Let’s admit it: we’re all addicted to our phones and social media. Every Sunday I used to wake up to the iPhone notification “Weekly Screen Time Report Available”. I always cautiously opened it with a sense of dread. Did I really spend an average of four hours a day on my phone? Was I really playing Angry Birds for three hours alone on Saturday night? What a waste of time.
Yet, the following week I wouldn’t do anything to change it. I would catch myself sitting in front of the TV after work, endlessly liking Instagram photos from people I didn’t really care about, and mindlessly consuming video after video on TikTok. Rinse and repeat.
Our phones can be great tools to access unlimited information and stay connected with the people we love the most, but we don’t always know when it’s time to put it away. We don’t recognize the negative impact being on our phone for hours has on us mentally, physically, and spiritually. After a long day it can feel relaxing to just pick up our phones and forget the world, but what is that really doing to us long-term?
By being on my phone so much, I lost sight of the goals I had. I neglected workouts that boosted my physical health and skipping meditation sessions each morning which helped me stay grounded. I always told myself I could do better, but I had to start taking actions to make that a reality.
Ensuring I give myself some quiet time each day, with my phone off and out of reach has become vital to my day-to-day routine. The yearning I had for some peace and quiet from the craziness of the world was desperately needed, and for more than just the significance of a well-deserved break. I learned that taking quiet time seriously is an integral part of personal growth and renewal. Quiet time gave me the ability to discover what is truly important and explore sides of myself I hadn’t given time to.
How you use your newfound free time is completely up to you. It can be going for a walk in your neighborhood or curling up on the couch with your favorite book. It can look like playtime with your pet or journaling out on a hammock. What is important is that all your tech-devices are stored away so that you can stay present in the current moment. Allow yourself to appreciate the little things around you, and let your thoughts flow freely through your mind.
Today, I challenge you to start putting your phone down a little more often. You’ll see over time how it will reduce your stress levels, give you time to heal from things you are going through, and open a door to a stronger connection with yourself and a higher power. It’s ok to start out small; even 10 minutes in the morning is better than nothing. The only important thing is that you start trying.