After a long day, whether it was at work or out with family, the body wants to shut down. You can collapse on the couch in an attempt to unwind, but it’s not that easy. Almost as soon as you try to shut down, the mind starts to race. Your to-do list beckons and instead of unwinding, you end up mindlessly scrolling through your phone to distract your brain.
Has that ever happened to you? If so, you are not alone. There are various strategies that help you unplug from technology, and the world. They all belong to the concept of slow living, which is a lifestyle that encourages a slower approach to life. You complete tasks at a leisurely pace and focus on the idea that a slower-paced lifestyle leads to more enjoyment, relaxation, and a deeper appreciation of life. This stems from the slow food movement, which emphasized traditional food production techniques as a response to fast food’s popularity in the 1980s and 1990s.
Learning how to disconnect and slow down can be difficult at first, but we promise that you’ll feel better after doing so. With the following tips, we hope you can learn how to disconnect, relax, and completely unplug at the end of a long day. It may take practice, but that’s what makes perfect.
Create A Sensory Environment
This can be a great experiment to culminate your day. Close your eyes and imagine ending your day on a beach, fully relaxed. What does it look like? Can you hear the sound of the waves, the sand between your toes, and smell the salty air? Use your senses and pay attention to what you hear and feel in the scene you paint in your mind. You are fully in the present and that allows you naturally disconnect from devices and chores. You’re too busy taking in the world you imagine! Most of us can’t head to the beach every day after work, but you can create sensory environments in your homes to make for relaxing spaces. Light some candles, get some mood lighting, play a favorite playlist or album, and sit so that you’re staring out a window, not at a screen.
Create An End-Of-Day Ritual
You may want to unplug, but lacking an end-of-day ritual, practice, or routine can make it difficult. It doesn’t have to be complex; rather, it just has to be something you do every day. You can go for a walk, take a bath, light a candle, experiment with breathing exercises, or try guided meditation. If you want to take this step to the next level, put away technology in the evening. Eliminating screen time in the evening is a great way to wind down and calm the mind.
Check-In With Your Boundaries
Strong personal boundaries are no match for journaling or meditating, as relaxing as those two practices may be. Perhaps you can’t relax because you get bombarded by work emails after you leave work. Maybe your sister is the primary source of gossip and she lays it on you, despite the fact that you don’t want it. When you let people know that you’re unplugging at a certain time every day, they understand that you aren’t available 24/7. You have to enforce those boundaries, though. People will respect them!
Log Off Social Media
Some of the most powerful boundaries you can set are with yourself. If you want to disconnect from technology in the evening, try to review and renew your social media habits. This is much easier said than done and it can be a struggle to let it go, especially if your business is related to social media performance. Every once in a while, you just need a break from all the social media apps. You don’t have to become a luddite, but give yourself a break from social media and you may start to think and live more intentionally.
Write It Out To Clear Your Mind
It’s hard to turn off your mind if you have thoughts swimming around your head. Set them free by starting a journaling practice every night. You don’t have to be the next Ernest Hemingway; rather, you just have to let your thoughts go. Simply write what’s on your mind and don’t be afraid of what the result is. You can write down everything from grocery lists to self-doubts! Don’t worry about editing your grammar or sentence structure because the point of the exercise is to just keep scribbling until your mind is at ease.
One of the best things about engaging in a creative pastime is that you can enter a flow. In other words, you lose sense of time and don’t think about anything else but the task at hand. There’s no worry about folding a pile of laundry, washing some dishes, or checking your Instagram likes. It could be painting, playing an instrument, singing, exercising, hedge-trimming, or whatever outlet allows you to be creative.