Did you know that National Day of Unplugging is on March 9th? It’s only a few days away so I wanted to share with you my top 5 ways to unplug from technology, internet and electronics for 24 hours, and reconnect with your family, friends, and yourself!
Wood, Naturally partnered with me on this post to showcase some of the unique ways that using softwood lumber can be beneficial in your health and home. I have loved working with wood for many DIY projects in my home over the years, so naturally I was excited when they asked me to share some of these projects and how it relates to unplugging.
1. Exercise from Home
I am not a person who loves to work out at a gym. I’ve always preferred exercising outside. However, since the weather doesn’t always cooperate or sometimes I don’t want my neighbors spying on me working out, I will do short circuit session or yoga in my living room. Exercising at home is a great way to unplug! The indoor plants and the wood feature wall made from reclaimed and stained pine in my living room sort of mimic the outdoors, especially when I open the curtains to let lots of light spill into the room. It is the next best thing to exercising outside and I come away feeling more tranquil yet energized.
When it comes to health and wellness, the design of your home may prove to be just as important as your diet, sleep habits or exercise routine. This is the premise behind biophilic design – the idea that incorporating natural elements into your home, such as wood, water, sunlight or plants, can actually improve overall health. Research has found that people feel an instinctive connection and attraction to natural materials such as wood.
2. Play Games
One of my favorite ways to step away from technology and unplug is to bring my kids along with me. Whether I’m pulling out a deck of cards or a board game, whatever type of mess than ensues, I love that this modern coffee table I made from white pine is durable, sturdy and beautiful. I never have to stress or worry about it getting scratched or damaged because I know from all the heavy use to give it, it has ’emerged’ unscathed time after time.
I love the warmth that the natural wood brings to our living room. Something about a stained wood surface puts me more at ease. While the design of it is modern, it feels casual and comfortable. Did you know one of the reasons pine is so affordable isn’t because it is “cheap” quality, but because it is widely available and harvested from some of the most sustainably managed forests in the world?
I think a common perception about softwood lumber is that it isn’t as dense or hard as hardwood, which isn’t necessarily true!
3. Clean & Organize
Recently I gave my linen closet a major overhaul and today I’m SO excited to share with you what it looks like now!
The main feature of this linen closet makeover is the cedar lined walls. I used aromatic Western Red Cedar planks and the smell is amazing. The use of cedar in closets helps prevent mold and mildew growth along with making sheets and towels smell fresh and clean.
I’m the first to admit that cleaning and organizing is not my most favorite thing to do, but once I get started on a organization project, I sorta get lost in it. Give me allll the labels, bins, jars, and containers! I find myself immersed in the project and often forget about keeping track of my phone, until it is done. It also creates a bit of a domino effect… now I want to reorganize and makeover ALL my closets!!
St Louis is very humid (especially in the summer) and I have a husband who is allergic to almost everything, and a daughter who is asthmatic. Having mildew-free and fresh smelling linens that they sleep with and wipe their faces with is imperative year-round. Cedar also naturally is resistant to rot, decay and insect attacks, so it doesn’t need a top coat or much maintenance, and because it has a low density it naturally insulates and moderates humidity.
To see more details on this linen closet makeover go here!
4. Do a DIY Project
I enjoy working with softwood lumber on DIY projects because it is affordable and easily available.
A simple and easy project that you can make in an hour or less, is some wood frames for artwork. I personally have had a stack of artwork that my kids have been bringing home from school for years and it was high time I made some pretty frames to display their art. I used a white pine chair rail board in the millwork section and made this cute frame!
5. Bake or Cook
My kids have always loved helping in the kitchen, especially when making cookies. However, until I built our kitchen island (made from pine) a couple years ago, it was awkward and messier because of limited counter space. I wouldn’t have been able to design and build it for about $100 if it were made from any other kind of material. Now we can pull all the ingredients out, measure, mix, and scoop to our hearts’ desire and with the pull-out trash bin on the other side of the island, cleaning up messes is fast.
Spending time, cooking or baking in the kitchen together has brought so many learning opportunities to our family. My kids are more likely to open up about their day at school or challenges with friends while mixing up something in a bowl. Or maybe they learn how to make their favorite treat or snack. Or more often, they are teaching me about patience and finding joy in the journey, not just the end product (although that is always delicious too!).
Through 2 years of heavy use on this island, the top is just about ready for another layer of food-safe top coat. But if it were to get some gauges or major marks, I could easily sand and re-stain it at anytime with minimal cost. These features put my mind at ease when kids are helping me in the kitchen. Nothing is indestructible, but this pine island is pretty close. 😉
I hope you got some ideas on how you, too, can unplug and reconnect with your people who are important in your life, or maybe just reconnect with yourself. Technology can be a great tool for so many reasons, but unplugging allows us with time to spend on aspects of our lives that are important for physical and mental health. Whether you decide to tackle a new project, or have fun playing games or baking, I hope you feel inspired on March 9th, National Day of Unplugging!