The Art of Unplugging

unplugging_headerI find many of my friends, family and patients use the months of July and August to enjoy rest and relaxation, only to ramp things up in the fall and end up totally run down and on empty by Christmas.

A huge culprit for this is the amount of time we spend staring at screens: we also spend WAY too many hours of our day on the computer, cell phone, iPad, in front of the TV, and on Facebook or Twitter, with very few breaks during the day. I remember asking one of my patients to lock her cell phone in her desk drawer for two hours, and the thought of it filled her with utter panic!

If this sounds familiar, you may need to unplug more often than you think. Unplugging allows your nervous system to relax, and gives your stress response a well-deserved break.

I feel so blessed to be living on the west coast, surrounded by beautiful trees and the smell of the ocean. I often find myself hiking on trails, running along the lake or simply taking my beagle Tyson for walks around the neighborhood. I make it a priority to do this at least once daily, even if it’s only for 15 minutes - it calms my mind, replenishes my reserves and simply makes me happy!

It's so important to spend time among the trees, in the quiet, away from the constant buzzing of social media, work or constant chatter. I know that for some this may be a challenge, especially if you're living in a big city with limited access to nature, but even attending a yoga class, meditating, meeting a friend, or reading a book – really, whatever makes you happy and away from that constant brain chatter is important to make it a priority for you!

So let me ask you...what do you do to unplug?