What are some ways I can unplug after class in my USF apartment?

It's easy to spend hours on end attached to our technology, especially when everything from work to school to social interaction is all on our laptops and phones. But in this state of hyper-connectivity, it's easy to burn out. So I understand wanting to unplug in your apartment after classes at the University of South Florida. Don't let this always-on mentality exhaust you anymore. Instead, use these tips to unplug inside your USF apartment, even if you tend to do most of your schoolwork from home.

1. Create no-work zones

This one is especially important if you tend to do homework at your USF apartment. Create no-work zones in your apartment where you're not allowed to do anything school- or work-related. For example, dedicate a desk in your bedroom as your primary study space but leave your bed, kitchen and living room as spaces you retreat to when the work is done. That way, while you cook dinner, hang out with roommates and lounge on bed you aren't in a work-related headspace, making it easier to unplug. If you have a patio or balcony or live in a USF apartment with a swimming pool, those are also great places to unplug while getting some Florida sunshine.

2. Make a list

At the end of a long study session your brain is pretty wired. You might find yourself going over everything you need to do the next day. Instead, brain-dump all your to-do items into one master list that you can check the next morning. That way you don't use precious mental energy thinking about everything you need to get done, and you're less tempted to crack open your computer to check on things.

3. Turn notifications off

Nothing tempts you to check on your phone more than the buzzing and lighting up of a notification. To keep yourself unplugged in your student apartment, turn off your phone's notifications and set it to do not disturb. If there's an emergency, calling two times within a few minutes overrides iPhone's do not disturb setting, so there's no need to worry about missing a really important call. This way, instead of hearing a ding every 10 minutes, you simply reach for your phone when you need it.

4. Unwind with a book

Books are a great way to unwind. A Huffington Post article even reported that reading just six minutes every day reduces stress levels by 68%. Find a genre or author that you really love and it's easy to get lost in a book and not even realize you haven't checked social media for a few hours. If you have trouble choosing something to read, check out best-seller lists or GoodReads to help you compile a reading list.

Unplugging can be challenging, but certainly not impossible. Try out some of these strategies in your USF apartment to keep technology at arms-length and give yourself a much needed break from hyper-connectivity after your University of South Florida classes.

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