Turn Off, Tune Out, Drop In (to the Real World)

A family is gathered around a table, and they all have digital devices.You’re browsing through your social media feed and come across a friend who has made the perfect batch of adorable snowman cookies. You fretfully think to yourself, “I’ll never be able to get my cookies to look like that.” #pinterestfail

You’re at a friend’s holiday gathering and you get a text message from someone at work who wants to discuss the meeting from earlier that day. Now you can’t relax and enjoy yourself.

Your family is decorating the house for the holidays and your kids are preoccupied by their smartphones. You’d like to spend some quality time together but that 5” screen seems much more important to them right now.

Do these scenarios sound familiar? This holiday season, try a digital detox to escape from the many distractions that can pull you away from the people and experiences that truly matter. Here are some tips on how to unplug, escape distractions and experience a real non-digital life.

Turn off your notifications: Turn off notifications for your apps and email. Turn off your ringer. This allows you to check when you want, instead of getting pulled out of the moment.

Leave your work computer at work: Set clear expectations that you won’t be available during a specific time period during the holidays.

Set parameters for smartphone and tablet usage: Give your family set times for their social media sweeps and, if all else fails, you can always unplug the Wi-Fi or suspend data from your network provider. 

If you get anxious just thinking about taking a break from the technology that rules your world, remind yourself of the benefits of having face time with those you love. Bonding with your family and friends through experiences is the most precious gift you can give to yourself this holiday season.