10 April 2014

Unplug


College requires me to be more "plugged in" than I ever have been before.

I'm constantly checking my e-mail, texting, and doing assignments on one of my various i-Things. It's convenient- don't get me wrong! Instead of papers everywhere I just have "notes". I can start an assignment on my laptop and send it to my iPad to use in class. There is the ability to listen to recorded lectures and even Skype tutors. The use of technology in school is staggering, and something that I am certain that I don't take full advantage of.

But all this "connectivity" can be stressful. So stressful. I've recently had an epiphany when it comes to technology- that I need a break from it! The other day I had a sudden urge to go on my run sans-iPod. I used to do this all the time at home, but something about college made me feel like I needed to use one... probably the peer pressure since about 99% of people I see working out have headphones in. So I went on my run, completely unplugged. It was the best run I've had this semester.

It makes complete sense- working out is a huge stress reliever. Some people relieve the stress by blasting crazy music and dancing along while they're working out. In fact, a majority of people do. But the ability to go run in nature, with only my own thoughts and footfalls was the biggest stress reliever. I ran longer and harder, and came back much more refreshed and inspired... and it reminded my about why I loved running at home so much.

..........................................

I think this concept is 100% applicable to daily life. Every person I know is glued to their phone, laptop, or the tv. We all know that's not healthy so I won't go into that. But is it really enjoyable? More so than unplugging and picking up a book, or meeting friends for coffee... or going for a run? I know that working with technology drains me- so much so that I actually break up my studying between online work and textbook reading (for multiple reasons, but it's applicable to this too). Looking at something other than a screen and getting into my own thoughts has been a life saver lately. 

The thing is, I've known that this should happen. I've known how looking at a screen before falling asleep can make for a bad night's sleep. I've known that running to music can make me go too hard, too soon. I've known that reading is stimulating and that opening up to my surroundings is a stress reliever in itself. We all know the facts and we choose to ignore them. But, if I've done one successful thing lately, it's been to make an effort to unplug- once during the day and before bed until I am asleep.

And I think you should give it a try.