How To Disconnect In A Virtual World

How To Disconnect In A Virtual World

In case you missed it, Clubhouse 2020, hosted by College Fashionista, is going virtual this year with a new theme: Generation Creation. This year, we’re bringing you a month-long immersive digital experience curated especially for you — the smart, savvy creators of our future. 

As part of this inspiring virtual event, we recently spoke with Cece Merkle, the Creative Director for Trends and Innovation at Hallmark. In conversation with Lara von Linsowe-Wilson, the Influencer Marketing and Community Manager at Her Campus Media, Cece shared practical tips and tricks for how to find the perfect online and offline balance.

In a culture driven by productivity and hustle, and where screen time is at an all-time high, finding balance is key. Here are some of our favorite tips from Cece for staying balanced amidst busy times:

Take a micro break.

How many times have you worked for hours on end without taking a minute to pause? According to Cece, it may be time to take a “micro break,” a simple practice that helps break up the monotony of our daily routine. “Making micro breaks a part of our daily rhythm allows for emotional escape and a sense of stability,” she says, highlighting how they can also help boost resilience. One of my personal favorite micro breaks: turning on a relaxing playlist, writing a handwritten note, and sending a card in the mail to a friend I haven’t seen in a while.

Say thank you. 

Your calendar is jam-packed. Your to-do list is neverending. If another email arrives in your inbox, you may scream. Trust me, we’ve all been there. Cece says that taking just 5-30 seconds to refocus and reflect with gratitude can help you reground when you need it the most. “Pausing for gratitude inspires us to slow down and celebrate what’s already in front of us,” Cece says. Maybe you set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to pause, or send a note to someone who has made a difference in your life. If you need some inspiration for your next gratitude break, Hallmark has a great collection of thank you cards to have on hand, from short and sweet to heartfelt and inspirational. 

Look for moments of joy.

From fast-paced schedules to our stressful, ever-evolving news feeds, it can be tough to notice the joy in everyday moments. It’s important to contrast our super-connected lives with a practice Cece calls “joy spotting,” where you actively look for bright moments, especially those you may normally overlook. You may take a different route to work to experience some greenery along the way, or decorate your home office with colorful art to boost inspiration. 

You can even get creative with your wall decor by repurposing your favorite greeting cards from over the years, like these quilled cards from Hallmark, which double as adorable (and frameable!) wall art. “Color can provide a sense of joy and optical optimism that releases our negative energy,” Cece mentions. You heard that right — surrounding yourself with aesthetically pleasing colors, greeting cards, and artwork can actually lead to more happiness.

Prioritize human connection.

Although we’re all doing our best to stay socially distanced, human connection is more important than ever. While many of us are being forced to replace IRL experiences with virtual ones, sending a physical card can be a refreshing way to let someone know you care. The next time you’re hosting a virtual gathering, you may even want to send a handwritten card invitation to add an IRL touch to a digital event! 

“The next generation is showing a growing belief that investing in relationships and human connection can lead to a better world,” Cece shares with College Fashionista. “Remember that human connection can come in many forms, so get creative!” 

In a culture where it’s often celebrated to stay connected 24/7, taking time to recharge offline can be more powerful than you think. Small acts of kindness, like sending a card to someone you care about, can lead to greater happiness, optimism, and stronger relationships. Finding little ways to disconnect from screen time every day can also help us cultivate gratitude and mindful awareness, giving us space to recharge when we need it the most. 

The next time you need a minute to unplug, practice connecting with others offline by sending a thoughtful handwritten card to someone you care about. You’ll feel great, and your loved ones will, too — it’s a win-win for everyone.

Presented by College Fashionista x Hallmark

This is a sponsored feature, opinions are 100% our own.

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