One thing MacGyver was a big advocate of was enjoying his “downtime” and using that time too, as he put it, “take the edge off”.
In this ever-increasing age of mobile connectedness where we can do everything online everywhere and at any time, it’s becoming very difficult to switch off during, what should be, relaxation or downtime. How many of you find yourselves checking email, Facebook, Twitter, news sites, etc during work breaks, or in the evenings when you should be relaxing and unwinding? I know I do and I often do it without even thinking. It’s just what we do now. We’re always connected and always “on”.
I was thinking earlier today about how long it’s been since I’ve been hiking or even biking. We’ve had some really nice sunny winter days which would be perfect for either activity yet I’ve been so focused online that I haven’t had any real downtime for 5-6 months and it starts to show in some pretty obvious ways too. Sleeping patterns become disrupted, moods and mental states change even blood pressure goes up and stays up because we’re in a constant state of alertness – thinking, pondering, worrying, planning with no reprieve from the stress it causes.
SO how do we get around this? I read an article the other day where a guy was spending 1 day per week disconnected. No phones, no computers, no internet, nothing. This seems like a pretty good way of ensuring you get the vital destressing time that we all need. Another way might be to set a time each night at which point phones, computers, and internet are switched off and that’s your unwind time before going to bed. Other ways can include things like having a “no devices at the table” rule for meals. This not only provides a break but if you have children it’s building healthy habits for them as well. Or if you go out for a meal with friends or family have a designated phone carrier for emergencies and everyone else leaves their phones behind for the night.
Once you start looking for opportunities to disconnect you’ll be surprised how many there are in a day, and I would wager quite staggered when you start to realize just how much attention that little device is taking from you.
I’d be interested in hearing any other ideas for overcoming the constant state of “on” we now find ourselves living in.
MacGyvering Your Life is a regular series looking at ways we can incorporate aspects of MacGyer’s values, ethics, and mindset into our own lives. We encourage feedback and discussion via the comments section below and if you would like to contribute with your own article you can contact us here.