Written by Dr. Nicole M. Vienna

July 10, 2019

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Take a Break from Your Electronics

For many people, being separated from their Smartphone, laptop or other electronic device can actually be stressful.  Research has shown that for many people fear of being disconnected from their cell phone can feel just as real as a substance addiction; the feeling of withdrawal when the phone is not available or compulsive or repetitive need to check it.  It is estimated that the averaged person send approximately 94 texts a day.  In many cases, it has replaced talking directly to others.

While it can be hard to put down your phone, doing so could give you the opportunity to engage in activities that can enrich your life and help you be more focused on the present.  Taking even a 10 or 15 minute break can improve your focus and reduce stress.  Here are a few ideas to be more mindful:

Get outside and take a walk: Walking and fresh air can be a great first step to reset into an unplugged state.  Try walking around your neighborhood, visit a local park or beach or take a dog for a walk.

Take a “staycation”: Explore your town as if you were a tourist. There may be some hidden gems like restaurants or museums you never knew existed.

Check out your local Community College: Take a class in something you’re interested in, like art, music, history, or literature. Many community colleges or cities have adult education programs or no credit classes.

Read: Read a book. Take the time to a library or bookstore to see what’s out there, and pick up a book or a magazine.

Journal: Perhaps write down your thoughts; whatever comes to mind without editing or write a note of gratitude to a friend.

Cooking: Take the time to make something special.  Enjoy the activity of preparing something from a childhood memory or try something new.  Cooking with a child or a significant other can provide a special opportunity to interact with those important people in your life or can be a mindfulness activity for solo time.

Board games: When was the last time you sat around with a group of friends and just played a classic game?  Invite a group of people over for a potluck and add a game and see what happens.

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