This summer, I noticed the flow of my breathing.

It happened during a week away with my family, and it was an amazing experience.

At the time, I was surrounded by nature and far away from the busyness of what seems routine for me.

I was also unplugged.

For seven days I had but only a brief thought or two about picking up a device.

Social media was the last thing on my mind.

The daily headlines weren’t missed.

The latest episodes of some of my favorite TV shows were not important.

Checking email and beating my top score for a word game were not a priority.

Instead, I was aware of the flow of my breathing when I rose each morning and inhaled the fresh air at dawn, and when I watched the moon rise with grace each evening.

Surrounded by water and stunning landscapes, I was engaged, not with a handheld device or screen, but with the people and the world around me.

Experiences with my family and building connections with them was of utmost importance and it came naturally.

We talked, joked, laughed and played. Together. Without devices.

I survived, and I felt grounded and fulfilled.

We live in a fast-paced, device-driven, instant-gratification kind of world, and it’s easy to become consumed.

I admit I get drawn in, so much so I often forget to slow down and check in with myself.

But we don’t have to let ourselves get that way.

National Unplug Play Day will be recognized Sept. 28.

Sponsored by the Wikki Stix Unplug Movement, the day encourages children to put down devices and get away from screens so they can play — to stimulate their imaginations and develop cognitive skills.

Nordica Toys on Main Street in New Milford will participate by offering kids Wikki Stix to play with that day from noon to 3 p.m.

While the day is geared toward children, it serves as a reminder to individuals of all ages of the importance of stepping away from technology to engage in life — to be present with oneself and others.

We all need to stir our creativity and have fun.

Give it a try. It’s worth it, even for a few hours.

Disconnect and you might just discover a connection — with yourself, others and the world around you — that enriches your soul more then you thought it might.

Deborah Rose a lifelong New Milford resident who has worked at The Spectrum since its inception in 1998. She can be reached by email at drose@newstimes.com.