As I settled onto a large rock on the Hollywood Hills feeling the fresh California air breezing through my hair, I finally felt relief. After a week of late nights editing video, minimal sleep, missing a flight, and struggling through a 48-hour migraine, I needed a vacation. But with the mobile devices so readily at my side, it felt like I’d never escape the rush. However, I’ve found ways to disconnect from the continuous movement that exists on my social media timelines and instead focus on rejuvenating during my time off. Now that summer’s here and you’ll be taking some vacaciones, here’s three tips on how to disconnect and make it worth your while.
Tie up loose ends before taking off. Before you dig up your bikinis for that tropical island that awaits you, let people know you won’t be available. There’s nothing more irritating than work emails that appear to be urgent but could actually wait. Tell your boss you’ll be gone with limited connectivity and provide a method of contact in the event of absolute necessity. Also, set up an OOO message on your email and voicemail. Provide details on how long you plan on being away so that no one expects an immediate response. This will make you feel at ease knowing that all correspondence will be waiting for you once you return and reconnect, and no one is refreshing their inbox expecting your response.
Silence your smartphone and tablets. Once I’ve arrived, hopefully on-time, to my flight, my phone gets put on silent. No vibrate, no ringtones, just silence. This might seem silly, but it’s a simple move that’ll make all the difference. The beep and vibrate of your phone is a constant reminder of emails, messages, and notifications that require your attention, but if your phone is silenced you will find yourself forgetting all about those things and abandoning the glossy screen for the gleaming rays of sun in your eyes.
Own a digital camera and take it with you everywhere. Our iPhones and Galaxies have great cameras, but they also have pages of apps tempting us into a black hole of distractions. Taking photos during your vacation is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the scenery and appreciate all the little things that make your time away from home memorable. One of my professors in college once told me, if she hope we’d learned anything from her, it was to be present in the moment. You don’t have to Instagram the photo of the amazing view from your hotel right this second, that moment is special to you, and when you get back home and reconnect, it’ll be waiting to download off your digital camera. No rush needed.
Not only are you disconnecting for the sake of your sanity, but also to be present in all of the moments you’re experiencing in new places. Everything lives forever on the internet, so if you missed a trending topic you can definitely look it all up later on. Take the time for yourself. You don’t want to have to respond when your coworkers ask you what you did on your trip–ehh, tweet?