Last month, I took my annual vacation to the family cottage. When I tell people there is no cell phone coverage, no Internet connection, no TV, and not even decent radio coverage, they think I’ve found the back door to heaven.
For a social media consultant, however, going without Internet for a week could be just the opposite.
Usually, I don’t have much trouble backing off my Internet consumption for the week we’re away, but I do travel to the Wi-Fi café every couple of days to check on my client accounts and respond to emails.
So, what does a Web-addict do with all this newfound free time?
1. Take a nap
Chances are, you’re sleep deprived. Depending on the study you read, adults need anywhere from six to 10 hours of sleep per night. I’m leaning more towards six, so I always get a few extra Zs on vacation.
2. Sit on the deck and watch the waves
Or the clouds, flowers, birds, animals, snow—whatever you’ve got. Enjoy nature for a while.
3. Read a book
Whether you like a good old fashioned hard cover novel, the Kindle, or an audio book, no internet connection is the perfect time to catch up on something you’ve been meaning to read. I quite enjoyed listening to an audio book while I sat and watched the waves from my deck. Then I picked up the hard cover I had brought with me. Two mindless reads in one week.
4. Write a blog post
I spent some of my vacation doing work. That’s the downfall of the entrepreneur—you can’t ever really
leave work? I always knock off a couple of blog posts while I’m away. Sometimes they are book reviews, or what to do when there’s no Internet. Either way, I feel more relaxed when I know there are a couple of posts waiting to be published when I return. It takes a bit of the pressure off when I’m trying to get caught up.
5. Play a game
Lucky for me there are a bunch of people at the cottage. Any time you want to play a game, there’s someone to play with. There’s nothing as relaxing as taking out your stress on the Scrabble board, or landing in a fit of the giggles with your family.
6. Go to the beach
OK, so the land-locked or snowbound readers might have a harder time with this one, but our cottage happens to be in the Bay of Fundy with the highest tides in the world. Twice a day we have a huge beach on which to walk, fly kites, or build sand castles.
7. Try a new coffee shop
This one is easy if you’re away from home. Go and sit. Try a new blend and a decadent dessert while you’re there.
8. Organize your computer files
Yes, I’m serious. If you’ve been putting off getting your computer organized, take the time to do it now. If you got this far down on the list, what else do you have to do? And getting organized will definitely help you feel less stressed.
9. Do Sudoku
If Word Find and crossword isn’t your thing, check out the Sudoku puzzles in your local paper (or buy a book of them). These logic puzzles are a great way to keep your synapses firing.
10. Go for a walk
When was the last time you went for a walk? Not a power walk. Not a run. Just a walk to enjoy your natural surroundings? Go out and focus on nature for a while. You might be amazed at what you notice.
11. Watch a movie
My kids use this one more than I do. Download, borrow, beg, or steal, but take a couple of movies with you on your vacation. When everyone goes to bed early at the cottage, I just pop in my ear buds and watch a movie.
12. Get back at that hobby
It’s been months since I touched my favorite hobby. If I were at home without Internet I might actually be inspired to try making a card to send to someone. Alas, I’m at the family cottage and my dining room full of craft supplies is six hours away.
Oh, yes, there is a 13th item, though it’s inappropriate for a shared family cottage. Plus, this is a family friendly website, so I probably shouldn’t mention sex. Oops.
Anita Hovey is commonly referred to as the Head Twirp. By day she's a mild-mannered (NOT) social media consultant and trainer at her own company Twirp Communications. By night she's a paper crafting super hero. Find Anita on Pinterest, too. A version of this story first appeared on the 12 Most blog.