After a year and a half of back-to-back Zoom meetings, we could all use a weekend to unplug.
Unplugging as a family, especially as a couple, has tremendous benefits and has the potential to improve our relationships with one another. Instead of getting sucked into a screen or the fifth-in-a-row episode binge of a Netflix show, create space to reconnect, be creative, explore, and continue to learn about one another.
Could you benefit from….
- A break from your routine
- A special family memory
- Stronger connections
- A boost to your mental health
all in a cooler climate with modern conveniences? I thought so…read on!
Glamping: Why, Where, and How
Glamping makes being in nature and “roughing it” way more palatable. I personally enjoy running water and electricity with full bathrooms and kitchens, and a bed with comfy linens, but I also want the outdoor-camping feel, like roasting s’mores and hotdogs over an open fire.
Leave technology behind and enjoy a slower pace of life in Parks, AZ – between Williams and Flagstaff. My family rented a tiny home from some friends via AirBNB. It was the perfect getaway – trails within walking distance that lead to watering holes filled with tadpoles and frogs with gentle waterfalls and leaves blowing in the wind. It’s also just 1.5 hours from the Grand Canyon if you’re looking for more adventure.
As you plan, involve your family. Remember, this is a way to be creative, generate fun, and to get out of routine! For instance, let your kids pick out a special snack that they can open only when they get there. Buy yourself a fun magazine or book – flipping pages by the light of the campfire is relaxing.
- Hiking shoes and good socks for all
- Large cooler filled with food, snacks, drinks (stay hydrated)
- Wear layers and sunscreen
- Sunhat: No one likes a sunburn or sun damage
- Backpack: Essential for trail hikes, fill it with first aid supplies, Swiss Army knife, snacks, water, and bug spray (just in case)
Conversation Tips – great for partners and with your kids:
- Practice your listening skills
- Have a stress-reducing conversation
- Ask open ended questions
- Card games or board games as many kids tend to talk more when they are also engaged in another activity
In the short timespan of two days and nights, I felt more content and definitely more connected with my family. We learned that sounds of nature were calming, the cooler weather revived us, we tuned into the environment and noticed various colors and textures, and found our new favorite dessert is ooey-gooey s’mores. My 4-year-old thought it was the funniest thing when the marshmallows caught on fire. In addition, we had spontaneous, meaningful conversations that developed because of the quality and concentrated time.
A quick getaway created a positive experience and lasting memories for us. Breaking out of our routine allowed new possibilities to learn about ourselves and one another. Before you stuff your schedule with summer camps, plan a time to unplug – it will do your mental health and relationships a lot of good.
Do you find it challenging to connect without distractions? Want to improve communication? Therapy can help. If you’re curious how therapy can help you strengthen your relationships or improve ways to communicate, find a therapist near you. I’m a therapist in AZ and my practice specializes in relationship health—you can find me here.