In our modern world, we tend to be tethered to all sorts of things – schedules, commitments, expectations and of course, myriad electronic devices. A jam-packed, fast-paced lifestyle can make it challenging to find time for ourselves and to really focus on the moment. We’ve pulled together a list of 12 ways to unplug this summer by enjoying some of life’s simple pleasures. So put down the tablet, close the laptop and put the cell phone away (don’t forget to turn the ringer off!) and try a few of these:
- Dust off your cursive writing skills and pen an actual letter, note or card to a great friend…just because. She will be thrilled to receive something other than bills and junk mail in her mailbox and you will enjoy the sensation of a pen gliding across some cute stationery.
- Read a book (a REAL book, not a digital version). As you soak up the story, feel the pages between your fingers, see the texture of the paper, the details of the font, the uniqueness of the cover art and smell the paper as you flip from one page to the next.
- Keep a journal. Don’t just write in it – draw and doodle as well. Fill it with stream of consciousness thoughts. Have no goal except to let your mind wander and explore.
- Make something by hand. Scrapbook your vacation mementos, make a birthday card (or a cake!) for a friend, sit down and draw pictures with a kid.
Put Words with Friends on pause and play a board game with friends instead. Exercise your artistic side with Pictionary, get up and move around in Charades (no board even needed!), make words the old school way with Scrabble or test your grey matter with Trivial Pursuit.
- Plan date nights with your significant other and fun nights out with friends. Make these nights “phone free” – devices stay in bags or pockets. (And only come out to take and share great photos!)
- Make a recipe from your family recipe box – perhaps something your mom or grandmother used to make. Let it take you back to delicious childhood memories.
- Go out to lunch or dinner by yourself. Leave your phone in your bag. Instead of tending to emails, Facebook or Instagram, just observe, interact with others and enjoy the experience.
- Get lost in your own city. Pick a neighborhood you’ve never visited before and wander around exploring and making new discoveries.
- Sing in the shower. Loudly. Use the shampoo bottle as your mic. Make a mohawk out of your sudsy locks.
- Instead of throwing out those last two slices of stale bread, take them to your local park and feed the ducks.
- Take a walk in a park or on the beach. Go by yourself and be aware of all of your senses. Smell the air, notice the details around you, feel the grass, the sand or tree bark. Do it again another day and this time, take a friend along.