GET REAL

Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Unplugging for a bit can generate some cool stuff.

Then and now . . . .

When my kids were growing up in the 80s, my husband and I decided to require each of them to choose two hours per day when they would not watch television or talk with friends on the phone. This was a time when network television and landline telephones were pretty much the only major technological distractions. Can you imagine? Anyway, each day they were free to choose any two-hour window they wanted and although we hoped they would do their homework or do something creative during those times, we set no requirements around what they chose to do with the time. After the initial resistance, we were happy to find them playing creative games together, sitting and talking with us or with each other, and/or choosing to do their homework during their “free” time.

Today, being “unplugged” can present more of a challenge as we’re constantly plugged in—virtually connecting, networking, and communicating outside of our own physical space. My husband and I planned ahead to make last weekend a “staycation” weekend. In addition to letting family and friends know we were going to be off the social grid for the weekend, we agreed to pretty much eliminate our virtual connections and our iPhone and computer use, and just focus on each other. We were both amazed at how special and relaxing our weekend was and how much time we had on our hands to bike, hike, and just spend time together. What a concept!

The very technology that provides us with flexibility and limitless opportunities to learn and connect with others, also has the potential to affect our stress levels and our well-being. In fact, just “being” seems to be difficult to accomplish these days. So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive yet meaningful getaway, try unplugging for a bit and see what cool stuff it might generate for you.

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