On Quieting My Mind and Disconnecting From Tech
I sit in front of a computer all day every work-day. When I'm not writing or editing, I'm researching and managing social media platforms - seriously, I'm in front of a screen 9 hours a day, at least. What I see happening, though, is that when I'm not at work, I'm in front of a television screen or my phone, OR BOTH. Screens all day errday. It has come to a point where I'll be watching tv AND scrolling through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. When I felt like I was constantly on edge, I realized something had to give.
Things were getting out of hand and I noticed that it took me longer to fall asleep at night because my mind was racing through a thousand different things - what am I going to wear tomorrow? did I spend too much money this month? what am I doing with my life? and on and on until I would fall asleep restlessly. Something needed to change, so I sat down with myself and broke down why I was feeling so restless and why I couldn't just disconnect from my tech.
I found that I was hiding from my thoughts through aimlessly scrolling on my phone. I used television and social media as a form of escapism. Now, I find nothing wrong with that but I realized I was doing it far too often. I decided to take these steps to help quiet my mind and disconnect from tech on a daily basis:
I wake up to my alarm at 7:00 am. I lay in bed for 15 minutes walking myself through what I have planned for that day in the office. I calmly breath in and out deeply and say to myself that I can tackle anything that comes my way (daily affirmation, baby!).
Like I said, at work I'm in front of a screen whether I like it or not, and I do like it (I happen to love social media managing, marketing, writing and editing). However, sometimes I find myself in the land of the unknown. For example, my boss asks me to do something I've never done before or stops me mid-project to start something else and I have to regroup. Regrouping for me is breathing deeply and organizing everything I need to do in my head. It can all be done, I tell myself. Every inspiring person I know has walked this path of the unknown, just like me.
Even before I get home I find myself on the bus listening to music and scrolling through my phone. It's practically involuntary! I get home and proceed to walk the dog, make dinner and settle in to watch something. However, since noticing that I would sit in front of the tv watching a show or movie whilst holding my phone and scrolling through at the same time, I started putting my phone farther away from me so as to not be tempted to grab it.
At least twice a week I'll tell myself that I've had enough screen time and I will turn off the tv and open a book - an actual book, not one on my Kindle. I needed to stop staring at screens!
This is the most important part. This is the hardest part of the day for me to quiet my mind and disconnect from tech. Lots of us scroll through our various social media accounts right before bed - that's counterproductive. At least for me. Looking at my phone makes me sleep lighter and then I wake up like I've slept half the time I did. I stopped looking at my phone at least 15 minutes before I go to bed. I lie in bed knowing the thoughts are going to come but I CHOOSE the shut them out.
There's a time and a place for everything, thoughts, and now is not it.
It took time to really control your thoughts, but I found that after a week of practicing what I preach, I was gaining more and more control. If I managed to get to bed at a decent time too, I will mediate for 20 or so minutes, it does wonders!