Need a break from technology? Here are five ways to get outdoors with family and friends to inspire those long lost real connections that we all crave.
By: Rebecca Haber
Modern technology is connecting the world in ways we never thought possible, but are our devices keeping us from real human interaction? According to one study, the average American checks his or her phone every 6 minutes, a distracting habit when you’re trying to have a conversation. With attention becoming a commodity worldwide, it’s more important than ever to take the occasional technology timeout and engage in some real life FaceTime. Here are five ways to disconnect with your devices, and reconnect with your friends and family this spring.
Take a Hike
There’s almost nothing more grounding than nature. Fresh air, blood pumping, beautiful surroundings — you’ll feel detoxified in no time. Great for putting things in perspective, hiking reminds us that we don’t need a lot in life to be happy, especially if we have a few trusted friends or family members along for the ride. Not sure where to begin? All Trails provides great hiking suggestions for nearly every location throughout the country.
Why not combine a little sojourn with some finger-friendly snacks? Invite friends for a potluck-style picnic where everyone brings one dish. Food is not only a great conversation starter, it also brings you into the present — and as it turns out, that’s very important. In a Harvard University study, researchers found that subjects were generally happier when focusing on the present moment, and markedly less happy when their minds were wandering. Looking for the perfect picnic food? These delicious recipes are great for any outdoor gathering.
Outdoor Yoga Classes
Similar to mediation, yoga helps to still the chaos of the mind. In addition, this communal well-being practice provides a great physical workout, relieving all that tension we build up in the neck and shoulders from hunching over our computers all day. Hire a private yoga instructor for a group of your friends, or if you’re in a major city, check out one of these outdoor bucket list yoga experiences. Or our personal favorite, Goat Yoga. Yes, you read that right.
If there’s one creature on earth that consistently lives in the moment, it’s a dog. Their energy is infectious and they exemplify the concept of enjoying the simple things in life; food, water, toys…it’s all very exciting. Get a few pet-owning friends together and head to a dog friendly park, or find a local doggy Meetup right in your hood!
Stargazing is a great, yet often forgotten way to remind us how small we really are. Grab a few friends or a loved one (or go solo!) and find a place with minimal light pollution. If you’re in a big city, get as high up as you can. You’ll need to let the eyes adjust for at least 20 minutes, then gaze away! Leave the smartphone at home and bring this printable monthly stargazing map instead.