With Summer upon us I thought it would be good to write a post about unplugging. I know that so many of us are bound to our devices during the work week and even on the weekends. We’re checking emails, looking for answers on the web, updating our Facebook and Instagram pages. Constantly connected.  Trust me, you can’t keep it up. In fact your health is at risk if you do.  You need to make time to disconnect (plug: digital detox program) and there is no better moment then when you are on vacation.

Take a deep breathe, you can do this!  I know what you’re about to say….I use my phone as my camera.  I got you.  

Here are my tips for unplugging on vacation and reconnecting with loved ones and yourself.

  1. OOO – Out of office needs to be thought out in terms of copy and used.  When you are out of office that means not checking your email, not responding and certainly not accepting any meetings.  Outlook has alerts that if an email comes through with a subject or from a certain person it can be forwarded to someone else. Get that monkey off your back and plan ahead.  I would even recommend using OOO on your personal email if you’re active on there too.
  2. Airplane mode – Find this on your phone. This is going to be your best friend during vacation. You know why? You’re camera is still going to work but you won’t be able to RECEIVE or SEND anything through the internets.  That’s right, you’ll be able to still take those awesome shots of your family BUT you don’t have to share them until you get back from your trip of bliss.
  3. Schedule social media time – If you feel compelled to check your social media then find a short amount of time per day to do that. Maybe it’s when you come back from the beach OR after a long hike in the mountains. Set a timer and stick to it.  After that, back to airplane mode.
  4. Take emails accounts off your phone – I’ve done this.  You have the OOO all set up and now it’s time to believe that everything is going to be alright.  Breathe. Nothing is going to burn down and if it does, someone will text you or call.  This is HUGE deal and necessary in order for you to relax.
  5. No devices at meals – Vacation is the time to reconnect with your family and try new things.  You can’t appreciate either, if you’re head down in your phone.  It just doesn’t work that way.  If you have airplane mode on then you don’t need to be looking at your device anyway.  No one wants to see a picture of what you’ve eaten. 
  6. Delete apps from your phone – if you aren’t capable of full on airplane mode then my suggestion would be to delete the apps that you know are your go-to’s. Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Games, etc.  Get them off your phone. When you come back home, add them back and everything will be like it was before.
  7. Turn off notifications – if you aren’t capable of full on airplane mode then my suggestion would be to turn off notifications on your phone.  You don’t need to worry about Groupon’s newest deals OR your Flipboard updates.

Vacation is about resetting.  Focus on yourself not work.  It will all still be there when you get back. You’re going to find that you have more time to meditate, read, have conversations, breathe and be present in your vacation with your loved ones. Let me know if you follow any of these tips on your next vacation.  I’m interested in hearing how you did.