Peppers Experience

15 ways to unplug from technology

Power off. When it comes to technology, these are two words many of us don't often see. It's hardly surprising we don't give our gadgets much downtime when they have become such an important part of our lives. We use our tablets, mobiles, laptops, games consoles, and TVs - to communicate, work, play, share, socialise, and learn. Technology has transformed our lives and no doubt for the better.

So why bother turning it all off? As the saying goes, sometimes we can have too much of a good thing. Various studies have shown the impact technology is having on our lives. From the UK, researchers have shown us we spend more time logged on than we do asleep, and more time with our smartphone than with our partners. Closer to home, an Australian study revealed we're spending an incredible 10 hours each day on electronic devices.

All that screen time does mean one thing: less time with the people in your life that matter more than any new gadget.

Chances are if you’re spending long hours on your laptop or tuned in to your favourite TV show you’re not being as physically active as you should be. It probably also means less time appreciating the great outdoors.

Peppers Bluewater Resort

Going cold turkey from your tech probably isn't going to be feasible for most, but finding a little extra time away from your electronic devices could bring some healthy rewards for your mind, body, friendships and relationships. Spending time with your family, without the disruptions of technology, can improve your wellbeing and health. When you are taking your annual family holiday organise some quality time with your family without the technology.

Here are 15 family time activities to do after powering off:

  1. Turn off the TV for an hour and go fly a kite
  2. Get away from it all at a holiday retreat full of tranquillity and less wi-fi
  3. Rise early and go fishing before your inbox fills up
  4. Put a pin in the map and take a drive to somewhere you've never been before
  5. Hire a boat and lose 4G for a few hours
  6. Go out for a special meal and remove mobiles from the dinner table
  7. Book an RV for the weekend and check in to an unpowered campsite
  8. Visit a pet shop and bring home the ultimate distraction from your technology
  9. Make a deliberate attempt to lose your signal by going bushwalking
  10. Leave your electronics inside and head outside to plant a vegetable patch
  11. Go screen free for the day by taking a tour of your nearest vineyard
  12. Head out to sea (and away from your inbox) for a spot of whale watching
  13. Phones and water don't mix so if you really want to unplug from technology, try scuba diving
  14. Disconnect from tech and reconnect with the family by building something together, like a bird box, tree house, or wooden go-kart
  15. Get kids more active by trying a new sport each month - and no mobiles allowed!

Heidi Horne, who runs yoga retreats at Peppers Guest House, Hunter Valley, says that guests are able to make the most of their weekend when they unplug from technology. “By unplugging guests can make the most of rebooting from their everyday hectic and stressful lives, and feel recharged and revitalised from the weekend,” she says. “Many people often come on the retreats with a family member or good friends and by unplugging from technology it allows them to re-connect and talk face-to-face.”

There are plenty of great reasons to turn off the digital devices and spend more time interacting with your natural surroundings.  Beautiful locations such as York Cove in Tasmania, Lake Tekapo in New Zealand or Kingscliff in New South Wales are easy to access and full of outdoor, family activities.

Book in regular time with your family to ‘go screen free’ and provide that much-needed respite to your hectic and technology-driven lifestyle.

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