Why is it important to unplug?
What do I mean by unplug? Since being quarantined, we have had to rely more heavily on technology. We need technology in order to work from home, to complete schoolwork, to run our businesses, and for pure entertainment. To unplug would mean to put down the phone, turn off the TV and ignore the social media notifications. This can be easier said than done for a lot of us, me included. I have come to realize that a lot of my daily activities involve technology and the internet. From me writing this blog post to doing research to just checking email. I have found that all this stimulation can get overwhelming and start to affect my mental health. I have found that it is important to unplug from the cyber world.
The CDC recommends that children have no more than 2 hours of screen time a day. Personally that is unrealistic for me. Watching TV and playing on their tablet is the only thing that keeps them distracted long enough for me to complete ONE task. I do try to make sure it is educational and appropriate for their age. Every now and then I’ll have them unplug too and do something else such as read a book to me or go outside to play and breath fresh air. Being stuck at home has been hard on them too. They miss our other family and going to the park. It is hard for them to understand why they can not go over grandma’s house.
Too much screen time affects their attention span, their learning and what they are exposed to. Sometimes my son will just bust out a line from a song or movie. That is when I know it is stuck in his head. It is also important to unplug children from technology, so it does not affect their sleep. I have been working hard for the past year on putting them on a nighttime schedule. It allows me to have me time once they go in the bed.
The moment I realized I needed to unplug from technology was when I could feel my energy being drained. Scrolling through my phone was starting to annoy me. I started to slip into the comparison trap which is comparing myself to others. Most of the people on my social media are complete strangers and I don’t know what they are going through. No two paths are the same just like no two people are the same. You should not compare yourself to others because that is a set up to feeling fear and failure. Instead list what you are grateful for and what you like about yourself.
I also get headaches from staring at a screen too long and it will start to affect my sleep as well. I will be so wrapped in social media and thinking I’m missing something that my phone is all I can think of. This is not healthy. It can make you physically and mentally sick for example headaches, eye strain, depression, anxiety etc. can be a result of too much technology. Technology runs off wavelengths which is a type of radiation so too much can have side effects that manifest through the body.
When you unplug from technology what are some alternative things you can do? You can read a book and read a chapter a day. You can go outside and enjoy the sun which provides the Vitamin D our bodies need and the oxygen we need to breath. Sit down with your children just for 30-60 minutes a day and do an activity, read a book, sing songs, dance, or learn a new letter or numbers. Come up with a routine for the week and then break that up into daily tasks. I just purchased a white board to see if physically writing things down will help me stick to a routine better than my Any.do app. You can get the Any.do app on google play if you have an Android. When you physically go to work they give you a mandatory 30-60 minute break so why shouldn’t you give yourself the same. We all need time to ourselves to relax and decompress away from work and constant stimulation.
As you can see it is important to unplug from technology regularly for your physical and mental health, and so you don’t fall into the comparison trap which can lead to deeper depression. You should take this time of isolation to read more, learn more, bond with your family, and take care of your mental health. Work will get done and the children will be OK, but if you don’t take of you first how can you EFFECTIVELY take care of anyone else? Remember you are an important figure in your family.
As always Be You Confidently.