Why & How to Unplug Around the Holidays

December 1, 2020

- By Teah Hopper

The holiday season is magical — it’s a time dedicated to family, friends, and giving. And every December, I like to give myself the gift of more time with the people I love, which means spending less time in front of a screen.

Every year, I unplug from social media between Christmas and New Years’. It gives me countless personal benefits – and when I prepare ahead of time – it doesn’t impact my business or my engagement. Most people are away from work around the holidays, and statistically, they aren’t buying homes either. This makes December and the holiday season the perfect time to unplug!

Here’s why unplugging should be considered a gift — and how you can make it happen.

Benefits of Unplugging

  • More present. Social media is all about connection, but it can negatively affect the way we connect with others in person. I disconnect from social to connect in person. This is especially true when spending time with my kids. They’re young, but they notice when I’m absentminded because I’m on my phone. Consciously disconnecting to spend time with loved ones will make the holidays even more meaningful.
  • Less anxious. As great as the holidays are, they have a tendency to increase stress. We’re also living in a world that’s becoming more anxious, and it would be silly not to think that our phones have something to do with that. Constantly being in front of your phone can create an anxious feeling, which is the last thing you want if you’re already stressed about holiday plans and difficult family dynamics. If you’re feeling unsettled, turn off your phone and walk away. You’ll be surprised how much it helps.
  • Better sleep. I encourage you to make every effort to go into 2021 feeling well-rested — it will leave you feeling more motivated and enthusiastic about the new year. I always struggled to feel rested until I began leaving my phone in another room overnight. Eliminating screen time right before bed has made me sleep far better, and I love starting my day without the temptation to start scrolling and the overwhelm of notifications.
  • Avoid burnout. I recently read a book called The Magic of Tiny Business, and I love what it said about burnout. It mentioned how much better it is to take a few days or a week off than to quit altogether. This is true in many aspects of life, including social media and business!

How to Unplug

  • Prepare ahead of time. If you’re unplugging from personal accounts, you won’t have to worry about this step. But when unplugging for business, it can be helpful to plan out and schedule posts in advance. It may take a little extra work upfront, but it’s so worth it in the end.
  • Set boundaries/rules. What does this look like for you? For me, daily boundaries include not checking my phone first thing in the morning and completely unplugging in the evening. And when I’m unplugging around the holidays, I don’t check social media at all.
  • Have an accountability partner. I have a daily accountability partner that helps me stick with my goals, but when I’m unplugging for an entire week, I recruit my spouse to keep me accountable. I don’t think he’s ever had to call me out, but just knowing he is in on the plan helps me to hold myself accountable.
  • Know your triggers and have a replacement. What triggers you to get on your phone or computer? For me, one trigger is when my spouse gets on his phone to scroll or play. The way I combat this is by keeping a book nearby. Knowing your triggers helps you to find alternatives and stick to your plan.
  • Remove or move apps on your phone. Removing your apps, or even just putting them in a separate folder, can help you avoid the temptation. If removing social apps is realistic for you (even just temporarily), it’s a great way to go.
  • Turn off notifications. If you can’t delete the apps, I recommend turning off notifications. They are extremely triggering for most of us, eliminating them can greatly reduce your social media consumption.
  • Use airplane mode. I put my phone on airplane mode every night before bed if I am working on a big project, and whenever I am making a conscious effort to be more present in my personal life. It’s an easy and quick way to unplug – without missing anything.


I highly encourage you to try unplugging around the holidays. Less time on social media gives you more of what matters — quality time with family, peace, and rest.

Teah is a social media strategist that helps businesses, entrepreneurs, and REALTORS® discover their unique story and simplify their social media through a strategic approach so that they can find joy in social media again, get their time back, and live the life they desire. Teah can be reached at teah@teahhopper.com or on her website at teahhopper.com.