Home for the Holidays: 5 Ways to Unplug

We know that juggling work and parenthood is tough. But in a world of emails, texts and social media feeds, it’s more important than ever to unplug from work and electronics to spend quality time with your family. And what better time to practice intentional unplugging than during the holidays?

Finding balance between the demands of your job and being present with your family is much easier said than done, so we asked five busy parents to give us their tips for walking away from work and spending time with loved ones during this special season.

Screen-Free Days

“During the holidays or on weekends, we pick ‘screen-free’ days where we put away all devices and go to a park, ride bikes or visit a children’s museum or other attraction. The screen-free time is great for the kids AND the parents!” – Pat, dad of two

No-Phone Zones

“Mealtimes are no-phone zones. When we sit down to the table to eat as a family, we make sure to avoid unnecessary distractions by not bringing our phones to the table. On weekends or holidays when we are together at home, we try to leave our phones in a drawer to avoid the temptation of checking emails (or social media).” – Liz, mom of one

Work during Workouts

“If you use exercise machines as part of your dad-bod reduction plan like I do, respond to emails while working out. This especially works while walking on a treadmill or cycling on an exercise bike – just be sure to keep the effort up! You may wind up being more family-focused during the rest of the day, and will get any important emails all taken care of.” – Brian, dad of three

Communication is Key

“Talk with your team about availability when you’re not at work. I’ll let my team know that I am not checking email after I leave the office until my daughters are in bed. This way, my team knows to call or text me if something urgent comes up and I’m not distracted by things that can wait.” – Lana, mom of two

Disconnect to Connect

“When we’re on vacation and during the holidays, I will uninstall work email from my phone altogether. My away message will indicate that I will not be checking emails, and if something is urgent to text me and I can follow up via phone. It’s all about setting expectations.”– Rob, dad of two

Ready to turn off the screens and start enjoying the holidays with your little ones? An easy first step is to set your OOO (out of office) email – and we’ve got you covered! See below for a simple OOO email message that is ready for you to copy and paste.

Hi! I’m unplugging this holiday season. I’m out of the office, and I’m not checking email so that I can enjoy quality time and make memories with my family. I will get back to you on (DATE) upon my return to work. Happy Holidays!  

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