In this day and age, we are all but tethered to our electronic devices. Whether it’s your computer at work, your smart phone on breaks or your iPad at home, more and more we are disconnecting from the people in our lives because we are too connected to our devices.

Endlessly staring at a screen is not only bad for our eyes, it’s bad for our relationships. How many times have you tuned out your spouse, friends, or even kids because you were scrolling through your phone. Maintaining connections with people has been essential to our survival as a species, so here are some ways to disconnect from your device and reconnect with the world and people around you.

Take a hike

There is a big, beautiful world out there that you are missing out on if your face is pressed against a screen. Go for a walk or a hike. Join an outdoor fitness group such as Bootique Fitness and enjoy the benefits you will receive from the fresh air. Being out in nature has been shown to improve sleep and reduce stress, not to mention the feel-good endorphins released when you exercise.

Go dark

Designate a time each day where your phone is put in a “time out”. Whether it’s sitting around the dinner table with your family, catching up with friends at happy hour, or going for a walk with your workout buddy, take time to catch up and learn about what’s going on in your loved ones live. Texting is no substitution for face to face interaction.

Find a hobby

Do you love to read? Or maybe you enjoy crafting? Endless YouTube videos and funny memes take time away from doing something productive that you really love. Reading boosts brain power and memory function while practicing something creative, like crafting, can reduce anxiety, stress, depression and even chronic pain.

Take a day trip “off the grid”

Leave your phone at home and venture out to enjoy a disconnected day. Head to the mountains and explore a quaint gold rush town or grab your towel and umbrella and enjoy a relaxing day at the beach. The destination doesn’t matter as long as your focus is on the environment around you, not your phone.

What’s your favorite way to connect with friends?