Disconnecting To Connect

Feb 02, 2022
well-being coach & mentor transformational life coach disconnect to connect self-care

This past weekend I got away to a cabin in the Olympic National Forrest to disconnect from the outside world and connect with myself in quiet & nature.

I wrote what you are reading as I sat in the cabin one morning cozied up, drinking a cup of coffee by the fireplace, feeling totally content and wondering…..do I really need to pack up for the weekend, leave my home, drive 2 hours into the woods where my phone doesn't work to feel this sense of connectedness with myself? With the moment? To feel this peace & calm?

I know that I don’t, but wow…it’s just so much easier here.

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that this is something I do fairly regularly. It’s become a ritual in my life that I crave partaking in.

The cabin I stayed at was rustic. Well over 100 years old. No fancy amenities - not even running water. 

I like staying there because it is rustic & simple. I tap into the history and a time without so many modern conveniences that we have now, and that also keeps us distracted.

There is no wifi. There’s not enough cell service to even send a text out unless I go down the road a bit.

It’s quiet and in the woods. rather than cars & city noises, I listen to ravens & owls, and some rather talkative cows in the distance.

My phone is not pinging with notifications.

People can't reach me.

I’m not scrolling on social media.

I'm not checking my email.

I’m not watching Netflix or going down Youtube rabbit holes.

I’m not going to google every time I wonder about something. I’m actually sitting with my wonderings instead.

As much as I work on my relationship with my electronics (phone & laptop) that relationship so often feels out of balance. They affect my attention and my presence in more moments of my days than I would like, and take up more of my time than they need to.

The winter months when the days are shorter & colder, and I spend more time indoors is where my relationship with electronics tends to get really wonky. I've been feeling that lately.

Don't get me wrong. I also love the abilities, conveniences, knowledge, and connectedness that my computer and phone bring for me.
I wouldn’t be able to do the work that I do and love so much without them….but the addictiveness and distraction of them is something that I think most of us contend with.

When I am fully disconnected from my phone & computer, text messages, messenger, email, social media, news, google, etc….it feels so much easier to connect to the moment.
To really connect with myself.
To be fully present.
To feel more conscious of what I WANT to be doing, in my downtime especially.

When I take a disconnected retreat weekend like this, I'm more likely to spend my time doing things that make me feel good in my downtime like reading, writing, yoga, meditation, hikes in the woods, sipping tea on the porch while listening to ravens chat with each other.

Those simple, grounding, present things - this is why I take these weekends.

As I sit here by the fireplace, I'm also reminding myself how NEW this level of connection really is for all of us.

I’m 45 years old, and it wasn’t until I was around 30 that everyone started having a cell phone, and a social media account.

I'm remembering that when I was in my 20’s and wanted to throw a party, I still had to call each person’s landline and leave a message on their answering machine! That wasn't really that long ago.

SO much has changed in such a short period of time.

This level of cell phone and computer connection has changed our everyday lives in such big ways, and I think that we are acting as though it’s always been normal. 

Have we eased into this new way of being so connected somewhat blindly?

So excited & enticed by all of this technology and ways to connect online, while having no idea how much they would actually change our lives? How much of our precious time they would hijack? 

I think so. I very much feel that.

I'm sharing my thoughts with you on this because I know I'm not alone.

I came across a book title the other day "How to break up with your phone".

It's become so apparent to so many of us that our relationship with our devices is unhealthy.

I'm also sharing these thoughts with you to give you an opportunity to check in with yourself around all of this, too. I certainly am.

Are you spending more time connected to screens than you would like?

Do you feel a constant need to be 'connected' via email, social media, etc....while not focusing as much as you'd like to be connected with yourself, the people around you, the present moment?

Do you feel like you don't have the time to do so many of the things you enjoy in life, yet you seem to find the time to scroll on your phone for hours each week? (ouch - I know, this one hurts.)

Do you feel some level of addiction to your phone? Do you find yourself mindlessly picking it up and opening an app without even being aware that you are doing it sometimes? (ooof...more often than I would like to admit)

Maybe you are a pro at this balance, and feel like your relationship with your phone & devices is all good! If so, bravo! You are a rarity these days! (please tell me your secret!)

If not, want to join me in setting some intentions & habits around this? I'm ready to bring my relationship with my devices into a more balanced place.

Here are some habits that I have already implemented that have been really impactful for me so far:

  •  Obviously, I schedule time away, where I don't have the opportunity to be connected. I'm a big outdoors person, so this is a no-brainer for me to continue. In the summer months, I like to camp & hike and I often drive out into the wilderness far enough that my phone just does not work. An electronics retreat, and it's wonderful.
  • I have had a habit in place for almost 2 years now where I do not look at my phone first thing in the morning. I don't allow myself to open my phone until I've had a chance to wake up & set my own tone for the day. I make myself a cup of coffee and a smoothie in the quiet of my kitchen, and I sit down to meditate & write for a little bit before I open my phone. (with the exception of using a meditation app some mornings) This one has been a game-changer for me, and I will continue to be diligent about it. I highly recommend this one.
  • I hold the intention and practice of not paying attention to my phone if I am spending time with people. I am not perfect at this, but I will continue to work on improving.

Below are my own personal current intentions that I am sending out to the world in this very public way - talk about accountability! ha!

  • I have an alarm clock coming in the mail today! My phone will no longer be my alarm clock or be something that belongs in my bedroom. My evenings before sleep will be for reading & journaling once I'm in bed. (with some weekend exceptions) This one is going to be tough, and I know it's going to be a game-changer. No more late-night scrolling, watching Stephen Colbert too late in bed or reading endless articles that don't really matter that much to me when I could be reading a book that I love, journaling, or sleeping instead. I realize that at the end of my day my mind is tired, and that can lead to totally mindless scrolling that I don't want to be doing. I have reeled this habit in before and it always sneaks back up on me. I think that the step I have been missing is removing my phone from my room entirely. Hellooooo old school alarm clock! Wish me luck.
  • I want to have more regular evenings or days at home where my phone & my laptop are shut off, maybe tucked away in a drawer somewhere. I don't quite have this commitment specifically nailed down yet, but I will. The idea here for me is to create the environment that I feel when at a cabin or camping in the woods with no reception in my home - inward focused rather than outward focused. Doing the things that I often feel like I don't have as much time for as I'd like because I've created the space for them by not having my electronics on to distract me.
  • I'm going to continue to have conversations with the people in my life around this topic. I've already had a couple this week, and it's felt really helpful. We've empathized with each other. We've vulnerably admitted the level of addiction that we witness ourselves having with our phones & talked about the details of that. We've spoken out about how we want to balance our relationship with our devices. This helps a lot. It brings attention to the issue rather than ignoring it, speaking it out, and it helps to hold some accountability around it.

I’m looking to find more of a balance for myself. To delight in all of the good that the connection of my devices bring me, while not letting those devices take up more of my precious days than I want them to.

 I don’t think I want to break up with my phone, but I do want to develop a healthier relationship with it.

I know I'm not alone in this.

If we all bring more focus to this, we can support each other in having more balance and more presence.

Let's start having more conversations with the people in our lives around this? Share your thoughts with each other. 

Consider setting intentions of sharing time together where your phones are not present?

What steps can you take to create more space in your life for the things you want to do by disconnecting from devices? 

Feel free to drop me a line with your intentions! I would love to hear them.


Do you have some specific tools, routines, or habits around finding balance with this? If so, I would LOVE to hear them. Please drop me a line!

Wishing you connection in the best feeling ways,



PS - Developing habits & routines to create a better feeling life is something that I love to focus on with my clients. (and obviously something I'm continually working on myself, too!) If you struggle with developing habits to support your well-being, happiness, and your days feeling how you would like them to, can support you! 

Curious? You can easily schedule a free discovery session with me to discuss what you are wanting to create for yourself & explore if we might be a good fit to do some work together. 

Click HERE to schedule.

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