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How To Switch-Off This Summer

After a year glued to our phones and hooked into the news cycle, it’s important to reset. Here are some tips on how to get it right and give your mind the rest it needs.

Another stressful year has left many of us feeling burnt out, brain-fuzzed, exhausted or a combination of all three. While you’re probably gearing up for a busy summer and some much-needed time off, it’s important to look after your mental health and get the most out of your down time. Here are our tips on how to get it right.

Set limits

Your screen time was almost certainly higher than normal this year. Whether it’s watching the news, talking to friends or online shopping, we all spent a heap of time on our phones and laptops. The constant, never-ending feed of information can be stressful to process, even if we don’t realise it, so try and limit your screen time each day during your break. In your iPhone settings, you can set limits on specific apps, times of day, contacts and more. There are also a number of apps for iOS and Android that will do the same thing. If you can’t trust yourself, get a friend to set a password for your app limits.

Form a routine

Starting a healthy eating and exercise routine is a great way to decompress and take your mind off the world. Write out a rough plan for each morning (or night, if you prefer) and try to incorporate stretching, running, yoga or a walk into each day. Pairing this with a decent meal routine will help you feel balanced, give you some purpose on days off and ensure that you’re not just funnelling food and alcohol into your body during the holiday season. It’s tempting to relax for your whole time off, but giving yourself some loose structure will help the days feel more fulfilling and ensure you avoid staring at a screen all day.

Get away

If you have the time and money, a change of scenery can do wonders. We recommend an activity-focused holiday – learn to surf, go hiking or try something you’ve never done before. While you might want to lie on the beach all day (who doesn’t?), it’s a lot easier to disconnect if you’re keeping yourself relatively busy. You won’t be tempted to check Instagram, reply to a message or read the news if you’re engaging with something else. Road trips are great for this, too – a few hours at a time where you can’t check your phone while you drive.

Alone time

This summer is all about catching up with friends and family who you haven’t had a chance to see. It’s great to reconnect, but cramming too many social obligations in can feel a little overwhelming. Try and set aside an hour each day where you can sit down with a coffee or a book, put your phone away and exist peacefully. Even the most extroverted people will find it grounding, and it gives you a chance to actually think about your day, process things you’ve learned and consider what you have coming up. You might feel restless at first, but you’ll settle into it after a couple of attempts.

Say no

Setting phone limits is one thing, but it can be helpful to set social and workplace limits during your time off as well. If you get asked to complete some work over summer, you might feel pressure to say yes. If you’re not on the clock, you have no obligation to work and it’s fine to say that you can’t. Friends and family might want you to cram a heap of activities into your schedule, but it’s possible to burn out from social commitments, too. Give things a miss and don’t stress about saying no to people – you can always catch up tomorrow or finish that project when you’re back in the office. Being able to turn things down comfortably and respectfully will go a long way to helping you switch off and relax.

Photography: Gareth Sobey

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