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Unplug to Reboot

20 May. 2013 Posted by Hannah Mich
Meditation, unplug from electronics, mental health, mental well-being, de-compress, de-stress, clear your head, mental fatigue relief

When I talk to people about their health, they usually think of only their physical health. However, our overall health, or well-being, includes our mental and emotional health, too. In fact, our mental and emotional health play a role in our physical health and vice versa. They are tied together like everything else within us and around us. I find, to stay healthy and to avoid common illnesses and injuries, it is necessary to take pro-active steps to de-compress from the go-go-go of today's society. This includes unplugging from all of the electronics, and consequently the Internet.

Mentally we cannot run 24/7 like we often demand of ourselves. We have 24/7 news feeds, 24/7 social websites and let's not forget 24/7 on-line shopping . Even in our sleep we can be holding onto the stresses that accrue over the day, week, month and year. We may clench our jaw, have tense muscles, muscle spasms, or dysfunctional sleep patterns. Many of us suffer from a combination of these problems at some point and time. Other problems that can arise when we do not occasional "unplug" include, tension headaches, anxiety, depression and indigestion.

As hard as it may be to walk away from the phones, ipods, tablets, computers and TVs, "unplugging" is really the first step in giving our mind a brief vacation. And it may seem odd in the sense of electronic terms that in order for us to "reboot" we need to "unplug," but it is what our brain needs. We have been trained to think of our brain as a "computer," but it also closely resembles muscles in many ways, including the fact that is gets fatigued. It needs breaks, whereas a computer does not. Our brain also needs to be fed quality food, whereas a computer does not. Although it may be absurd that I even mention what is surely common knowledge, we can forget in our electronic hyped-society that we are merely humans with limitations. And when I say limitations, I do not mean weaknesses. As long as we recognize our physical, mental and emotional limitations, they do not need to be weaknesses because we can address them accordingly in our lives.

We all need to unplug and reboot in different ways.

1. Shut-off your electronics at a certain time each night. For example, no electronics after 9 pm. This is great for the restless sleeper.

2. Leave the phone at home. For certain errands, go without the smartphone. For example, the farmer's market, movie theater or your parent's house.

3. Take a long weekend and go somewhere away from the buzz of electronics. For example, go camping or find a small cottage in the woods you can rent.

4. Leave the electronics at home during your family vacation, and minimize your cell phone use.

5. Slowly incorporate ways to unplug and reboot daily, weekly, quarterly and yearly to prevent mental fatigue.

When you are unplugged what are some great alternative activities?

1. Board games or cards

2. Reading a book, magazine or newspaper. Yes, the real thing! To stay green check-out a book at the library and recycle magazines and newspapers

3. Meet-up with friends and family. Simply enjoy talking, drinking and eating with good company.

4. Meditate

5. Exercise

6. Sleep

7. Go out and listening to live music

8. Go to the theater and see a play

Electronics have brought endless possibilities to our lives, but let us not loss sight of their place in our lives. We must be willing to occasionally unplug and simply enjoy the world and people around us.

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