Tomorrow, March 3rd, is the National Day of Unplugging. While your job and just life in general may not lend itself easily to unplugging for a full 24 hours, I encourage you to take this opportunity to carve out as much time as possible where you intentionally avoid technology. Why? Well, here are five health and wellness reasons to unplug from electronics along with 15 electronic-free activities for you to replace them with.
5 Reasons to Unplug from Electronics
1. Stop and Smell the Roses
Whether it’s envy over the lives we see presented in front of us or disappointment that we’re not receiving as many “likes” as we want, social media has a way of making us feel bad about ourselves. Take this time to be present and appreciate all the good things that you have in your life.
2. Give Your Neck a Break
You may not realize just how heavy your head is as it delicately balances atop your neck. It weighs about 12 pounds, but this increases up to 60 pounds when we position our face forward and down as we do to look at our phones. The negative affects this has for your health even has a name: text neck. At least for today you won’t be straining your neck. Maybe even take some time to stretch it out or give yourself a massage.
3. Exercise Your Mind
Because we have constant access to information via the internet and our phones, studies have shown that our recall abilities are decreasing. Without the ability to Google anything and everything while you are unplugged, you will provide your mind with a much-needed workout.
4. Be More Productive
We all know electronic usage is distracting, that’s why there are distracting driving laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving. However, some studies have shown that even just the presence of a cell phone can be distracting enough to reduce task-performance. Since you know you will be unplugged for the set time you decided on, you can put your phone away and really get some work done.
5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
The usage of computers and other light-emitting electronics have been shown to negatively affect sleep quality and reduce alertness the following day. Take this opportunity to allow your melatonin levels and circadian rhythm to get back on track. Maybe even consider going electronic-free before bedtime long-term.
If you want to gain these benefits, but you’re not sure what else to do with your time, I’ve got you covered. Just remember to plan them in advance so you don’t have to use your phone on the day of. Here are 15 ideas for activities to do instead of spending time on your electronics.
15 Electronic-Free Activities
- Go out for coffee
- Listen to live music at a local pub
- Organize your closet and donate what you don’t wear anymore
- Take a scenic hike or walk
- Tour a museum
- Read a book, magazine, or newspaper
- Try a creative activity like colouring, embroidery, playing an instrument, etc.
- Organize your paperwork to get ready for filing taxes
- Bake a decadent dessert
- Write a letter or card and mail it to a friend who lives far away
- Visit an art gallery
- Cook a freezer meal to save for a busy day in the future
- Invite a coworker out for happy hour drinks
- Go to a fitness class
- Play board games with your friends
Will you unplug from electronics? What will you do in place of them?