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Disconnect to Reconnect

Written by Katie Ribsam

In this modern world filled with modern demands, most people will find themselves constantly struggling to stay ahead: work, family, responsibilities—and more work. At some point we slow down, but society unfortunately has its way of luring us towards the meaningless distractions unbeknownst to the culturally and environmentally-rich ways of our ancestors past. Today’s downtime consists of Netflix, Instagram, and Facebook instead of connecting to the people and planet around us. With the days longer and the summer sun warmer, now is the time to purposefully disconnect from that which distracts and reconnect with our family, friends, and self. As a Summer 2017 resolution, let us all commit to disconnecting and reconnecting with all of the things that matter in this world. While you enjoy Long Beach Island this summer. Take the time to slow down, listen, breathe, and engage on the deepest of levels by following these simple steps:

Try a Social Media Detox

There’s no denying the fulfillment of posting beautiful beach pictures or a quintessential lobster selfie to share how much we are enjoying a vacation with social media friends. If unplugging completely is out of the question, what about living in the moment for one day of your trip? If that is too far-reaching, challenge yourself to even a few hours each day. Relieving yourself from the draw of social media for a specified time opens the opportunity to be truly present for the people you love and for yourself. It’s amazing what can happen in the short time we enjoy peaceful solitude or the people next to us without distraction from our technological devices.

Leave Your Work at Work

Many people have such incredibly demanding jobs that there seems to be no concept of a separation between home and work life. While there may be the occasional emergency to address, chances are your work will not fall apart if you don’t return emails or calls for a few days. While work is important, now is the time to prioritize loved ones by giving yourself and your family the gift of disconnecting from the office for some time.

Give That Monkey-Mind a Rest

In the meditation world, “Monkey Mind” is a term used to characterize the persistent and repetitive chatter of our own thoughts. Being at the beach is a perfect opportunity to give that active mind a rest and allow peace and quiet reign. An early morning meditation walk will jumpstart your self-listening skills: simply make your way down to the beach by walking in quiet, rhythmic steps. Link your breaths with each step as you begin to listen to the ebb and flow of the waves. Focus on synchronizing your steps with breath, then your breath with the waves, and you will begin to notice your thoughts dissipating as clarity comes into your mind. Creating this stillness of thought allows a re-centering of ourselves that is not only pleasant, but essential when managing hectic days—even while on vacation.

Life at its best is happening right in front of us, not on our mobile devices. Once we get off of the

iphones and connect with ourselves and our loved ones on the deepest of levels, we can truly enjoy all of the richness that this island life has to offer. From early morning walks and yoga on the beach, to long days oceanside and incredible Bay view sunsets, the LBI experience is so much better when we are connected, present, and open to experiencing the fullness of the island in all of its magnificence.

Katie Ribsam is a soul-searching, environment-loving traveler and explorer. You can find her all summer long paddling the Bay, soaking up the sun on the beach, or teaching yoga and meditation at her North Beach Haven studio, Yoga Bohemia.

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