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Blog series, week 4: Looking after yourself: Un-plug from technology and plug-in to nature

Looking after yourself by...

In the past editions of the series, we have looked at how to set boundaries and honour our feelings. This week we will look at how to look after ourselves in the “plugged-in” environment we live in 24/7/365 nowadays.

We need technology to communicate with loved ones and friends all over the world, we need it for our business – heck I need it for keeping tabs on my blog, followers and potential clients contacting me for counselling or tutoring! – But do we need this 24/7/365?

It’s hard to disengage, it’s like we’re going to miss something great if we disconnect for even 5 minutes!

Image may contain: tree, plant, grass, outdoor and nature

Recent studies and articles have mentioned how technology is affecting our mental health – getting a like on Facebook, a retweet on Twitter, a follow on other social media platforms, can mean a good day for someone…a negative comment can do the opposite altogether. Also, sitting in the “in my phone” position gives us back problems, neck pain
and possibly even headaches! Not to mention the fact that it separates us from what is happening in our environment.

Now I’m not saying get rid of your technology, I would be a hypocrite. I’m not getting rid of my technology either! It’s just how we manage and balance life with technology in it.

So what alternatives do I suggest for you this week? Have a look at what Ecotherapists recommend:

Bring nature into your home environment2

This could mean an art activity while you fill your home with things you’ve found on a hike, a walk or a visit to the local garden centre.

Position your furniture -maybe a chair or your bed – in such a way that you can see a tree or a nice plant from your window.

Getting indoor plants is an easy way to bring nature in, especially if you live in a city or a block of flats. Horticulture is a good way to re-engage with nature: grow plants in a window box,  help a neighbour with their garden, get an allotment, go to pick-your-own farms and get fresh and organic vegetables for your dinner.

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Listen to sounds of waves, birds, and other sounds of nature you enjoy.

Do more activities outdoors

Spending time in nature is free, so that’s a bonus!

Fit in a short walk around a park before work or on your way back. Do more exercise outdoors, with the fresh air.

Go for a walk along a beach and pick up curious objects along the way.

Meditate – find a favourite spot and just sit in silence, learn to “be” rather than “do” all the time…

Animals 

Go bird watching. Go for wildlife walks where you look for animals in their natural habitats.

Visit a local farm.

No automatic alt text available.Pet sit your neighbours’ animals. Or get a pet yourself is this is possible!

Hang bird feeders to attract birds, and maybe even build nests for them.

There is much that nature can give us that technology can’t – not all the time anyway. Sometimes just a short walk without our phones could do the trick. Or sitting at the beach looking at the water and listening to the sounds of the seagulls, the waves.

So, check yourself:

how will you balance all that nature brings with all that technology brings, how will you get what you need from both while at the same time looking after your mental and physical health?

What can you do to reach a better balance which won’t mean giving up on the life that you’re used to with technology around?

Image may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoor

Is there a park near you that you can go to more often? Could you read your kindle book there instead of indoors? How about starting an adventure and growing your own plants for the first time (those are my first little plants on the photo)?

Any more ideas? Drop me a comment below!

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