There was life before Instagram and Facebook. There was a time when smartphones did not exist and people actually went out and spoke to each other. I admit that I am addicted to my smartphone. It is my connection to work, my friends, my entertainment, my notes, my finances and even tracking my health. The thought of life without this device actually makes me shudder. The issue is that I am so reliant on my mobile device, that I am not always aware of what is going on around me. I am one of many people that walk and text. I am not always living in the moment because instead of listening to the people around me, I am glued to my phone. Instead of listening to my body to see how I feel, I am relying on an app. It was time to take drastic action and that meant 24 hours away from my device. It does not sound like a long time, but baby steps.
Once I made the decision to temporarily break up with my phone, I decided that the day should revolve around listening – really paying attention to everything from my conversations with people, to my surroundings and finally, to my body. The first thing I did that morning was turn my phone off and put it in a drawer so that I would not be tempted to “just take a peek” at any new social media notifications. Then, because it was a beautiful, sunny day, I decided to do something fairly healthy and take a long walk. For the first time in a long time, I was able to navigate the streets safely because I was looking where I was going. I noticed some sculptures outside that I had never seen before, so I popped into the store that they were in front of and asked how long they had been there. It had been months; I blushed and stammered and continued on my way.
I was meeting a friend for lunch. I reminded her the day before that the cleanse was happening. She is supportive by nature and vowed not to pull her own phone out. We sat down, ate and had a conversation. We did not photograph our food and post it on Instagram. We were not texting anyone, including each other. We just paid attention and lived in the moment. For the first time, in a long time, I understood how little interruptions to “just quickly check my phone” could hurt relationships because even though you are physically there, you are not being mindful.
After another stroll, I went home and instead of checking social media, I picked up a book and just curled up and read. It was so nice not having my phone as a crutch. I also noticed how much better I was feeling overall. I did not know how many steps that I walked, but I did know that I walked for two hours. My neck was not aching from leaning down to text or answer email.
What was my takeaway? I know that I need my mobile device, but to be more thoughtful, mindful and present, I can also take a break from it. It was nice to see, hear and feel the world around me.
How about you? Will you join us in a digital cleanse?
If a digital cleanse feels too drastic, there are lots of little things you can do to help hit the reset button and make a positive change. For example, deciding to take a daily probiotic supplement is a small and easy thing I started doing to help me feel healthy and more balanced. If you’re overwhelmed by the choices, I recommend koena Woman Daily Probiotic Supplement. They are vegan, allergen free and non-GMO so it’s easy to fit into any diet.
*In partnership with koena.
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Originally published on November 28, 2018