Unplugging had a strange effect on me.hammered-phone-1525658

Before I left for my favorite B&B on the shore of Lake Michigan, I left greetings on my business and personal cell phones that I would not be returning calls for a week. I left a bounce to the same effect on my email. I turned off data roaming on my cell phone so that I could not use the internet.  I carried my cell phone with the ringer turned off.

Except for a text or two with the guy checking in on my cats, I did not communicate via cat relaxingtechnology for a week. It was glorious. I was unplugged. I was not bothered by my phone ringing, beeping, or chiming. More importantly, I was not bothered by the anticipation of ringing, beeping, or chiming. And by the way, cats know how to unplug.

I slept better, I ate slower. By midweek, I was eating less and more simple foods. I was more aware of my surroundings. I talked to strangers when the occasion arose. I sat on the beach, swam, contemplated, read a novel I found in a book store. Sometimes I, dare I say it, wasted an hour or two, doing nothing but staring at Lake Michigan lapping at its shore. I watched the sunset over the lake every night.

calm lake






At first, I didn’t recognize how I was feeling.  Then, like a whisper of breeze on a hot day, I understood. I was relaxed. I was, literally, breathing easier.

I recalled the vacations my family took when I was a child, before technology became our master. Vacation meant “getting away from it all.” What a joke we have played on ourselves. Today, we go on vacation but we carry our stress with us. No wonder anti-anxiety and sleep medications are so in demand. We have forgotten how to unplug!

When I returned home and reluctantly plugged back in, I felt a jolt of fear, no, not fear, anger. I was angry that with a cell phone in my pocket, my time is not my own.

I started thinking about ways to unplug on a regular basis. I want to breathe easier more of the time.

Less Than Useful Advice

Many people tell me they can’t unplug because they might miss something. Yes, you might and that is the whole point.

About almondhead

I am a mental health counselor in private practice. One of the focuses of my practice is helping people with fear, anxiety and their ugly stepsister, depression. I became a counselor after a long career in the technology world, so naturally, I think of the brain as an engineering problem. It can help to understand something about how the brain works. I decided to start this blog as a way to help other people learn about fear, anxiety and relationship. (All our problems are really about relationships.) You can also find me at: www.virtuallyfearless.com www.PsychologyToday.com www.theravive.com http://www.marriagefriendlytherapists.com/
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