Ever since writing my Ask Lauren post about how to really unplug on vacation a few weeks ago, I’ve been seeing comments about how that topic resonated with many of you, my LC.com readers. And, ever since recently becoming a new mama myself, I’ve been noticing first-hand how important it is to unplug, unwind, and really stay in the moment when life gets extra busy. After all, it’s the only way to truly make memories you’ll remember and appreciate the special little moments that occur each day. Which brings me to today’s Ask Lauren topic: Staying in the moment. Here’s the question one reader sent to our LaurenConrad.com Editorial inbox that sparked the idea behind this post:
I find myself always distracted and constantly “plugged in” all the time. I know how bad this can be for my mood, concentration, sleep pattern, etc… I’ve read all the articles warning against it! Do you have any tips for staying in the moment?
Let me start by saying this: You’re not alone in feeling like you’re plugged in all the time! All of us could use a little unplugging and disconnecting more often, especially those of us who are always on our phones or tend to pack every minute of our schedules chock-full. Well today, I’m going to share three tips I turn to whenever I feel like I need to get back to reality and enjoy life’s little moments. Here are three ways I stay in the moment…
Limit your online hours.
Today we live in a world of automatic responses, FOMO and immediate gratification. So when we get a message or alert in the early morning or late evening, our natural reaction is to open it and reply immediately. My best tip for staying in the moment? Try to shut off your phone (or put it on the do not disturb setting) between when you’re getting ready for bed and after you’ve had some time to wake up. Personally, those hours of the day are precious to me—it’s when I unwind, unplug, and, in the morning, when I enjoy the peace and quiet of the early hours of the day with a cup of coffee. Why bog all of that down with a beeping and blinking phone? I recommend shutting off your phone (whichever way you choose to do that) during certain hours when it’s appropriate not to reply to messages. Over time, you will begin to respect your “me” time, and so will others.
Take a walk.
I can’t tell you how liberating going on a walk can be. When I’m busy or feeling overwhelmed… or just plain grumpy, taking a little breather and going on a walk in my very own neighborhood can make all the difference in my mood. Even if it’s just a lap around the block, getting my blood flowing and clearing my mind helps me to stay in the moment and get perspective when I need it most. Here’s the challenge though: go without your phone! There’s no point in taking a mental break if you’re scrolling through Instagram the whole time. So, leave your phone behind and get moving to help stay grounded. Which brings me to my third and final tip…
Go sans social media.
Have you ever shared a meal with someone who was on their phone, responding to texts, perusing through Instagram, and checking their inbox the entire time? It’s doesn’t exactly make you feel like you’re interesting or important company, does it? That’s because the person across from you is completely checked out and not living in the moment with you. So, if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of said situation, try to remember this feeling as you go to reach for your phone when you’re spending “quality” time with someone. Leave your phone (and social media and text messaging) in your purse for the entire duration of whatever quality time you’re spending with someone. You will be a better listener in all of your conversations, you’ll make the people around you feel more important, and you will have a better, more fulfilling time yourself. If this is a problem within your friend circle suggest making a game out of it: Everyone places their cell phones in the center of the table and the first one to pick up their phone also picks up the check. If you all make it to the end of the meal you divide the check as you would have before. Your happy memories will be much sharper if you’re seeing them with your own eyes and not through the screen of your phone.
Do you have any tips for staying in the moment?
Being centered and grounded might sound like a simple concept, but we could all use a lot more of it! Don’t you think?
Photos: LC Lauren Conrad