When is the last time you gave yourself the space to just be? The last time you sat (or stood) with yourself? With no phone. No TV. No distractions. No nothing? I am guessing it was a while ago?
In modern life we are all so incredibly busy, rushing from work to home and back again. Always on the go. And even when we sit down to ‘relax’ our mind just doesn’t allow it.
Maybe you are like me and that programme on Netflix that you have been desperate to watch starts and 5 minutes in, you find yourself reaching for your phone. You know, just to check that nothing has changed on Facebook in the short moments since you last checked in.
Never mind the fact that we are getting work emails on our phones and the news is coming to us. We no longer have to sit down to watch the 10 o’clock news or open a newspaper to find out what is going on in the world. The familiar bleep bleep and soft vibrate of the phone and you are up to speed on Wimbledon to Whitehall and everything in between.
This means that we are constantly switched on and plugged in, existing in a constant state of anticipation. Never mind the FOMO (Fear of missing out) which becomes a very real thing.
This is why I meditate, it is why I journal and it is why I create white space in my diary to just, be.
To disconnect, unplug and switch off.
To turn off and be still.
Self-care is a term that is being batted around a lot recently. And although I often take umbrage with it’s commercialisation. It’s absolute importance cannot be denied, especially when we are leading increasingly stressful lives.
Self-care can look like lots of different things and unplugging is most definitely a part of self-care. So if you are struggling to tear yourself away from your phone, remember that it is more than just not being overly reliant on that handheld box of amazing technology. It is in actual fact a big component of your self-care.
Here are some actions you can implement today.
Turn off the notifications
Notifications are like honey to bees. They act as interrupter’s, taking us from a state where we feel ok and like a marching band on a quiet summer’s day, they come crashing through, stopping the flow and switching us to ‘on’ mode.
Leave the phone in another room
For reals! If you are a person who always has your phone within arms reach, the temptation is just too great, so physical intervention is required. Remember that saying, out of sight out of mind? Well, that is exactly what we are working with here. I’ve suggested clients set designated phone free times and it has made a massive difference to their wellbeing and their relationships.
Keep mobile phones out of the bedroom
Admittedly, this is one that I struggle with. Purely because my phone is my alarm clock as I’m sure it is a lot of people’s . Yet it doesn’t take a lot to go and by an alarm clock, right?
Steer clear of social media for the first 20 minutes of the day (the longer the better)
This is a game-changer. Start your day with your own thoughts, before the onslaught of social media starts. Use the time to set your intentions for the day, run through in your mind all of the things you are grateful for and to start the morning in a grounded way.
Schedule in the white space
Because that way, it happens!