Last week in my most recent blog post I challenged myself to “unplug for the day” this weekend. The guidelines were clearly defined as the following:

1. Avoid technology.
2. Connect with loved ones.
3. Nurture your health.
4. Get outside.
5. Avoid commerce.
6. Light candles.
7. Drink wine.
8. Eat bread.
9. Find silence.
10. Give back.

I was thinking of giving you a long summary on my day, but I’ll just provide you with the highlight reel. Below is a breakdown of each guidelines and a bit of a story to accompany them all.

1. Avoid technology
This one was the most difficult. In the morning the first thing I did was reach for my phone to see what the time was. On the phone there were numerous text messages from people that I couldn’t respond to. I got anxiety and had to walk out of the room to avoid breaking the guideline.

Pros

  • I found myself more focused on the flavors of each bite of food that I took and fully enjoyed my meals for the first time in awhile.
  • I was able to go on a run with no distractions. I listened to the birds sing and the “thud” noise my feet made when they struck the dirt path.
  • I read books for the first time in months and enjoyed them. I got lost in the stories and went on an adventure with the characters.

Cons

  • I didn’t get to watch TV! I love my Netflix. You can only read so many books before you find yourself falling asleep during the middle of the day.
  • I missed music. Although I did enjoy the silence, silence doesn’t help you stay awake when you are driving home late at night.

(Seems like I have a reoccurring theme of sleepiness without technology).

2. Connect with loved ones
Luckily my dad was in town this weekend on a trip with our church. I was able to see him and spend some time with him. It was great “father-daughter bonding time” that I will never forget. (More details about what we did are to come)

Pros

  • When you can’t use technology, the only resource you have going for you is snail mail. This is a great opportunity to write a letter to a loved one and show you care through more than a quick email or text message.

Cons

  • Writer’s cramp? 😉

3. Nurture your health
I went to yoga and had a great time. Often when you are working out your head fills with “I can’t” thoughts. With yoga you have no distractions like that. You are focused on your body and your breathing. You trust yourself fully and let go of any “I can’t” and “I won’t” thoughts.

4. Get outside
I went on a run by the river near my apartment and had a great time. I was able to focus more on my breathing and paid more attention to noise of the birds flying around me and watch the trees sway back-and-forth as wind hit them. I never once thought “I’m dyiiiing” like I usually do when I run – I was one with nature and self-doubt didn’t stand a chance!

5. Avoid commerce
This was only difficult because I had a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast and wine doesn’t go well with it.

Pros

  • Didn’t spend any money!!

Cons

  • This sucked only because I ran out of milk.

6. Light candles
Do we really need a breakdown for this one? Naw. But I did do this one.

7. Drink wine
Drank a glass of wine with my lunch in which my roommate replied “wow. you’re starting early!”…yes. yes I was. It was wonderful and she was jealous.

8. Eat bread
Toast for breakfast! Don’t mind if I doooo….

9. Find silence
Various times of the day I was immersed in silence. In my car, at The Yoga Studio, and on my walk. I thought I’d find it difficult and want to fight it – but I found peace in it. It was refreshing and something that I’m going to seek out more often in the future.

Pros

  • I was able to enjoy my surroundings more and live in the moment. Often we use our technology as a distraction. I believe this is out of habit now more often than not. But it’s a habit that needs to be broken every once and awhile. Take time to pay attention to the world you live in and embrace your surroundings. The world is an amazing place and often you are missing out by looking at your screen all the time.

10. Give back
My dad came into town and we spent time together feeding the homeless with Tear Down the Walls Ministry in Indianapolis. We provided blankets, clothing and food to people in various homeless camps throughout the city. It was an amazing opportunity to be able to help others and it really gave me perspective. I am blessed to have the opportunity to have the phones that allow me to talk to my family and the car that takes me to yoga class. Some people don’t have those luxuries. IMG_8941

In the end, this Saturday was a bit of a struggle but it was the best kind of struggle. Not once did I care about what someone was doing on Facebook or what articles they were sharing on Twitter. It was MY day and I enjoyed it to the fullest.

Moving forward I think I’ll do this once a month and urge you to think about doing the same. If you don’t think you can accomplish all ten guidelines or live without technology for a day – try incorporating a few into your weekend. Log off of Facebook and Twitter for the weekend or go outside on a walk and leave your phone behind. The world is an amazing place and it’s waiting for you notice.