A to Z Guide to Thriving in Life

‘D’ is for Disconnection – 5 benefits of unplugging regularly

April 4, 2018
Disconnection - 5 benefits of unplugging regularly

Disconnection - 5 benefits of unplugging regularly

‘D’ is for Disconnection – 5 benefits of unplugging regularly – I love my smartphone, social media and technology in general. However, the health benefits of unplugging regularly outweigh the feeling of loss when we unplug.

There comes a time when enough is enough and I have started this year by having at least one technology free day each week.  In a previous post The Mental Health Benefits of Unplugging for a Day I wrote that:

Whilst technology has made life easy and I love facebook for keeping in touch with family and friends who don’t live nearby, we can get caught up in the tech world. Instead of making life easier it can make life more stressful.

Scientific research has shown that our quality of life is improved if we disconnect regularly.  Now I know that some of us may have our smartphone glued to our hand but for the sake of our mental and physical health we need to UNPLUG and DISCONNECT.

‘D’ is for Disconnect – 5 benefits of unplugging regularly

1. Improved mental health

Put the phone or laptop away and spend time meditating or reflecting on life.  Getting in touch with your feelings and stresses of life is important for good mental health. Checking out from technology regularly helps to reduce stress and anxiety and increased mental well-being.

The other more recent problem is that is cyber-bullying is at almost epidemic proportions, especially in younger children and teenagers.  As parents or grandparents, it is our responsibility to talk regularly with our children to check that they are okay.

2. Improved physical health

When we disconnect we have time to exercise and enjoy some down time.  Sitting in front of computer screens for long periods is not only bad for our eyesight but also our backs and general health.

3. Discovering the real world

Did you know there is a wonderful world outside of the internet?  Leaving technology behind and getting out into the sunshine can life your mood.  You can discover new hobbies or enjoy nature or just take time to relax.

4. Improved relationships

Rather than texting (which I think has it’s place), have a genuine conversation.  When I’m out and about, I see couples or families or friends at lunch or dinner all on their phones!  They are probably texting each other rather than having a conversation.  There is nothing more frustrating being with someone who is constantly checking their messages or texting.  This shows that they don’t value your relationship or the time you are spending together.  Conversely if you are doing this, you aren’t placing any value on your relationship with the other person.

5. Improved sleep

Do you sleep with your phone, laptop or e-reader beside your bed?  PUT THEM IN ANOTHER ROOM!  Scientific studies have shown that the blue light from screens can over-stimulate your brain and keep you awake when you really should be sleeping.  Having your phone on your bedside table can also disturb your sleep if messages come in during the night.

So here is the challenge – Can you Disconnect for at least one full day each week?

'D' is for Disconnect - 5 benefits of unplugging regularly

In my next post in the A to Z Guide to Thriving, I’m discussing ‘E’ is for Embracing Life I do hope you will join me.

If you have missed previous posts in the AtoZ Challenge 2018 just click here to find them all.

You might also like to check out my Over 50 & Thriving series.  In this series, published every Thursday, guest writers give insight into what ‘Over 50 & Thriving’ means to them.

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  • Reply Jennifer Jones April 4, 2018 at 08:39

    People texting when they are having lunch/coffee with me is one of my common complaints. I agree that it devalues me but my younger friends tell me it isn’t so. Sue I’m going to take your challenge to have one tech free day each week. Great idea.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 4, 2018 at 09:23

      Oh it is really a bug bear with me Jennifer and I’m sometimes guilty myself. I think you will find it liberating walking away from technology for a day. Like any habit it is hard at first but once you get used to it you find there are so many other things to do in this world. Have a great week and thanks for stopping by x

  • Reply Karen Hume April 4, 2018 at 09:43

    We’re back in sync, Sue. I talk about this topic too, but we’ve covered entirely different angles and my post is for ‘E’ rather than ‘D’.
    I appreciate your list of reasons for disconnecting and I love the Anne Lamott quote. I’ve decided that I’m going to disconnect every Sunday through this A-Z challenge. I’m very much looking forward to my first attempt this Sunday. It will be a day of art, reading, walking, maybe a nap. Heavenly!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 4, 2018 at 10:10

      Hi Karen, I make Sundays my tech free day and it is so liberating. I’ll be over to check out your next instalment although I have subscribed so should receive the emails anyway. Enjoy your time off on Sunday there are so many things we could be doing and enjoying! Have a great day!

  • Reply Anne Young April 4, 2018 at 09:58

    I have found it to be beneficial even just turning notifications off on my phone so that it doesn’t buzz each time there is some new FaceBook activity, a new email or message.
    Being present with the people you are with is very important I think.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 4, 2018 at 10:11

      Spot on Anne! I hate seeing people constantly checking their phones and good idea of yours to turn off notifications. We can certainly become a slave to technology if we aren’t careful. thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

  • Reply Heather Erickson April 4, 2018 at 10:49

    Hi Sue, I took the entire month of January to disconnect this year. I think I’ll need to do that again after A to Z. 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 4, 2018 at 14:01

      Oh wow Heather! I bet you noticed a difference in your life and yes after AtoZ I’m sure we will all need a holiday from blogging!!! Have a great day x

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au April 4, 2018 at 12:13

    It’s funny reading this post in the middle of the AtoZ Challenge Sue – because I totally agree with everything you’ve written and yet I’m sitting at my laptop for several hours each day reading and commenting on all the blogs that are linking up – not to mention the great posts that we have on our #MLSTL link party today! I’m very grateful for my Fitbit buzzing me every hour to remind me to get up and move a bit!

    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
    D for Don’t Give Up

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 4, 2018 at 14:03

      I know Leanne I feel like a hypocrite and certainly not taking my own advice!

  • Reply Victoria April 4, 2018 at 13:06

    I am not sure I could totally disconnect for a full day. I am not attached to my phone but I am to my laptop. And I read on a Kindle. lol My husband is the techy but for some reason I have three laptops, three Kindles, a regular Ipad and a mini Ipad. I use each one for something different. I am going to try to see how long I can stay off of my electronics.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 4, 2018 at 14:05

      It certainly is a challenge Victoria. I suppose I don’t count kindle because that is reading and relaxing. It is more the blogging and social media that I need a break from.

  • Reply Shirley Corder April 4, 2018 at 16:03

    Wow, that really is a challenge, Sue. Like you, I get so annoyed when I see couples sitting at a table in a restaurant texting. I have taken to leaving my phone behind when I go walking, or to choir practice etc, and after working on my pc most of the day it goes OFF until the next day. But a whole day without technology? Hmm. I’ll have to think about that. 🙂 Especially with my new fitbit! Dopamine: Do you Drip or Do you Drown?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2018 at 09:21

      I usually take my phone when I run in case of emergency but I wear it on my arm so it isn’t easy to get to. I actually was running in the city the other day and a girl was walking along reading a book!!!! That is almost as bad as walking and texting at the same time. It is hard to take a day off but if you select one day and stick to it you soon get used to it. x

  • Reply Jennifer April 4, 2018 at 20:34

    My husband and I disconnected on a cruise last year. A whole week without social media because we refused to pay the high onboard data prices. What a relief it was. We were actually focused on each other instead of our phones.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2018 at 09:23

      That would have been heaven Jennifer and a great way to unwind. We love cruises and yes the onboard data is so expensive I only check my emails etc when we can have access to free wi-fi in port.

  • Reply Iain Kelly April 4, 2018 at 20:36

    Couldn’t agree more with this, we all should unplug a bit more and enjoy the real world!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2018 at 09:52

      Yes we have let the virtual world take over haven’t we and forgotten that there is a beautiful real world just outside our door. Thanks for visiting and have a great day!

  • Reply Debbie Harris April 4, 2018 at 21:27

    Such good advice Sue, we all need to disconnect. I’m like Leanne, I’m so glad to have my phone buzz me every hour to remind me to get up and move! I just have to stop getting something to eat time I get up to move though 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2018 at 09:51

      Yes I can get caught sitting for too long Deb that is for sure! So I’ve changed my plan and just limit myself now to the time I’m at the computer. Then I go and do something outside in the fresh air!

  • Reply Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor April 5, 2018 at 01:18

    I love your blog’s name! Unplugging from technology is really beneficial. Hard to do at times, which probably underscores that a break from it from time to time would be a good thing.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2018 at 09:47

      Thanks Ellen I had to add ‘& Beyond’ because I turned 60 last year! It is hard to disconnect but I find at least once a week can really be beneficial and I realise there is a world outside of blogging! Thanks for visiting and have a great day!

  • Reply Pat April 5, 2018 at 01:47

    Totally agree with Leanne right now…I’m spending way more time on the computer since the A to Z challenge started (and #MLSTL today on top) – reading and commenting and feeling guilty if I don’t. You all are now friends and if I don’t comment, I feel like I’m slighting you (collective you)!

    I had actually gotten better at disconnecting…my cell phone message is along the lines of “this is Pat’s phone and as usual, she’s not answering, but leave a message!” My phone is often just sitting on the kitchen counter if I’m at home… not attached to my hand/in my pocket.

    I can also add, one of my girlfriends says her kids PREFER to text her than talk to her on the cell phone! She hates that but it’s the only way they will communicate with her, so she’s learning how to do it. A new world.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2018 at 09:45

      Oh I hear you Pat, this AtoZ has taken over my life. It is great to be stretched with my thoughts and writing but also trying to answer all the comments and be fair to others in the challenge is taking up quite a bit of time. I like your idea of the summary.

  • Reply Bren Lee April 5, 2018 at 05:16

    As freelancers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers it’s definitely hard to tear ourselves away from the web. However, we must remember to not allow life to slip us by. I like to enjoy the moment when I’m out with a friend. I don’t want them or me to have our noses stuck in our phones. Too many are doing this nowadays and it really needs to stop. My ex’s world revolved around Facebook. He was so into what his connections were doing that he didn’t give a crap about our relationship. So, when I say EX, you know what happened.

    It’s good to disconnect for many reasons. I try to do it as often as possible. Good read, Sue!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2018 at 09:42

      It is hard if technology is a huge part of your business Bren but as you say we can’t allow life to slip us by. Thanks for stopping by to comment and do something lovely for yourself today xx

  • Reply Stepheny Houghtlin April 5, 2018 at 08:12

    Visiting for the first time thanks to the #Challenge participants list. Unplugging at least one day a week is a challenge in and of itself. I’m not guilty of many of the situations you mention, and my phone is the least problem, but my computer, social media like FB and the fact that I am an author, also write two blogs, well, a whole day, not sure I can make it. I appreciate your encouragement of how to make the most of our lives with a balanced approach. Beyond writing, reading, books bring me that quiet time that enriches my life each day. That’s why I picked BOOKSTORES as my theme this year. The architecture, location, and wonderful people who sell books. If this is part of your life, join me, but leave your phone turned off, right?!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2018 at 09:38

      Well it would be difficult for you Stepheny because of your work and I don’t know how you fit it all in. I loved your post about the Dog Ear Bookshop and glad that we have connected. I will be back to read more of your theme and maybe you could just take a one hour break each day from technology to start with????

  • Reply Donna April 5, 2018 at 08:38

    Hi, Sue – Thank you for another thoughtful post. As you know, recently I unplugged for one full week. Since I’ve always had a high reliance on technology, many wondered how I would survive. But survive I did (and I secretly loved every minute of it). I like your plan of unplugging for one day per week. If that is too much for some, even unplugging during dinner could make a difference….ever little bit counts!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 5, 2018 at 09:28

      I really need to do this Donna for longer than one day per week. The world doesn’t end but it is so hard to just drop off the scene and not be tempted to see what is happening on FB etc. I think after AtoZ I will definitely be cutting back the posts to two a week and trying for maybe the weekends off.

  • Reply Karen April 5, 2018 at 11:11

    Really great advice. Technology is quite addictive but there are so many benefits as you point out to taking time to disconnect.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 6, 2018 at 10:18

      It is so hard to walk away from it Karen but when I do it feels so liberating. Of course, doing AtoZ doesn’t actually help does it LOL:)

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