Our modern lives revolve around connection – text messages, phone calls, Wi-Fi, likes, tweets, pins, comments, shares, emails. Most of us are connected to a device daily and it’s easy to fall the slippery slope of constant scrolling, liking, and emoji-ing. We can stream almost anything we want while walking, at the grocery store, hanging out with friends, at home on the couch, or in bed before we fall asleep. Technology instantly connects us to billions around the globe and provides us with infinite resources. There is no doubt that digital connection has become part of our daily routines.
But have you ever wanted to disconnect from being so connected?
67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
24% of cell owners say that the worst thing about cell ownership is that they are constantly available and can be reached at any time.
How often have you walked down the street to find the person in front of you slowly shuffling along with their eyes glued to their phone? Have you ever been having a conversation with someone only to have them pull out their phone even though it hasn’t gone off? Have you looked around a restaurant to see a table full of people who are focused on their phones and not the people they are with? Many of us have stumbled into the paradox of being so connected that we are left feeling disconnected from what is right in front of us.
Through our travels on the rivers and oceans of the world, we have learned that there’s nothing more refreshing than going deep into the heart of nature where no Wi-Fi can find us. But what can we do to mindfully stay connected to our lives when we return home?
Getting our focus off the screen and back into the moments unfolding in front of us is the essence of unplugging. Being present to what is happening makes our lives richer in a way that a witty social media post or retweet can’t. Talking with friends over a good meal, making small talk with a stranger in the grocery store line, chasing our dog around the park, pausing to watch the sun set, listening to our loved ones without distractions; these are all simple ways to enrich our day-to-day experiences and connect with something deeper.
South Dakota doctors routinely write prescriptions for everything from painkillers to ointments. This year, however, they’ll have a more novel option at their disposal: park prescriptions. Printed on a notepad with an “Rx” symbol in the top-left corner, a park prescription instructs a patient to take one free day at “any South Dakota state park or recreation area.
This July, we are challenging ourselves to intentionally unplug at least once a day. We believe thirty days of mindfully unplugging from technology and carving out the time to truly connect with the world around us will enrich our lives. Whether it’s for five minutes, two hours, or a whole day, the intention to engage with the moment is what truly matters. Join us in this challenge and connect to what truly matters this July by unplugging as often as you can. Discover for yourself the impact a few mindful moments can make.
Some ideas for unplugging:
- Take out your headphones when you’re at the store, on the train, or walking in the city.
- Make it fun! When you’re out to dinner with friends or your partner, play the No Phone Game: The first person to pull out their phone has to buy a round of drinks or appetizers.
- When you come home at the end of the day, go for a walk or bike ride with loved ones instead of instantly turning on the TV.
- Keep your phone out of your bedroom. If you use your phone as an alarm, put it on airplane mode.
- Read a chapter of a book before bed instead of checking social media or watching videos.
- Go to an event and truly experience it! Don’t feel obligated to record it or take a picture. Allow yourself to enjoy the moment and keep it for yourself.
- Instead of scrolling through your feed while you wait in line, try engaging someone next to you in conversation.
- If you need a deeper reset, get off the grid and take a trip into nature. If you need some ideas, you can read more in our Unplug & Set Sail blog.
Are you ready for adventure?
We’ve been your complete source for Grand Canyon rafting since 1987. We work with all the outfitters and we know all the trips. If you’d like more information on Grand Canyon rafting, please give us a call at (928) 526-4575 or send us an email – we’ll guide you through!