In this modern connected world, we’re called in every direction. Smart phones, while they’re a blessing, they’re also a curse with the endless emails, texts, and social media overuse. The good news is, while it may seem that you’re never able to disconnect, each of us has the conscious power to take pause and make it a regular health habit.
Disconnecting is especially important in today’s world, especially with the health implications brought on by too much stress. Every one of us needs to reset the mind in an ongoing practice. It’s been said that with today’s endless technological distractions, we no longer appreciate the moment to engage in old fashioned reflection. What’s more, these distractions pull us further away from our conscious efforts to stop and take pause. We tend to get caught up in the minutia and demands of life and we easily forget what’s more important to our sanity. Here are my two steps to disconnect from your busy schedule.
Step One. Brainstorm “You Time” activities that you enjoy and can incorporate into your schedule.
Your first exercise is to sit down with a piece of paper and pen and to brainstorm activities you enjoy. Are these activities something you can commit to often? The point of this exercise is to discover “You Time” activities which you’ll be able to fulfill as your ongoing practice to disconnect from routine and life’s demands. To get you thinking more deeply in this exercise, look at shorter time commitment activities you can easily do from home or office and work your way up to longer time commitment activities that will require you to block out a full morning, afternoon, or even a full day.
For example, you might consider a daily dose of meditation with a time commitment of 15 minutes. Then, you might consider longer duration time commitments like hiking every Sunday morning.
Step Two. Schedule your “You Time” activities in your calendar and stick to it.
You’re already using your smart phone, so take that tool and make it work to your benefit. Now that you’ve come up with a list of activities that will help you disconnect from life’s demands and your regular routine, decide on a schedule you can easily commit to. Remember to schedule shorter duration activities such as a daily meditation and longer-duration activities such as Sunday morning hiking. Don’t feel like you need to go overboard. Too much scheduling will be counterproductive and could jeopardize your efforts. Keep it simple and start by scheduling between one and three months of activities. If you’re using your smart phone calendar, you can easily plug in an activity and set it up as “recurring every Thursday” for example.
Now that you’ve decided on “You Time” activities and plugged them into your schedule, you need to stick to it. This is important to re-train your brain and build a habit that lasts. Not only will you be able to regularly disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life, but you’ll establish strong habits that put your “You Time” activities front-and-center in your mind. This a great place to start and at some point, you may just consider using your calendar to plug in all your social and recreational activities first, followed by work and other commitments second.
Recap. Two steps to disconnect from your busy schedule.
First, brainstorm activities that you enjoy. Write them down and pick the ones that you will be able to commit to as an ongoing practice. Second, schedule these activities into your calendar and stick to them. You’ll build healthy habits that allow you to regularly disconnect from your busy schedule and you’ll naturally lower stress.
I’d love to hear what sorts of activities you enjoy. Feel free to share them in the comments below. What have you had success with, in order to disconnect from a busy schedule? What sorts of activities help crush your stress levels? Let me know ~ Chris