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Digital detox: How to unplug for your next outdoor adventure

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Unplugging from social media for an extended period of time—a scary thought, right? But, powering down and getting outdoors is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being.

When we spend too much time online, the pulse of the internet overpowers the rhythm of the natural world, causing us to get out of balance and out of sync. When our ability to flow naturally and smoothly is interrupted, that’s when the door to stress opens. And I think you know what happens from there.

Two weeks, two months, even two days—it’s essential to recharge your batteries with a digital detox. When you turn off your phone and computer and turn on the great outdoors, you allow your head and your heart to fall back into their natural rhythms. Hiking at sunrise and sunset, listening to the sound of the wind as it blows across the land in the late afternoon—things like this allow you to regain your balance with the natural world.

It’s important to note, though, that unplugging properly is important. After all, business and personal acquaintances expect hasty responses to their e-mails. That’s what the internet is all about...immediacy. So unless you want to make a lot of people unhappy, heed the advice of Forever Resorts, the operators of unplugged houseboat adventures in the Lake Mead Recreation Area, a mecca for fishing, water skiing, sailing, scuba diving and swimming.

  • Personally reach out to daily contacts, professional and personal, to let them know “the disconnect” is coming.
  • Post an out-of-office message at least one week prior to shutting down your e-mail. In the message, let users know the dates you will be “out of the office.”
  • When you log off from social media, post profile photos declaring a “digital detox”.
  • If your phone remains in your possession, disable all alerts for incoming e-mails and texts and log off social-media sites.
  • Designate one person at home to be your emergency contact.

While dropping out of the digital world for even a few days may seem the impossible dream, the fact is the time spent outdoors will clear your mind and recharge your batteries so that answers to all those questions you’ve been mulling over will come and ideas will flow. And, you have to admit, it’s a pretty pleasant prescription for staying strong and healthy.

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