Take Time to Unplug


When was the last time you were without your phone for an extended period of time? These days the only time I am without it is when I am in the shower. People can reach me at all times. It is next to my bed when I sleep because I use it as an alarm. I take it with me when I run because of my music and tracking apps.

Consequently, because I always have my phone with me, I find that I am always using it. It has become a nasty habit to check it all the time. Even when I am watching TV or eating dinner, I find myself tempted to check my phone. I am not proud to admit it, but I am addicted to my phone. And maybe, if you take the time to really think about it, you are too.

However, I recently went on vacation to Vail, Colorado. My brother and I rented the perfect house, secluded in the mountains for a week. It was perfect. We didn’t have any neighbors. It was silent. The views were exceptional. But as we were unpacking, taking in all the splendor, we realized one thing, there was no cell service and terrible Wi-Fi.

We could not send a text message, make a phone call, check emails, go on Instagram, nothing. At first, it was unsettling. Anytime we wanted to use our phone, we would have to drive the seven miles into town, which would be quite a hassle. But in the end, it turned out to be glorious.

This was hands down the best vacation I have taken in a long time. My brother and I woke up every day and explored, hiked, kayaked and took in everything Colorado had to offer, leaving our phones at home. We were able to live in the moment instead of checking our email every five minutes. We had conversations with each other, took in the beauty of the wilderness, and really had the ability to unwind and relax for the entire week. Coming back to work the next week, if felt refreshed and ready to tackle all the big tasks I had waiting for me.

Whether or not you have a vacation scheduled, I strongly encourage to take some time to disconnect. It does not have to be an entire week, but maybe just start with a few hours every day. Begin to break that addiction. Turn your phone off once you get home from work or try spending an entire Sunday without using your phone. You might be surprised by how rejuvenated you might feel while doing so.

Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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