9 ways to unplug from the chaos and plug back in to life

It’s early morning; I’m sitting on my balcony and all hear is the chirping of the birds. I breathe a deep sigh of relief and connectedness. An image of me sitting in the middle of a forest on a cold crisp morning pops into my head.

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat - Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia

This is why I’m so addicted to traveling. It becomes a space of just me and the birds. Myself and life. Relaxed, Carefree and unplugged.

When I say unplugged, I don’t necessarily mean from devices as you may visualise. Unplugging is often isolated to something you do in the wilderness away from smartphones and tablets.

Unplugging goes deeper than that.

Unplugging is a disconnection from the chaos of life, which comes in multiple forms, one being an over-reliance on social media. It’s not the devices fault, but the choice of the user who feels somehow living plugged into someone’s else’s life gives them satisfaction.

Unplugging is an act of separating ourselves from what doesn’t align with our values and our heart-centred desires.

Adventure Cove Waterpark - one of the best things to do in Singapore with kids!

It’s unplugging from

  • society’s expectations
  • schedules and demands
  • over commitment to tasks and people that don’t matter
  • overconsumption and materialism
  • the habit of competing, comparing, criticising
  • a life of shoulds
  • a traditional path that does not make you feel alive (traditional is okay IF it is your mojo).
  • relationships that don’t serve you.
  • devices that steal your time with meaningless crap, memes, bullshit,  and other people’s drama.

This is the chaos that controls your life and causes it to lose its meaning slowly.

To plug back into

  • life in its pure form, not through a lens
  • connecting to those who matter
  • your culture, traditions, and stories
  • nature – listening to the birds, feeling the breeze across your cheek, delighting into squirrels collecting acorns, and hugging the occasional tree.
  • your values and living by them.
  • what you desire and love doing – remember how you played when you were a child and what you loved to do? Reconnect to it.

Unplugging from life’s chaos

Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

Unplugging from the chaos is a theme of our travel  blog – accumulating memories and moments, not just possessions. It’s why we travel so much and encourage you to do the same.

Travel helps me stay connected to within, despite being plugged into my devices. I use it for its purpose – a communication tool – not as a means to turn me away from what’s important because I don’t know what that is, or I’m too afraid to join it.

I love going into the Wilderness to digitally unplug (and am this weekend), but it’s not what my soul and body craves for well-being. Unplugging from life’s chaos is what it craves more.

I don’t want my life to feel like I’m constantly jammed into a power point – an energy that’s so wired and buzzing as it tries to cope with the chaos of life, not devices, but outside demands and dissatisfied daily steps.

I want plug in to peace, joy, and Zen. That comes when you live in alignment with your truth and close connection to the sound of the birds and the joy in your heart.

We created the tagline for our American Unplugged journey to reflect this unplugged lifestyle.

We want you to strip back America and show us it’s unplugged secrets. But, at the same time, it’s about our journey of unplugging from the chaos. Saying no to the fears and the things that don’t serve us, and saying yes to our dreams, and to the life connection we crave.

Through our America Unplugged journey, we want to show you how to unplug from the all-consuming chaos to follow your heart more.

Embrace travel. Say no to the demands. Have adventures. Live moments. Experience deeper connections.

The key to Unplugging

Unplugging from the chaos for me means a life of constant travel. That might not be your unplugging.

The key to unplugging is tuning into YOU. What does an unplugged life look and feel like to you.

It might be going off the grid, pursuing your creative passions more, spending more time laughing with friends, releasing a few of those extra-curricular activities you felt you HAD to do, a weekend retreat, or an extended holiday once or twice a year where you don’t have to budget or plan too much.

We believe travel is one of the best ways to unplug to reconnect, which is why we have this blog, and I guess why you read it!

We’re going to be helping you more to find ways to unplug from the chaos in your everyday life more, whether it’s through travel or not.

9 easy ways to start unplugging

Daintree Rainforest, Queensland, Australia
Learning about the Daintree Rainforest at the Discovery Centre

Learning to unplug takes time – we’re all so freaking hardwired into those power points. Start the gradual entangling. A few things each day to gently unwind. Here are a few things I embraced that helped me eventually adopt a more unplugged lifestyle.

1. Start the day with yourself

There’s going to come a time, not long after you arise when the world starts pulling at you – whether it’s a hungry child, a spouse that needs help, your scheduled train departure, or an email from your boss or client asking where the completed project is.

When that first pull begins I can guarantee your day will become a domino effect of endless pulls. Before you know it, it’s 9 pm and you’re collapsing in bed with eyes already closed.

Where’s the time for you?

It’s essential to slot time in for yourself the minute you wake up. If that means you wake a little earlier, than wake. You’ll soon discover the benefits of starting your day with you.

Even, if you can only manage five minutes, then do it.

I gift almost an hour to myself of a morning. If for some reason, the chaos takes control back and I miss it, I notice the discontent and grumblings within.

If you can’t do this, ask yourself why?

What are you fearing? Why would you avoid giving yourself some quiet serenity and time just to listen to the birds and the beating of your heart?

I promise you, you deserve it.

If you persist in not doing it, then I beg you to do one thing:

NEVER make social media the first thing you bring into your world of a morning.

You may think it’s super cool to show your Snapchat followers your just-woke-up tousled hair and sleepy eyes, but in doing so, you are giving away the chance to start the day with peace, clarity, and your own visions and dreams.

You open social media you get pulled into other people’s dramas and demands, and you lose control.

Nobody else is more important than you. Give yourself space to breathe and connect with YOU. What’s important to your day today?

Five minutes to breathe, contemplate, and feel grateful for breathing is the perfect start.

Billabong Yoga Retreat Sydney

An insight into my morning routine

  • Meditation (chakra cleansing) on my balcony for at least 20 minutes, sometimes an hour.
  • Quiet time to watch the sunrise and listen to the birds.
  • Read a chapter of an empowering book.
  • Journal – usually my money cleanse tasks
  • Hug my girls.
  • Have a morning tonic tea. (1/2 teaspoon turmeric, dash cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp lemon juice, minced ginger boiled for 30 seconds)
  • Start my day.

You can see I’ve targeted my personal growth, spiritual connectedness, physical health, and mental/emotional balance.

Now the chaos starts, and it becomes about everyone else, but at least I’ve given me and my life a sense of purpose and importance.

2. Turn off the news

If you’re a long time follower of ours, you know I talk about media fasts a lot. The world’s a chaotic mess. It’s a given. Turn off the news and you’ll have an entirely different perspective.

You create your reality. Feed it with the things you want to be your reality.

Turn off the news for at least a week. Then watch it again and pay careful attention to how it makes you feel. I never watch it or read it or listen to it. If it infiltrates my space, I feel sick, a little dead inside, and unplugged from what’s so pure and lovable about life.

I start hating people. I start hating life. I feel so jammed into the powerpoint. Instantaneously.

3. Add in one new super food into your diet

Unplugging from the chaos also includes reconnecting to a healthier inside! It can be a chaotic exercise in itself to transform your diet. So start slow. Introduce one new super food into your diet (a week if you can).

I started my transformation with green smoothies.

Now my diet is gluten-free, almost dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and a low meat diet. You will not find any refined sugar in our house, yet I make delicious cakes and sweets every week. If you follow us on SnapChat, you’ll see a lot of me cooking these with the girls and my green smoothie infatuation.

My fave morning smoothie: coconut water, orange, banana, acai, blueberries, chia seeds, spinach, avocado, maca powder, hemp powder, green powder, raw honey, and raw cacao.

I promise you if you start your day with my cleansing morning tonic above, followed by this smoothie, you will not need coffee and will be full until lunch. (Hot tip: It will clear your hangover away too.)

I can highly recommend the following:

Simple Green Smoothies – Jadah and Jen helped me start a love for smoothies. They’ve been hugely influential in changing my diet. I LOVE the recipes they produce – full of flavour, so healthy and make you feel so energised and good. I buy everything they produce now without even reading what it’s about as I trust everything they create. Their recipes and cleanses make it easy and delicious.

4. Read an empowering book

Buddha quote

As mentioned, I start my day by reading a chapter a day of an empowering book. I only want to put uplifting, positive, empowering thoughts and ideas into my head.

I understand the power of our subconscious mind. It creates your reality. Feed your mind with the world you want to create.

I talk about this in my 30 Day Money Cleanse, and we spend 30 days retraining our subconscious mind. It’s why participants, myself included, have such great success with it.

Wayne Dyer is my favourite. I read his words every day without fail. I also love Marianne Williamson.

A couple of book recommendations of theirs:

5. Explore a new part of your neighbourhood or the one next door

You don’t have to jump on a plane to travel. Embrace the spirit of it by venturing into a new area close to home. Pop on your travel glasses and enjoy the freedom and adventure of it.

It may even be something as simple as trying a new exotic restaurant, learning to salsa dance, or taking up language classes. There are so many ways you can travel at home.

6. Journal

It’s better out than in. That’s why we journal. The chaos of life causes us to stuff down many of the pressures, anxieties, disgruntlement, frustrations and dissatisfaction of the day. Soon you’re overstuffed, and there is only one way for them to come out – in a dysfunctional way.

Take 10 minutes of every evening to write about what you’re stuffing. Let it come out. Nobody is going to read it. Once you clear the junk, clarity has space to speak its wisdom to you.

Finish your journaling with three things you’re grateful for each day.

I speak more about journaling in this free training, and it’s a core part of my Money Cleanse. It completely changed my life from hell to dream.

7. Watch something you love

We’ve recently sat down together as a family to watch House Hunters every evening and Fixer upper on a Sunday. It’s an evening ritual we love. We cuddle as a family on the couch, kick back and dream big. We get to travel to the different places people are house hunting, we dream about having our home one day and how we want it to look, and we gain lots of creative ideas from it.

The girls now design their homes using Lego, and Kalyra loves to put each house through her rating system she created. It’s helped me get into a better routine to serve dinner early so we can watch it after dinner. Then the girls go straight to bed after with little fuss.

A very simple unplugging from the previous unorganised chaos that brings joy, connectedness and creative dreaming to our family.

8. Set clear boundaries with your time and communication

the worst age to travel with kids

Setting boundaries may be something you find difficult to do.

By boundaries, I mean definite “No. Stop encroaching on my time and stealing my energy.”

Start small. Once you do and you notice the freedom and control you’ll feel, the more you’ll extend those boundaries.

It took me ages (and I still work on it) to feel comfortable with possibly upsetting people and putting myself first. You cannot be everything to everyone. Be strict with your time and spend it on what is important to you.

I have strict policies in place with email and phone. The only thing I can’t control is switching off Facebook messages (notifications are off) After I received 20 Facebook messages in the space of three hours one day asking me for something, I frantically searched on the web for “How do I bloody turn off Facebook messages. I want to police my energy and time better. “

You can’t do it. But, at least start with notifications. Especially Facebook. It’s designed to trap you into that blue world and never leave.

I have very clear guidelines in place on our contact us page. I’ve created it that way to give myself permission to delete. I’ve set the boundaries, if people overstep them, then I don’t feel bad about removing.

You can train people how to treat you.

I now delete over half my emails daily without even opening them because I don’t care to read another bloody press release or Kickstarter funder request. I used to feel obligated to read these – I was so plugged into how others wanted me to act and felt so nervous to say no. Now I am very clear about what is of interest to me, and if it does not serve my goals and values, it’s out.

I have a system for tagging and filing my emails, so I deal with them on a priority basis. I’m clear in my welcome email newsletter to new subscribers that I read every email (truth) but may not be able to reply. Again, giving myself that permission not to if my time is too overburdened.

But, I do love this part of my business so much, and I get so much joy out of subscriber emails that I reply to almost all of them. I tag them and attempt to sit down one night a week with a cup of chamomile tea and a bowl of chocolate avocado mousse to reply. It reconnects me to my purpose so is a worthy task to do.

It is rare for me to talk on the phone. Craig often speaks of my poor phone skills, which is why I often pass phone calls over to him. Phones are a disconnected form of communication for me. I’ll be short and sweet and often won’t say much. I feel uncomfortable with them, sometimes to the point of disservice to myself through my procrastination in picking up the phone. I’d rather email or text.

I get multiple requests daily to jump on a call and discuss the latest and greatest invention, product and way of making money. My canned response, “I vet everything via email first. I only jump on a call if we feel this is something worth pursuing.”

Protect your time. Never jump on a call to discuss business unless you know for sure it’s something you want to continue.

What about when telemarketers call? Do you feel obligated to listen? That was me. Shocking. I felt rude to interject. Now I’m straight to the point, yet polite. They’ll talk their incessant stream of words so you’re forced to listen.

I simply talk over the top, “Excuse me. I‘m going to stop you right there as I don’t want to waste any of your time or mine. I appreciate your service, but it’s not of interest to me. If that changes I’ll let you know. Could you please take me off the call list? Thank you and have a great day.”

Unplugging and taking back control. Do it.

Technology does leave a greater door open for people to place their expectations upon you. It’s an incredible way to communicate and get things done, but it’s so important YOU create the rules.

Google and Zuberkerberg might rule the internet world, but you rule how you engage with it.

9. How do you want to feel?

Focus less on what you want to do and achieve and more on how you want to feel. Pursue those things that make you feel that way. Any opportunity or demand that enters your life that does not make you feel that way, you have permission to say no.

Say no more the jammed up plugged in lifestyle, and yes more to deeper connections to yourself, to mother nature and to those you love.

Leave your best tips in the comments below. Remember it doesn’t always relate to unplugging from electrical devices. And also leave any questions or topic ideas you may want us to write about which aligns with living an unplugged life.

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unplugged lifestyle

16 thoughts on “9 ways to unplug from the chaos and plug back in to life”

  1. Hi Caz
    I love this! I want to unplug myself a little more, I do get sucked into that “blue world” or go willing down the instagram hole all too often! Being a SAHM of two, sometimes social media feels like an easier way to connect with someone, anyone! But in reality, it does not replace face to face contact with other adults. I often have to push myself to set up meetings, but once it’s done and I go I usually have a great time and feel much more refreshed than spending the morning at home with my son alone hoping for some kind of “ping” from my iPad. I also don’t watch or read any news. It makes me nervous, feel ill, increases my stress levels instantly and most of the time it is absolute rubbish (this is particularly so in Japan). Having been in the news myself when the triple disaster in Fukushima happened on my door step 5 years ago, I realised that what makes the news is often not even the real story! Reporters get so much wrong! Anyway, I always hear somehow about the really big important news and that is plenty enough for me. Looking forward to your e-book. Keep up the amazing work.

    1. You always manage to hear the important news stuff so there’s no point in spending all that time trying to find it amongst the crap. I often hear things pop up on twitter and facebook and then I’ll google, “What happened in Dallas?” etc and find out that way! It’s far less traumatic until I find out what happened in Dallas and want to cry and jump off the world again!

  2. I love reading your posts – they always give me ideas and I come away feeling encouraged. Re your early morning tonic, my Mum who is 91 has been asking me about taking turmeric and I’m thinking she might like your tonic. She lives independently and doesn’t have much hand dexterity. Do you make it fresh each morning? Do you mince the ginger yourself each morning? If so how do your mince it?

    1. I make it fresh every morning, but you could possibly batch make it. I do mince the ginger, but I’m sure minced ginger from the store would be fine. Sometimes I slice the ginger, but I find you get better flavour with the mincing. I mince it with a garlic presser, but it can be pretty tough sometimes so if she doesn’t have much hand dexterity I don’t think it would work too well for her. I hope she loves it. Tumeric is sooooo good for you! You can even sprinkle it on your food. I sprinkle it over my potatoes and pumpkin when roasting it – so yummy!

      1. Thanks for the info Caz. I think the bottle minced ginger would be best for Mum. I believe that curcumin contained in turmeric is absorbed into the body better with fat which would work when you sprinkle it on roast vegies. Also black peppercorns enhance the effects.

  3. You’ve made me feel better about not watching the news! I always feel a little guilty about it, as though it’s something I should be doing as a proper grown-up, but it has exactly the effect you described: it makes me hate the world and despair for humanity. I’d much rather chat with my friends and family and learn some news that matters to me.

    The tip about ignoring social media first thing in the morning is a great one and I’m going to implement that as of tomorrow. I often browse through facebook as I’m eating my breakfast before work and I’m sure I can find something more interesting to read.

    And yes, talking on phones is awful.

  4. Ahh love this post so much. Even when travelling which is supposed to be unplugged anyway you can still forget to actually unplug! So many times we have become distracted by social media etc. Love the sound of your morning routine – definitely something we will try to do more of!

    1. It’s such a great way to start the day. Even if you start with just five minutes of deep breathing, it will enhance your day tremendously!

  5. Hi Guys: Some of my favorites: The east side of Yosemite – all of the beauty but none of the crowds of the more touristed west entrance to the park. Lovely mountain meadows and streams, super hiking, good for the soul.
    Portland OR grabbed us, much more than Seattle. Then, the Oregon coast was in places mystical, great beauty and serenity.
    Southern Utah will leave you breathless. Unique hiking experiences in Zion, Bryce Canyon and Canyonlands. But don’t be fooled by the beauty; these lands will kill you if you don’t carry lots of water!
    Of course, San Diego and surrounds, reminds us in many ways of the Gold Coast by Brizzy. Laid back vibe, everyone’s outdoors, great touristing stuff for your girls.
    Tucson has outstanding hiking in the Sabino Canyon area, as well as the surrounding Sonoran desert and mountains. The Sonoran Desert Museum is a must. Also, drop down the road south for 45 minutes to Tubac for a terrific artist’s colony experience; some good eats, too.
    In Colorado, is doesn’t get any better than the San Juan Mountains. Gunnison is a good base for exploring. Also, spend some time in Durango on the southern border; and drive over to explore the wonders of Mesa Verde National Park in the Four Corners area.
    In general, the national parks are some of my favorite places on earth. You just can’t go wrong by stringing these together throughout your trip.
    And, when you come to Austin, we’d love to get together and show you the local sights!
    Have a wonderful — and safe — trip! Can’t wait to read all about it!

  6. Hi Caz,

    I loved your article, although I still struggle with many of the points… Being a mother of 2 and working on the internet is not always the right condition of not getting absorbed by the Blue World. I read a lot about how not using your FB, not wasting time on social media, but I still feel it difficult to unplug.

    What I definitely should do, is get a morning ritual working. Like this at least I would have a moment for myself. So far I try to do this at night, but it is usually shorter than I would like it to be – I just fall asleep !

    Thanks for your reminder ! I’ll do my best to make it work.
    Greetings from Peru,
    Martina

    1. Yes. right now Belinda has FREE training on, which is what I’ve shared. Whether people do SOMM or not I’m not bothered about I want them to get a start with the free training.

  7. This is a great read and this thought has been consuming me quite alot lately. I want to unplug but is there a point unplugging if you end up plugging back in?
    Eg. Yes unplug at the end of each workday or when on vacation but plug back in at 8am and when back to work??? Why not make a plan to unplug completely….completely 100%

    1. I hear you. But I think it’s very difficult to do in these times. Everything in our life is so connected now. I also think there are many good things about it. unplugging for awhile just gives you a break and helps you control your reliance on it and understand its importance and relevance to your life.

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