This Holiday Season I am challenging myself to unplug and disconnect from (almost) all screens during the Holiday Break.
As scary as it can be, you can (and should) do it too.
Here is how we can do it together.
The Dilemma, The Dreaded Unplugging
Now more than ever it seems as though there is no time to disconnect. Working from home on a computer, with children experiencing virtual school, your partner in the other room working on their laptop, and you might be a caregiver with a family member that lives with you who is also on their tablet.
Once you are done working, it’s time to cook, and Alexa or your Google device is reminding you to not burn the rice. You listen to music or your favorite audiobook while you shower and before going to bed, you check your smartphone to answer that one last email at 10:30 pm because you just can’t send it the next morning.
But honestly, how much more screen time can you actually handle, and how much is actually good for you? Studies have shown that not only can too much screen time affect your vision, but it also can affect weight, sleep, and even addiction.
I am geared up and ready for the New Year but I am pretty much done with 2020. I am having screen burnout and I don’t want it to get to the point where I won’t be able to mentally handle it in January. So, I will be unplugging for the remainder of 2020. That’s right, I said it, I am unplugging from my laptop, tablet, and smartphone (except for Google Maps because I am terrible with directions).
Studies have shown that not only can too much screen time affect your vision, but it also can affect weight, sleep, and even addiction.
Now, to actually do it. It might sound scary, but being stuck at home these past few months have shown you that you can manage changes better than you thought, so I am sure we can survive unplugging this holiday season.
Amor Para Mi (Self-Care)
Let’s start off with what you have been putting off because of work. I personally have been wanting to make my first vision board since September and that still hasn’t happened. Now that I won't have the distraction of a laptop or tablet, I will be able to make the vision board with all that glitter and confetti I have been wanting to use. If vision boards aren’t your thing, there are many other options on how you can become creative while unplugging. There are the good old fashioned puzzles that you can solve either by yourself or con la familia. Also, who doesn’t love the classic board games, crossword puzzles, and to get your mental back on track, a bit of sudoku.
What will 2021 bring for you as far as change? Will it be a change in career, learning higher skills to level up in the position you have now? You can use this time to read a career or motivational books. A good place to start is reading Minda Harts’ book named The Memo, “a no-BS look at the odds stacked against women of color in professional settings, from the wage gap to biases and micro-aggressions, with actionable takeaways”. You can use this time to be mentally and spiritually challenging yourself and take one of those mental health breaks everyone seems to talk about.
Another good way to practice self-care during your break is by journaling. I would suggest starting off simple and focus on a gratitude journal, where every day you jot down three things you are thankful for in your life. You will see that by starting off your day in the form of gratitude, you will have a different take on the world and work ahead of you.
You can use this time to be mentally and spiritually challenging yourself and take one of those mental health breaks everyone seems to talk about.
Amor de Familia (Family Love)
We all LOVE la familia, but what is the plan this year other than to be en el chambre? Well, for starters, who doesn’t LOVE cookies. Making cookies with someone you love is always fun and at times even a bit competitive.
Tamales are part of lots of Latinx cultures, so maybe plan a virtual date with your tíos to show you how to keep the tradition alive. Make sure to video call your abuelito y abuelita and hear the stories to stay connected to your cultura y raíces.
Afterward, play a competitive video game with the siblings or your parents. You can choose an hour of scrolling through your social media, or competing with your loved ones on who can guess the right answer to this week's trivia.
Tamales are part of lots of Latinx cultures, so maybe plan a virtual date with your tíos to show you how to keep the tradition alive.
At home, we usually play Mario Kart, Mario Party, and The Sonic Olympics on my Nintendo Switch on La Noche Buena. We usually spend a solid three hours playing in total, as we are really competitive and shout “just one more round” after each time one of us loses.
This year has lots of your traditions looking very different, however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make new ones! Unplugging during the holidays will give you time to catch up on Holiday Movies, and try something new line visiting a Drive-In. There is also ice skating or driving around town to watch Christmas light shows. Some homes now have a radio station where you can tune in and sing-along to Christmas tunes while looking at all the beautifully decorated homes.
When you disconnect, you can focus more on what makes you happy and what things you can do to build new memories for yourself and those around you.
Now that I have written down different alternatives for being plugged in, turning off technology doesn’t seem impossible. Challenging? Yes, but we have been put through bigger challenges this year, so this should be a piece of cake and much-needed self-care!
By creating a vision board, reading, journaling, baking and cooking con la familia, having virtual calls with los abuelos, playing board games, solving puzzles and going around different neighborhoods to see different lights while drinking Abuelita Chocolate, unplugging seems manageable. It takes us back to simpler times and makes us focus on what really counts during this time.
Yovana Rosales is a marketing specialist with over 10+ years in the industry. She has her own virtual assistant business that specializes on the Mighty Networks platform, Google Workspace and SEO. She is also the Event Coordinator at The Mujerista, a safe platform where they share stories that impact, empower, and celebrate Latinas. To see more of Yovana’s magic for the Latino community, find her on Instagram at @yovana_rosales or on LinkedIn