There are phases in life where we feel disconnected from every other person even the people we call “ours”, in layman language it can be termed as an existential crisis. A time where we are unable to be in the moment, sometimes it may feel weird and at that time you may feel alone or may have second thoughts and may end up crying yourself to sleep, overthinking everything that has happened or is happening and that’s okay! People don’t speak out loud but we all suffer from similar things. We fail to feel like we belong in this world and we are worthy.
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That’s when you know you need to refresh yourself. We sometimes think that we want to disappear, but what we really want is to be found. It sounds like a contradiction, but sometimes you have to disconnect to reconnect. Disconnect – both physically and emotionally – from all those devices, apps, and virtual worlds that constantly steal our attention, satisfying our inexplicable fear of missing something. And reconnect with the real world, with the people we are closest to but leave out, with those activities and experiences that don't need a screen to be memorable. In short, to become the protagonists of our own lives again and an important characters in our loved ones' lives. If you try it, you won't want to go back.
Speaking of disconnect, what it really means is to disconnect virtually; practice social detox if you think that can help and also physically, don’t go and meet people if you don’t feel like it, do not text, do not call; you can inform them and the right ones will always understand; do not just ignore them like they don’t exist and let me tell you a fact that if you ever feel like people will leave you if you will demand your space, then let them! Because the people who love you will always find ways to stay and the ones who don’t need only one excuse to leave. The people who are meant to be in your life will always gravitate back towards you, no matter how far they wander. Life is short, do not let the opinions of other people affect you.
Next time you meet up with a friend, leave your phone in the car. So many of us intend to be present and give our interactions the attention they deserve. But then someone’s late or gets up to use the bathroom and out comes the phone…distracting us and taking us away from the moment. Remove the temptation and show up without it! Actively choose tech-free activities. It’s hard to use any sort of Wi-Fi-connected device if you’re attempting to balance on a stand-up paddleboard (or a horse!). A lot of the things we like doing make space for our phones—we can scroll through Instagram while the movie trailers play and we can update Facebook while we’re waiting for our drink order.
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But when we choose active, outdoor, hands-on activities, we’re choosing to connect with our friends and bodies rather than connecting with the internet—which is a great thing! Unplug your Wi-Fi for a day. If you can’t resist the siren song of your laptop, remove the temptation. Unplug your Wi-Fi at the wall and see if you can leave it unplugged all day (and try not to use your phone’s data plan!).
Read a book, play a board game, use actual, paper maps, write a letter or a postcard. See if you still remember how to do all those things, we use apps for! Take a day trip somewhere that’s “off the grid”. As much as we love escaping to our favorite getaway spots, we likely can’t just pop over anytime we want. You can, however, bring your favorite book to a nearby cafe that turns its Wi-Fi off every day at 6 pm. Or head out for a hike where cell service is spotty or out of range. You can’t “check” your phone if you don’t have coverage!
When you finally put away your to-do list and your devices for a few days (or hours!), you just might find that intentionally disconnecting will actually make you feel more connected—to yourself and to your surroundings. Give it a try!