When you envision your vacation, do you dream of laptops, tablets, smartphones, and the myriad of digital devices we use daily accompanying you to paradise?
While technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch with friends, family, and colleagues, it can be difficult to leave them behind while on vacation. It is easy to notice there is more to living than texting or forwarding emails, but disconnecting from the digital realm can be daunting even when surrounded by beaches or mountains.
The influx of digital connectivity keeps us plugged in, but it can surprisingly affect our physical and mental well-being. That is why it is important to enhance your vacation with a digital detox.
Maximizing The Benefits Of Vacationing
Heading to luxurious locations like South America where people unplug from the digital world to really “get away” can be rewarding. Even though we rely on digital devices for a majority of our communication, there are pitfalls to our digital way of life which can be detrimental in the long run. Limiting daily use is a great start, but taking a much needed break from your devices while traveling can be revitalizing.
According to Adam Galinsky, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, “Detaching from a familiar environment can help get new perspectives on everyday life. Not just taking time off from work, but actually getting away from where you live is really important, because that’s the only way that you can achieve that perspective.”
In his research, Galisky and William Maddux found “that travelling abroad makes people have a more nuanced understanding of themselves, while at the same time they also have a better sense of who they are.” This leads many people to have epiphanies while travelling, because they can take an outside view of their lives.
Leisure and travel can contribute to increased positive emotions and less chances for depression. It has been found that people who experience more vacations or down time, report “more life satisfaction” and “finding more meaning in life.” As an added bonus, it was found that taking time to relax can lower blood pressure, stress, and even body weight.
The Importance Of Unplugging While Relaxing
Researchers are beginning to notice that our love for technology is actually making it harder for us to relax. In fact, studies have found that over half the population suffer from “nomophobia”, or more specifically the fear of being without mobile phones or similar technologies. This trend can be seen in data that shows young adults check their phones an average of 60 times a day and 65 percent of adults admit to sleeping with their phones nearby.
It’s easy to fear powering down our devices, but there are many benefits associated with taking a digital break.Here are a few ways unplugging can help:
- It can improve your productivity.
- Limiting digital intrusion can reduce stress!
- Being present in your daily activities can keep depression and anxiety at bay.
- Removing digital interferences can improve your ability to focus.
5 Tips To Unplug And Unwind On Vacation
These suggestions can ensure you reap the rewards of unplugging and relaxing:
- Choose a destination with limited wireless or Internet access is a great start in taking a digital detox. Look for areas that offer unique attractions and exotic experiences without the draw of free wi-fi.
- Make a pact with your friends and family to keep devices hidden. Get others on board and use group mentality to help curb everyone’s habits. If one person pulls out their phone or device, others are likely to follow. Hold each other accountable.
- Hide phones and devices during meals. If this proves difficult, have your travel companions place their gadgets in the middle of the table and the first person who grabs their phone has to pay for the meal!
- Allot a certain amount of time each day to check emails or social media. Going cold turkey can be difficult and unrealistic. If necessary, give yourself 10 minutes every day or when you reach certain check-in points to touch base. Just be sure to turn off your device after the time is used.
- If necessary, change your passwords. This might be extreme, but if needed have a friend or family member change your account passwords when you leave and change them back when you return.
By putting down your devices, you can experience a vacation without the added pressure of social media updates and work emails. How will you enhance your vacation by taking a digital break?