I unplug from technology by going for a walk outside or grabbing my favorite healthy snack; if I am working from home, I take a break by accomplishing a small chore.
By Hannah Parducho (she/her)
Clinical Nutrition Undergraduate Student
Student Assistant, Staff and Faculty Health and Well-Being
Twenty-four hours free from technology, notifications, and screens… a puzzling notion in this fast-paced, internet-centered world. It can be difficult to turn our phones off and keep our computers closed in an attempt to break this cycle, but what if that’s just what you need to jump-start a healthy technology-life balance? The National Day of Unplugging urges people from around the globe to “fast” from technology for twenty-four hours on the first weekend of March. Participants unplug to connect with their loved ones, use their voice in their communities, and explore the world around them.
Take a nap even for 15 minutes, go get a massage it's only 1 hour or less, or just take a drive and listen to my favorite music along the way... just STOP wherever you are and REST. This really helps! I've started to listen to my body instead of my mind and I just can't wait until the next time my body says "REST"... because it just feels so good!
We at Staff and Faculty Health and Well-being encourage you to unplug on March 4th-5th from sundown to sundown to fill your Nature Rx! As we settle into the new normal post-pandemic, we may find that technology has nestled its way into our daily routines. Take some time for yourself, away from screens, and immerse yourself in nature. Here are five activities to help you stave off stress, move your body, and reconnect with nature:
- Explore nature in your own neighborhood - You don’t need to travel far when there are sights to see right outside your doorstep! Each neighborhood is like its own little ecosystem - there’s an array of plants, animals, and insects to see. Brush up on your artistic skills by drawing the peculiar creatures that you discover or go on a nature scavenger hunt with your friends! We have a great video of how to water color in nature from our very own Nature Rx series to share.
- Visit the Arboretum and Public Garden - With over 100 acres of land and over 3 miles of tree-studded walking paths, the UC Davis Arboretum is a wonderful place to take in the fresh air. There are plenty of sights to see, ranging from the Animal Science GATEway Garden and California Native Plant Meadow to the Native American Contemplative Garden! Take a seat at Lake Spafford and appreciate the beauty of the wildlife, from the quails to the minnows to the turtles.
- Picnic in the park - Grab a blanket and some friends for a peaceful picnic in the park! In Davis, you can shop for local produce and food at the Farmers Market. Afterwards, visit the flower garden, the playground on the east side, or the Flying Carousel of the Delta Breeze, a human powered carousel! If you’re in Sacramento, visit the McKinley Park flower gardens and settle on a bench facing the pond.
- Traverse your local trails - Sacramento and the surrounding areas host a variety of flat or paved hiking trails! Witness the beauty of the native wildlife along various riparian habitats and spend the night at a local campground to sleep under the stars.
- Take a day trip out to Lake Tahoe - Hiking trails at Lake Tahoe offer gorgeous scenery and a wonderful view of the cobalt-blue lake. From family-friendly trails like Cascade Falls to the more challenging peaks like Mt. Tallac, Lake Tahoe has a hiking trail perfect for any skill level. You can also go bird watching or visit the marshes using the paved Rainbow Trail.
- Smell the ocean breeze at Muir Beach - Head to the Pacific Ocean and walk the Muir Overlook staircase to get a magnificent cliffside view of the ocean! Later, smell the ocean breeze and settle on the sand, using the beach wheelchair program if needed, to listen as the waves crash over the shore for a peaceful beach day.
My spouse and I unplug by taking mini-adventures to nearby waterways or animal preserves. Listening to the surf crash, enjoying sunsets and learning about animals. It’s about just being present with each other to re-ground and renew ourselves.
Need more than one day to unplug? Staff and Faculty Health and Well-being and Healthy UC Davis offers programs and resources that promote well-being through the exploration of nature all year round. Additionally, Healthy UC Davis is launching the Healthy Outside campaign from March 28th to June 13th. This challenge encourages participants to share how they stay healthy “outside” in their daily lives. Request to join our listserv by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and stay up to date on all events and newly added resources!
Whether you explore the local beauty of your backyard, the city of Davis, Sacramento or the wonders of Northern California, appreciating all that nature has to offer is a great way to unplug. Join us in disconnecting from our devices and reconnecting with nature on this National Day of Unplugging and witness the grandeur of the world around you!