How to Disconnect During the Summer

Implementing digital disconnection and achieving work-life balance are contemporary challenges that we still struggle to face. This situation should not surprise us, as we live in a technological and fast-paced society that tends to see it as appropriate to fill every hour of every day, even on days off. However, a 2021 UN report concluded that long working hours and the lack of digital disconnection increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease by up to 35%.

With this in mind, we share some tips for achieving a successful digital disconnection during your upcoming summer vacation:

1. Light Planning

Regardless of your work situation, the pace of your workday is nothing like what you desire during your vacation. The digitization of work has revolutionized companies and accelerated daily work processes. For this reason, it's normal to have the conviction during the first few days that your leisure time must be productive and fully utilized. The shift from a mindset of 'productivity' to 'relaxation' doesn't happen overnight. Nevertheless, it's important to resist this urge and find a balance. If you feel like finishing one or two personal projects that you haven't had time for, go ahead. Completing these activities will give you a sense of personal satisfaction. However, rmember to set aside time for rest, recharge your energy, and leave some days unplanned to allow spontaneity to emerge. Planning simplifies everything. Good organization and allocation of your days off will help reduce anxiety levels and combat the feeling that you're 'wasting time' when you're actually recharging to return to your routine with more enthusiasm.

2. Nothing Left Pending

In your planning, you should also consider the days leading up to your vacation. Finish all your pending projects and tasks to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on. Imagine this scenario: you're in a hotel, enjoying a day at the beach and the sound of waves breaking on the shore. Suddenly, you remember that you didn't send a crucial email to a priority client, and you don't have the necessary information to draft it on your own. You have two options: you can wait until you return to work to handle it or you can call a colleague to assist you. Either way, you lose: having pending matters occupies space in your mind and prevents you from enjoying the moment, as you'll be thinking about everything except relaxation. The most advisable approach is to make a list of your responsibilities, prioritizing urgency over importance.

3. Digital Disconnection

"Goodbye to the virtual world, welcome to the real world." Digital disconnection is essential to reconnect with ourselves and our surroundings. Nowadays, life is what happens while we are staring at a screen: the computer screen at the office, the mobile phone during a video call, the TV while watching the news, and even the restaurant's menu screen. Digitization, immediacy, and constant connectivity of new technologies have clear advantages, but when it comes to relaxing, they are not very useful. The idea of 'disconnecting' may sound irresponsible or intimidating, but being constantly connected in an unreal world disconnects us from our physical and immediate reality. Have you ever been at a pedestrian crossing, staring at your mobile phone screen while eagerly waiting for an important message, and the distraction is such that you don't notice the traffic light turning green and that you can cross? Take the advice: dare to detox digitally this summer. Minimize screen time. Read a physical book (not an electronic one), walk in nature (cancel your gym membership), write with pen and paper (avoid digitalization), leave your laptop at home (you won't need it), and meet your friends in person (pause video calls). Put your phone on airplane mode and fly as far as you can.

4. New Habits

Breaking the routine and trying new experiences is the antidote to monotony. What better time than your summer vacation to take on new challenges? Introducing novelty into your life not only involves learning a skill or discovering an interest but also, by the mere act of engaging in something new, you improve your cognitive state. The brain is a muscle and needs exercise to strengthen. Many times, you can go about your daily activities on autopilot. A novel activity forces you to pay attention, concentrate on what's happening in front of you, and disconnect from anything irrelevant at the moment. What are you waiting for? Sign up for that class, participate in that sport you've always wanted to try, learn a new language, or introduce a new hobby into your life. You might be pleasantly surprised.

5. Gradual Return

We've all been there: the first day back to the routine is stressful. There are many changes to process and a pile of unread emails. It seems as if the world has stopped just for you, and now you have to rush and catch up with everyone else at record speed. The stress caused by this 'marathon' on the system is what makes us fear returning from vacations. Vacations come to an end, and the next beginning (the return to the routine) usually doesn't start on the right foot. Instead of trying to manage everything at once, start introducing aspects of your routine gradually a few days before your vacation ends. This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed because you can process all the information calmly, and you'll be better informed about all the events on your first day back.

In summary, we must prioritize our mental health and implement habits that benefit our overall well-being. After all, work is important, but it's not everything. A person's quality of life is measured by several factors, with physical and emotional well-being taking precedence among them. Humans are not machines; we not only deserve rest, but it's essential. In the end, life is like walking on a tightrope: it's essential to keep moving and gradually approach our goal, but this is impossible if we don't maintain balance.

You can count on an online psychologist at Therapyside to continue delving into your emotions, prioritize yourself, and take care of your psychological well-being. If this article has helped you better understand this topic, we hope you feel more empowered to live a life without limitations!

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