By, Leslie Wong
I spent this past weekend with my boyfriend’s family in Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve visited his family before, so I can safely say all nerves have subsided and I’m finally reaching a point of familial comfort. Comfort is great, but it can also cause me to behave in ways I know I shouldn’t. For example, scrolling on my phone and lazing around the house while wasting a gorgeous sunny day.
I found myself practicing these habits this weekend and quickly checked them at the door. What was to be gained was laughter, learning and more joy! Putting people and moments first is surely a skill that my boyfriend’s family has down pat. Here are 3 easy activities I discovered that keep me in the present, form deeper connections and capture joy.
Ditch your phone
The quickest and easiest way to be more present. If you run a business, you know how difficult this is. You feel like you literally need to be on your phone. My first tip for this is to determine what is absolutely necessary to do that day (replying back to customers, time-sensitive emails to suppliers, social media posting) grab a cup of joe, stay focused and then do it early before you embark on whatever excursion is planned.
For Instagram, Planoly is a game changer. Carving out just one hour on a Sunday to plan posts and comments reduces my daily posting time to just a few minutes per day. I also try to leave my phone at home as often as I can. Ask yourself, “What will go wrong if I don’t respond immediately?” If the answer is nothing, you’ve given yourself the peace of mind to let it wait.
Play a Game
Challenge your body and mind with a stimulating game that requires all your attention to win. When your opponents or teammates feel your presence, you might play more strategically and the moment will be more fun for everyone. Summer is the perfect time for an outdoorsy game like this adorable bocce set, or even poolside scrabble. Plus you’ll never have to worry about screen glare 🙂
Take a trip
Pick a new country, city or even a neighborhood you haven’t fully explored. For an alternative to Yelp or Open Table, do a hashtag search for trending locations within the city (i.e. #ChicagoCafes #WickerParkBars). Hashtags are my favorite way to search for cafes, restaurants, parks, bars and hotels that are both aesthetic and authentic. My next destination is this delicious green and white gem called Bar Melusine in #Seattle 😉
Once you’ve mapped out your destinations, go back to Rule #1 and ditch your phone. Let yourself wander and soak it all up.