I don’t know about you, but my phone is almost like an extension of myself. I’ve customized it, bought an array of cases, and it’s always in reach. I know several of my friends are the same way, and I’m sure there are many others just as connected as I am. I’ve sat at a restaurant with a group of girlfriends with all of us on our phones rather than talking; we’ve watched our favorite shows with our devices out and at the ready. The constant refreshing feed keeps us distracted from actually spending any time together. What’s new? What’s going on now?
This year, I just can’t keep up. The amount of information that comes across my desk, the staring at my screen to finalize returns and reports; plus the hustle and bustle of our social media lives, can be taxing. Instead of something fun, keeping up with social media became more of a job than anything else. Seeing the updates come across my screen only made me exhausted. In a day where we’re cramming in as much as possible, trying to keep up is exhausting. I never thought that social media would suddenly become stressful.
I had to step away. I had to take a break from it all, but doing so is not exactly easy. The phone is always going off, and out of habit, I always seem to click on the Facebook icon any time I picked up my phone. Disconnecting is not an easy feat.
During the week it is extremely difficult. I’m at a computer all day, so I simply focused on the weekend. I made sure to leave my phone on my dresser while I sat on my couch. I’d read a book, catch up on some TV I had missed during the week, hung out with friends. If it was Saturday afternoon/night or Sunday, I made sure to leave my phone at least 5 feet away.
At first, it felt odd. I didn’t know what to do with myself or what to do with my hands. Eventually, these times were probably the most stress free of my week. I actually grew to love not having my phone within reaching distance. I spent more time enjoying what I was doing, even if it was just catching up on the shows I like. I was surprised that even this time doing absolutely nothing has really seemed to help with my anxiety and mood in general. Letting go of that aspect of my life really brought me a bit of peace.
In order to disconnect, I recommend the following:
- Set a reasonable time frame. Don’t go all in and just quit, especially if you’re used to checking your social medial all the time. It’s really not feasible. Even if you just pick an hour a day for yourself, it’s good for your soul.
- Don’t beat yourself up…. especially if you find giving up social media harder than you anticipated. I truly believe it can be an addiction.
- Figure out what you love. I never realized how much time I spent checking my phone until I stopped. I found I was getting more and more done than I had expected. I think I’ve done 30 puzzles during this busy season while I’ve put my phone down. I forgot how much I actually enjoyed them.
- Focus on you. If you aren’t enjoying disconnecting, then stop. The whole point is for your own health. If it’s bringing you more issues than helping , then do what makes you happy.
Is there anything you already do to disconnect?