6 ways to unplug (indoors)

Unplug: to temporarily withdraw from the responsibilities and obligations of everyday life (such as work or home duties)

Ready to unplug? To put down the devices, ignore the news and hype, and sink into a slower state of being? Herewith, six ways to unplug while staying indoors.

1) Knitting.

The experts say when you knit regularly, you force your brain and your hands to work together, thereby maintaining your fine motor skills.

Personally, knitting helps me zen out. All I have to think about is knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one.

It lets me slide into a rhythm of slow pace, slow thinking, and slow time.

It feels like a forgotten art — a de-prioritised skill — so I’ve left a bowl of wool and needles, in case it inspires the urge to revisit a precious time from long ago.

I know it’s popular, because one of my housekeeper’s jobs is to unravel what was knitted by each guest, and she reports doing this 80% of the time!

2) Play music.

Studies show that learning a musical instrument improves cognitive memory, and muscle memory as well. It can enhance verbal memory, spatial reasoning and literacy skills.

But most of all, (and this is me speaking, not an expert), it lets me slide into my joy centre.

That part of me that wants to dance, to sing, to close my eyes and rock to a beat.

The ukulele in the cottage is my own personal one — a concert-grade Tenor ukulele — I learned to play on this, and even played it at my son’s wedding! It produces a beautiful, happy, uplifting sound.

The piano is a 3/4-height cherrywood Lyric piano. It originally belonged to a concert pianist as her “practice piano”, but now lives at the cottage for guests to enjoy.

Oh, and if you’d rather listen than play, there’s a sound bar you can Bluetooth to. It’s pretty much the only device in the whole place.

piano at this AirBnB accommodation

3) Play cards, solve a jigsaw, pull an oracle card.

You’ll find lots of little interesting knick knacks placed around the cottage…

There’s a hand-crafted jigsaw puzzle (from @millmarkets in Daylesford) with no instructions — just a small picture of the end-result on the jar. So far, not a single guest has reported solving it.

Novels come and go — some guests leave a book for future guests to enjoy. They always get taken, but replaced with a book to pay-it-forward. It’s not something I monitor — book lovers have a code to share books, so it just seems to work out.

On top of the piano is a guide to Western Australian wildflowers. It was my first ever art prize! (Please don’t take this one 🤗🤪)

I’ve left a set of my oracle cards “Affirmation Goddess” in the cottage. The affirmations are modern and a bit sassy. If you pull one you don’t like, and you resist it, it’s a sign you need it 😉

If I find little games like “Toss the Pigs”, I’ll leave them in the drawer of the kitchen hutch for you to find. I change these in and out so return guests can find a little surprise each visit.

There’s a gold edition set of 2 card decks. Go wild with 500, euchre, or whatever your game is 🙂

Please let’s know in the comments your favourite card game

4) Snooze.

When life slows down, you can slow your breath, deepen where your breath goes to, and slip into a recuperative, restful and reviving afternoon nap 😀

(PS don’t make your IG followers tooooo jealous with this act of decadence 🤫)

How’s the texture in these three key elements of a snoozing station? Velvet, soft leather and warm flooring under your feet. Yum.

unplugged vacation

5) Eat, drink, and be hairy.

The “be hairy” bit is a joke, but I didn’t want to be obvious with “be merry”… But if you want to go a few days without brushing your hair, or shaving, then who am I to judge?! ;-P

Anyhoooo… The cottage boasts a bakers oven — that’s an oven underneath the fireplace. It’s a great experience in winter to slow cook a stew, heat a pizza, make garlic bread, or whatever you feel like experimenting with. The kitchen is fairly minimalist, but there are a couple of baking trays and a cast iron casserole pot, so you have a starting point. (hint: the oven mitts are in the island bench drawer! Letting you know because a couple of guests missed them.)

The oven is not available in summer, so instead make up a cheeseboard from our local @margaretriverdairycompany , or @providorewa , or the @gourmet_food_merchant — all within 5-10 minutes drive from the cottage.

Also within 10-minutes is the @margaretriverchocolatefactory , @millersicecreamery , and a choice of cafes such as Smithereens in the Cowaramup township.

Recommendations for lunch, from casual brewery style, to world-class experiences, are included in your welcome guide in the cottage.

As for wine, you’re in the heart of a world-famous wine region! Wine trail suggestions and maps are also in the cottage. Personally I love to support local, so I recommend the small-family-winery trail, and the organic-makers trail.

lazy afternoon on the swing with a glass of red

6) Watch “Cow TV”.

Beef cattle rotate around the paddocks at the farm. You may be lucky to have them in front of the cottage during your stay.

Don’t worry, they respect electric tape, so won’t barge into your space. (Even if they do, wave your arms and yell at them and they’ll retreat — they’re just being curious — in reality they are timid at heart).

My father-in-law used to hand-feed his steers with carrots and cabbages. He could approach them because they knew him, and he’s a bit of a cattle-whisperer. You can try, if you wish… good luck!

farmer feeding cattle with carrots
Bill was often seen hand-feeding his cattle until into his 80s

Written by Anita Revel, curator and Superhost of the AirBnB properties at @MRHeartland