On March 9th, we celebrate National Unplugging Day: a 24 hour period from sundown to sundown where everyone is encouraged to unplug, unwind, relax and do things other than using today’s technology, electronics, and social media.

In today’s uber-connected world, the use of technology is getting carried away and negatively impacting our quality of life. Studies have shown that 84% of cell phone users claim they could not go a single day without their device and that some mobile users check their phones every 6.5 minutes.

This addiction to technology brings unhealthy feelings of envy and feeds our Fear of Missing Out (FOMO: I’m guilty of this one). Furthermore, by spending too much time with our eyes glued to our screens we lack true solitude and miss out on the real world performing around us.

Indeed, we are over-attached to our technology, but the great thing is that technology has an off button. We live in such a beautiful place filled with opportunities to unplug, unwind, relax and get that incredible dose of fresh mountain air.

Here’s a list of our favourite ways to unplug in the winter in Whistler:

Slide the slopes

Spending a day on Whistler Blackcomb mountains is the perfect way to unplug and free your mind. Gather on the slopes with your best riding buddies and forget everything else. Contemplate magnificent landscapes and ride peacefully while getting benefits to your mind and body.

Like local photographer and cinematographer Brian Hockeinstein says: “There’s nothing wrong with kicking it old school and spending a day skiing or riding in Whistler with your cell phone turned off: it’s actually pretty fun to unplug for a few hours and get lost in the snow globe of fresh pow and smiling friends.”

Be active outside

With so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors, there’s always an activity to suit everyone. From a day cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the Callaghan Valley and Lost Lake, to catskiing and snowmobiling tours in the backcountry, to heli-skiing around the glaciers, to fat biking at the Whistler Olympic Park, Whistler is sure to wow each and every one who participates.

Explore the backyard

We live in one of the best playgrounds in the world. With so much terrain to explore, Whistler has an endless list of free activities to offer. Whether you go to chase waterfalls, snowshoe through the forest, or simply stroll the valley trail, you’ll find many ways to clear your mind and re-vitalize your lungs with fresh mountain air.

Spend time with a cat or a dog

It is not a surprise that pets are the greatest companions. Dogs are always up for an adventure and cats are always keen for a cuddle. Spending time with a furry companion will keep you busy and entertained so you won’t even think of looking at your phone. If you don’t have a pet, great news: WAG (Whistler Animals Galore) welcomes volunteers to drop in. The shelter has animals that have a variety of needs and are always on the lookout for people who can help with socializing, playing, grooming and dog walking.

Soak in the moment at the spa

One of the many beautiful things about spending the day at the spa is that it’d be ridiculous to bring your phone along. No one wants to get interrupted by the ringtone or the buzz of a phone while soaking in steaming water or relaxing peacefully in the solarium. The Scandinave Spa offers peace and tranquility in a completely serene setting and is a wonderful place for the ones who want to unplug their mind and decompress.

Go to a yoga class

Yoga is certainly a geat way to truly unplug from your thoughts, and to get lost in breath, body and movement. Whistler is home to world-class yoga instructors and studios. You can choose from a vast array of classes, designed for all levels and styles, and embrace moments of peacefulness.

Take a cooking class

Be a Chef for a Day and try your hand at preparing some West Coast classics. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Bear Foot Bistro run cooking classes for all levels. They even offer mixology classes, teaching the art and craft of a great drink so you can impress your friends and family. You’ll be so busy tasting and sipping that you’ll forget you left your phone resting in your pocket.

Indulge in arts & culture

Whistler has a rich community of inspiring artists. From admiring the art of British Columbia from the late 18th century to present at the Audain Museum , to discovering First Nations’ legends, people, art, history and culture at the Squamish and Lil’wat Cultural Centre , to learning about BC’s unique stones through art at Fathom Stone Art,  to enjoying the many fine art galleries showcasing the work of local artists. Whistler is sure to satisfy your artistic interests and widen your knowledge of our beautiful nation and province.

Take a tour, a class or enroll in a workshop

Whistler is filled with art, culture and heritage. There is so much we can learn from this vibrant ski town. Arts Whistler has a calendar full of classes and workshops to choose from that are all over town. Whether you want to learn about a certain topic or get your hands busy doing something new, Arts Whistler can help. 

Go sleep in a backcountry cabin

Spending the night in a backcountry hut is the ultimate way to disconnect for a few days. Not only will the landscape keep your eyes occupied, but fantastically there is no wifi to tempt you. Just you, your adventure buddy, the crackling fire, the gourmet foods, and nature with all of its beauty. We believe that the best way to disconnect, is to reconnect with nature and oneself.

So on this day, or any other day, take the time to tweet with the whiskey jacks, like what you see, take mental pictures of the beautiful scenery, un-scroll your mat, love the play, feed your bellies, chat with people you meet, comment on your friends’ stories, share moments of simplicity… because we like to believe that true connection comes from within and not from a screen.

Silence may be golden but in Whistler in the winter, it’s buried in white. Up here peace and quiet exists everywhere in the mountains, the forests, or the baths of the Scandinave Spa. So this winter why not unplug, relax and reconnect? And then ski your pants off. That’s the Whistler way.

-Feet Banks