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Disconnect from technology for an hour and give yourself a mental break!

    The idea of turning off your cellphone for an hour each day and simply enjoying life "in the moment" is starting to look like a more novel idea each day.  With the advances in technology bringing us the latest gadgets to keep us "always connected", the question remains...but why?  Is it really necessary to answer your phone in the middle of dinner, text someone when sitting at a movie, or check your email every 10 minutes?  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reported that it's getting tougher for people to "take time off" when on vacation and leave their laptops at home.  And for those that do manage to leave the computer at home, they end up calling the office so often "to stay on top of things" that some coworkers think that they are still at work.
    While it's understandable that you might want to check back every so often to make sure that things are running smoothly in the office, it seems that people are actually feeling more stressed when they take vacations, because they are so used to being constantly connected to their phones, laptops, etc. So how can you prevent the upcoming need to "stay connected" while away on vacation?  A good place to start making changes is at home, on a daily basis.  Try to take at least an hour each day to turn off your phone, laptop, etc. and take a look around you.  Whether it's during family time or while you're on your own, you'll soon start to appreciate having that time back to yourself!

    People with sleep problems often tell me that they spend the hours before bedtime on the computer, talking on the phone, or doing other things that activate the mind.  These activities tend to wake us up and make it harder to fall asleep.  So it's especially important if you have trouble sleeping to turn off your phone and computer at least an hour before bedtime.  Start to unwind by listening to music, taking a hot bath, reading a good book, doing some stretches, or something else that you find relaxing.  But remember to stay out of bed until you're sleepy and ready to fall asleep.  Try taking time for yourself each day, while "disconnected from technology", and enjoy the extra time to give yourself a mental break.