COMMENTARY | As much as I do not want to admit it, it is really tough to detach myself from social media, email, and the gadget that most of my life relies on, my smartphone, even during holidays. Have this same problem? Do yourself and your family a favor this season and follow some simple rules to allow yourself a stress-free, family filled holiday.
Here are the golden rules for escaping technologies hold on you this holiday:
Don’t go Cold Turkey
I’m sure last on your holiday vacation list is scheduling, but trust me, it is necessary to keep your sanity. You don’t need to go cold turkey from phones, computers, and iPads, but you should set aside a certain time each day solely for catching up on emails and maybe uploading some Christmas pictures. Don’t go over your scheduled time though: your family will probably feel neglected if you are gone too long.
One of the best ways to pry yourself from your wireless devices is to simply not charge them overnight. In the morning you’ll have to charge it so you will be forced to leave it alone for a few hours. Also make sure to charge it in your bedroom and not a convenient location where the family party is to ensure you are not checking in every few minutes.
Make Use of Device Features
Put the volume on silent! For me this is important because if I am not getting constant updates, the temptation to check in is lower which avoids stress. If your phones notification sounds are typically associated with work emails or stressful material, then you can keep that tension to your scheduled time with your devices. Also, let everyone know you are out and when and where they can reach you.
Going Old School
Believe it or not, you can still get your daily news from a newspaper. Instead of alienating your family by reading the latest headlines on your devices, grab a newspaper with the family and read it together. Get everyone involved in the news article and discuss your views. This will help you connect with your loved ones, but also give you an outlet to discuss stressful news related content instead of keeping the material to yourself.
It would be simple to reduce holiday stress by just putting your phone somewhere that is not convenient to access, but let’s face it: we need it for emergencies sometimes. For this reason, you can use strategic placement to keep your paws from checking it every five minutes. If you are going out with the family, put your phone in a pocket inside a backpack instead of your jeans pocket.