My life is pretty much spent in front of a computer. My full-time job is being the online content producer for my local newspaper. This means hours and hours of sitting on my duff, perusing the Internet, chatting on social media, and collecting news stories. When I’m not at work, I’m writing, or I’m reading my Kindle, or I’m staring at my phone, or I’m…going crazy.
Too much screen time makes for a cranky Crissi. Therefore, here are 5 ways that I temporarily unplug from the world so that I can maintain my sanity.
- Go to the ocean. I’m lucky enough to live near Bodega Bay, the coldest and most beautiful ocean in the world. just a 45-minute drive away, and I’m suddenly breathing in salt air and organic peace. I don’t know if I could ever live in a place far away from the coast. The ocean is just home to me. As Isak Dinesen is quoted as saying, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” It’s also a great place for the soul.
- Pitching a tent. There are a few ways I love to camp. The first is the spa retreat my husband and I escape to every few months. Something about hot springs in the middle of a forest brings healing to the soul. The second is actual camping, complete with campfires, smores, and stories. The third is the summer camp my kids and I attend every year, where we sleep on planks under the stars and are separate from the world for a whole week. There’s always a slight adjustment period when we re-enter civilization.
- Take a hike. I’m not naturally prone to exercise. Sure, I go to the gym (and actually like it). But if given the choice of staying in bed all day or hiking up hills, I’d choose bed every time. However, once I’m on the trail, I realize that this is the true right choice. There’s something magic about putting the phone away, working muscles that haven’t been worked in a while, and taking in the scenery. One of the favorite hikes I’ve taken is on the Cascades Trail in Marin County. The trail goes along all these waterfalls, and is among tall trees, sprouting mushrooms, and fresh air. It’s definitely good for the soul.
- Doing yoga. It always amazes me how much a few stretches can help me exhale when I didn’t even know I was holding my breath. My favorite pose is One Legged King Pigeon with Forward Fold, where you fold one leg in front of you and have one leg behind, and then fold your body over your front leg. It’s a great hip opener, and an incredible release as you breath into the stretch.
- Reading a good book. When the world is crazy and I just need to hide out, there’s nothing like curling up in bed with a good book. I’m a re-reader, so if I’m feeling particularly crappy, I’ll pull out an old favorite. The authors who fall into my re-read list are Colleen Hoover (because no one can write about falling in love like Colleen can), Liz Gilbert (I’ve read Eat. Pray. Love at least 3 times), and Paolo Coelho (I swear my soul expands every time I read any word that man writes).