Have you ever felt like on the the outside it looked like you were doing great, but behind closed doors it often felt like a sham? That was me, until recently, when it came to my phone.
Here I am, a meditation teacher and self-care coach, and I was completely addicted to my phone.
I preach about being in the moment, fully engaged in our experiences, and I do meant it…but I was only doing it part time. I have never been the kind of person to half ass anything. I always do everything with my full ass. (I wish I made that up, but I saw it on Instagram, without a source. I wish I knew who to thank!) So I was feeling a little bit down on myself because I wanted to do a better job, and I knew I had it in me.
Meditation has truly helped me to transform my life in so many amazing ways, but I really felt that I could bump up my mindfulness in-between meditations, and when I took a long hard look at what was stopping me from improving, all roads led to my phone.
If you remember, I wrote an article for MindBodyGreen and a newsletter for you guys recently on ways your phone can HELP you to be more mindful. It can, and I stand behind and use every single tip I gave, BUT overall I was still just on my phone too much, plain and simple.
Like most people, I consider technology a blessing and a curse. I absolutely love connecting with friends, family, my clients and followers on social media, and I get insanely inspired online. The flip side, however, is that too much time on the phone makes me anything but mindful.
All of a sudden thirty minutes will go by and instead of writing an article, or getting creative with my meditation scripts, all I seemed to do was check out what other people were doing on Facebook. Not cool.
Things needed to change. PRONTO. I truly wanted to start getting the most out of my life without wasting a single second. I wanted to engage fully with the people right in front of me. When I went online I wanted to do it intentionally, without time spinning out of my control.
I decided that I would do a two day social media cleanse over the upcoming weekend. This would allow me to be more present during family time, and use my downtime to read, play games with my kids, and talk to my husband while we drove places instead of scrolling through my phone.
I posted for the last time on Friday afternoon, and I made sure that it was a super fun post that would engage people all weekend long. Then I checked again on Sunday night. I checked notifications and got caught up so that I didn’t feel bombarded Monday morning. (I will talk to you guys more about my Sunday Prep routines later. Talk about life-changing!)
Guess what? I loved having a two day break! I WAS more engaged with my family, and I used my downtime to go on walks, read, and connect with the most important people in my life that were right in front of me.
I loved it so much that I took another two day break the next weekend and the next, and I don’t plan on stopping. It has made my weekends more mindful, but the impact has also lasted well into the week. I used to get on social media right after my meditation in the morning to be sure I had my first post up on my A to Zen page when people awoke. I enjoyed it, but there was a big feeling that I had to also. Since “cleansing” I only go on social media when I feel truly inspired, not because I feel like I have to. Sometimes it may be at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. This means I savor my morning routine a bit longer, and it feels great. My posts are also extremely authentic with an amazing energy behind them.
Every morning I end my meditation with this prayer:
“Spirit, G-d, Angels, help me to be the very best version of myself today. Help me to come from a place of love, kindness, joy and presence. Help me be a vessel for the right words and deeds today.”
Now that I feel more in control of my habits I do feel more present and more joyful. I really like the changes that my new routine has brought to me in terms of mindfulness, not to mention it feels really good to walk the talk!
Here are a few more ideas for ways to detox from the phone a bit more:
Turn your phone on silent and don’t have it near you while you eat. Really notice the flavors and textures of your food.
Take a walk or hike in nature without your phone. Notice all your senses.
Turn off notifications in general so your phone doesn’t beep every two seconds. Be more mindful and decide that it is actually a social media time. Set a timer for 15 minutes and when the timer goes off put the phone down!
Leave your phone in your handbag when eating in restaurants.
Instead of reaching for your phone at a traffic light, reach for your breath. Do a one minute meditation and make great use of the time settling down your nervous system.
Be friendly. Talk to the cashier in line at the grocery store. You will make their day 🙂
Put your phone down for the night one hour before bed. Read, journal, have sex, watch a show…but no phone!
It is impossible to do all of these things simultaneously, so pick one or two and get started today.