- Turn your computer on. Visit http://www.bing.com/maps. From the dropdown menu that says ‘Road’, click on ‘Ordnance Survey’. Use this map view to find a hill, a forest, a beach reasonably close to you that you have never visited before.
- Pack a sleeping bag, some warm clothes, a torch, food and water and a few other bits and bobs and head out for the night. The challenge is simple, but strangely compelling: to sleep out under the stars for one night.
- Leave your phone at home when you go. It’s only one night! If you find the prospect of heading out without your phone to be unbearable, then you probably could really do with leaving it behind, if only once!
- If you do take your phone with you hopefully the place you go to has no phone reception. Put your phone onto Airplane mode. Take photos, sure, but resist the urge to Tweet them. Listen to real tweets instead!
- Sit somewhere quiet and do nothing. See how long you can just sit before you start to get restless. I am terrible at this so I try to do it to remind myself to relax, to slow down. The longer you do it for, the easier it becomes. I really notice my racing mind slow down as I start to pay more attention to birdsong and the clouds drifting across the sky.
- My exception to the No Phones mantra is an app like Star Walk which teaches you what stars you are gazing at from your bivvy bag. It’s magical. The more you learn about something, the more you get from it. The same’s true for birdsong and different trees as well.
- Try a microadventure by yourself – it’s really important to spend time with your own thoughts occasionally.
- And do a microadventure with someone close to you. Time spent together, away from TVs and distractions, is a valuable opportunity to chat about stuff more interesting than what happened on Grand Designs last week.
- Always sleep in a woolly hat. It’s the single best thing for keeping you warmer when sleeping out.
- Go for a swim. Jumping into a river or the sea is a metaphor for doing cool stuff in life: daunting to consider, tough at first, not so bad once you get going, wonderful in hindsight.
10 Tips on How to Unplug
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