When to Unplug, and When Plugging in Really Helps

Kristen King, MPS, WRAP Project Manager and Certified WRAP Facilitator, Advocates for Human Potential, Inc.

One of my favorite things about the WRAP community is the sharing and mutual support that happens here. I particularly enjoy reading comments on the WRAP Facebook page, where WRAPpers from around the world share their ideas and experiences.

In May, I shared my own experience of making more mindful choices about the role of electronic devices in my life and my wellness. You all had a lot to say about limiting technology! Here are some of the highlights from your comments:

  • Kelly S.: “…[I] find myself doing the same thing—reaching for my phone just a few minutes on Facebook or Instagram to relax, but usually the opposite ends up happening. Thanks for the eye opener.”
  • Terri B.: “I just went out to lunch and purposely left my phone behind so I could be 100% available to my surroundings and, more importantly, my lunch companion.”
  • Sarah H.: “I just took a seven-day FB break for this very reason. It was liberating!”
  • Tina W.: “I think we all need to think about the role devices play in our lives.”
  • Waynette B.: “Woot woot…new tools to use when it feels like there is an elephant on my chest.”
  • Patti S.: “Unhooked and connecting with people here…. It’s a work in progress.”
  • Shiloh N.: “I, too, turn to my phone a lot! Coupled with the fact that I feel so socially awkward, especially in group settings, I turn to my phone as an escape!”
  • Amy N.: “Guilty as charged! Very useful reflection on overreliance on the phone.”

But let’s be clear: Phones and other electronic devices aren’t all bad. They can be powerful supports when we use them with wellness in mind. Here are two comments about how we can use our devices to promote wellness:

  • Erin N.: “My phone is my coping skill. I have very specific songs that help me disassociate and if I don’t have access, then I break.”
  • Raymond F.: “The phone helps me stay connected to my supporters and helps lower the anxiety of ‘being in the room.’ I don’t discount how the phone meets the need for instant gratification, Internet, music, social media, reading…someone’s twitter feed instead of a real conversation with someone in person. Developing supports is part of my WRAP.”

Listening to music and connecting with my friends, family, and supporters are two important wellness tools for me also, and my phone helps me access them any time, any place. As with so many things in life, it’s all about balance. Here are some tips for improving your relationship with your devices and the people you want to connect with. What would you add to the list? Share your suggestions on our Facebook page.

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