Disconnecting to Reconnect {guest post with Heather Mudry from Mama Malas}

unspecified How many times have you thought to yourself "I need an extra day after that weekend!"? If you're like me, the answer is probably too many to even count. Our weekends can sometimes feel more like "work" than our weekdays. Chances are though, if you did have that extra weekend day, you'd just pack more stuff into it, in an effort to "do more". This coming weekend, instead of doing more, why don't you try a "disconnected weekend"? Click through to learn more about this idea from Heather Mudry, the founder of Mama Malas. One of my favorite ways to hit the reset button when I’m stressed out is to make the time for  a disconnected weekend. The disconnected weekend was started when I was craving a trip to the lake, but the logistics just weren’t happening.

I started thinking what made me crave the trip, and the answer was simple. I wanted to disconnect. I wanted to spend time in nature, be out of my cells service range, and spend time laughing and connecting with my family.

I think that is what makes most vacations so incredible. You have time to fully experience what is happening right in front of you, with who is in front of you, instead of checking your phone or zoning out in front of the TV. I realized that I didn’t need the lake to experience these things, I just needed to change my priorities while I was at home. That week I planned our first disconnected weekend.

Now, I know you are probably thinking that there is no way that you could completely unplug for an entire weekend. I know that's what I thought when I first started thinking of the idea, but I’ve since discovered that anyone can find a way to celebrate a disconnected weekend that fits their life.

Now that we regularly incorporate disconnected weekends into our routine, I can tell you I am calmer, more productive and much less stressed than I was when I was connected 24/7.

When checking my phone, or looking up any useless question that comes into my mind isn’t an option, I feel like I have all the time in the world. We take walks to watch the sunrise over the mountains and spend time being tourists in our own city. When I’m not waiting to capture the perfect shot on my phone, I can fully participate in the sweet moments that make life so amazing.

Below are the three steps I follow when planning my own disconnected weekend.

Set your intentions for the weekend.

Decide ahead of time what you hope to get out of your disconnected weekend. Do you want to have a calm and relaxed weekend at home or head outside and go on a great and wild adventure?

Decide how tech free you will be going.  

Do you want to eliminate anything with a screen or do you want to eliminate phones but keep the TV?  It will take a while to figure out what works best for you and your family, but I always recommend putting social media and email into the no list and only using  technology for things like playing music when you cook a leisurely dinner or getting together  for a family movie night.

Set yourself up for success.

Be sure to get any chores or shopping done before you disconnected weekend begins.  You don’t want to spend your disconnected weekend catching up on chores or battling the crowds at the grocery store. This is meant to be a time for connection and relaxation.

Write down all of the events you already committed to and the times and numbers associated with them.  Download any recipes you plan to make, and any music you want to listen to, or movies you want to watch.

On Friday evening take one final check of your accounts, and then put away your phone. (you can also choose to turn off cellular data and wifi so you are still able to send and receive calls and messages without dealing with notifications from social accounts).  Set your phone to do not disturb mode so that it only rings for pre-approved contacts.

Have a pen and paper ready for the breakthroughs that occur when you let yourself relax and disconnect.

If you find the idea of disconnecting all weekend too intimidating, set aside an hour on Saturday evening to check your accounts quickly. Don’t use this time to mindlessly scroll, just check that nothing urgent is waiting for you and then get back to your blissfully disconnected weekend.

I guarantee that you will cherish the memories you make during your disconnected weekend much more than anything you would have missed when you were “away”.

I find that the first time I tell people about my disconnected weekends, the response is “oh, that sounds nice but we could never do that, I’ll have to try when X is over”.  The problem is that there is always going to be something going on, and there will never be a time where it seems easy to disconnect. It’s up to you to make it a priority.

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with information in the form of social updates, emails, articles, and news. It is a necessity to take the time to recharge and take enough time to listen to the voice that is within.

If you are looking to go a little deeper, I created a free Disconnected Weekend Workbook for you that you can download here. It guides you step by step through designing your own disconnected weekend, as well as a bonus checklist to help ensure your disconnected weekend is a success.

unspecified1 Heather Mudry is the founder of Mama Malas. She craves connection, authenticity, the space to be creative, and wild expanding freedom. Her guilty pleasure is watching teen dramas that she is really just too old to be watching (I’m looking at you Pretty Little Liars). Through Mama Malas she designs mala beads and intentional accessories that celebrate Motherhood and give you the courage to follow your instincts, create a life and parenting style that work for you, and keep you aligned with your goals.  She wants you to live in the moment, drop what is unimportant to play with your children and go on fantastic and wild adventures. (ps, click the photo below to enter to win a Mama Mala of your own!)