enjoy a tech-free holiday.

Image via:primroseschools

1. Get everybody involved
If everyone else you’re with does the same, it’s much simpler to avoid using your smartphone. Inform your loved ones that you plan to disconnect from technology throughout your time together.

Get everyone to turn off their phones, then gather them all and keep them in a different room.

2. Plan Activities Ahead
If everyone’s phone is confiscated and there’s no plan for entertainment, the day could seem boring. Create a list of activities that everyone can participate in to avoid this.

You’ll be surprised by how much fun you can have together doing anything from preparing popcorn and watching a movie to going on a hike, baking cookies, or playing board games.

3. Avoid Using Your Phone in Your Bedroom at Night

Invest in an alarm clock, and turn off your phone for at least an hour before going to bed. Also, keep it out of the room when you’re getting ready for bed. You won’t engage in a morning social media frenzy and will avoid the blue light that can keep you awake.

A wage decrease is applied to any wasted vacation days unless you have unlimited PTO. Ironically, this particular “unlimited” perk is sometimes disguised as a competitive hiring tactic while yet having the potential to penalize employees in numerous situations. Policies that allow for unlimited PTO may cause “fear of usage.” In 2020, 33% of Americans’ vacation days were unused, costing society an estimated $65.5 billion in foregone benefits.

Since the turn of the century, there has been a consistent downward trend in the usage of vacation time, which is not surprising. The introduction of improved technologies, a culture of overwork, and raised expectations, as well as a significant degree of workplace stress and uncertainty, have coincided with the disintegration of work/life boundaries. New modes of working are beneficial in many ways, but they also steadily drain us until there is no longer any distinction between work and the required break from it. Of fact, Covid-19 has made the distinction between workdays and holidays even hazier Preparing and organizing around time off can be done pretty easily. The hardest aspect is developing the mentality necessary to activate our capacity for rest and replenishment. When it comes to our need for competence, feeling appreciated and trusted, not letting others down, moving quicker or doing things better than others, etc., our mind has a way of nibbling at our deepest anxieties and insecurities. Accessing the energy recovery we need for personal sustainability and, ironically, work might present significant difficulties.

Make the most of your work time before a trip. As a driven achiever, my aha moment came when I realized that the best approach to affect a consistent performance state is through regular, deliberate rest. If we want to return to work more poised, renewed, and focused, we need to consciously plug into rest, taking time off to find joy, reconnect to ourselves, reflect, restore homeostasis, and internalize all of the pressures and expectations of work. Simply put, rejuvenation doesn’t occur and there’s a higher chance of burnout if the vacation is intermingled with work rather than separated. Here are five easy and doable actions to improve joy and present while you’re gone, even though raising awareness of your psychological barrier could be all you need to do to get over it.

1. Two weeks before your travel, add an email signature that notes your upcoming vacation dates. This way, people you’re corresponding with have a heads-up that you’ll be unavailable.

2. Anticipate emergent needs and discuss what constitutes emergent — clear, present, and urgent — with your team (likely very few things will hit that are truly time-sensitive). Identify no more than three trusted colleagues and inform them how to respond on your behalf. This is a great way to delegate, avoid micromanagement and help others grow, all while allowing you to rest.

3. Configure your auto-reply and be specific about who to contact and when. Avoid just listing departments. Describe the project or topic in question.

4. Disable push notifications or create a VIP filter that only allows those who should be able to interrupt you during the infrequent times you’re not working to prevent yourself from constantly checking your email.

5. Arrange a day for re-entry. If at all feasible, schedule your return for a day after you arrive so you have a whole day to simply sift through emails and organize your workload for the coming week. I attempted doing this in a half-day, but you’ll want to take the whole day. By the way, the day you return to work should be a real workday rather than the last day of your vacation that you give up in order to bring work under control Relive the holiday. Rest, recharge, and return to work renewed and prepared for the continuous flow and heavy workload. You can still rely on it.

We all know how challenging it can be to balance children and a profession, especially in today’s world where the boundaries between the two are so hazy. The desire to disconnect from work and devices in order to spend meaningful time with their families is shared by many parents. And the holidays are the ideal time to practice deliberate disconnecting. It’s much easier to say than to do to strike a balance between the responsibilities of your profession and being present with your family, so we asked working parents for their advice on how to leave work behind and spend this wonderful season with loved ones. Here is what we discovered.

Give screen-free days a try.
Designated periods of time, or even entire days, without screen use, can be beneficial for both parents and kids. Set a time when everyone will put away their devices and go outside to play in a park, ride bikes, or visit a children’s museum. The behavior you want to observe, emulate: Don’t peek into the closed drawer where you store your devices. How quickly you forget about your electronics might surprise you.

Try: Phone-Free Zones
The goal of no-phone zones is to establish family communication-enhancing routines. It’s best to put your phone away during meals because you don’t want distractions when your family is together to eat and converse. When you’re walking with your child or playing a game in their room are two further examples of no-phone zones. You won’t be tempted to check your email or look through social media if your phone is not within reach.

Try: Working Out While Working Out
If you must multitask, attempt to do it away from your loved ones. For instance, if you work out on a treadmill or stationary cycle, you can answer to emails then rather than waiting until after you’ve scheduled time to bake Christmas cookies with your kids.

Consider: Creating Expectations
Discuss your availability when you’re not at work with your coworkers in advance. You can establish clear boundaries, such as not checking your email between 5 and 8 p.m. because that is family time, or not responding to non-emergency messages on the weekends or during holidays.

Try removing the email and messaging apps.
Think about disabling your phone’s instant messaging and work email programs temporarily. This will prevent notifications or automatic opening of these programs from tempting you. Make it clear in your away message that you are not checking your messages. Given your employment and obligations, this will obviously not be doable for everyone, but if it is for you, it might be worthwhile to try.