A digital minimalism: Take a phone break

 

 

Everyday I’ve been going on a walk around my neighbourhood. It started as a lockdown side effect and still it’s going. I’ve always enjoyed walking, but I’ve never done it as consistently as I have lately. There’s a huge park just down the street, where I can sit down by the pond and watch the sun set. I can actually hear the birds sing.

What I’ve noticed about this new habit is that I truly enjoy disconnecting for a while. Lockdown has drained so much of my energy, sometimes it was literally hard to pick up the phone and physically type in a message to someone – which makes me an awful friend. I am so sorry to all my friends whose messages I’ve neglected to answer. 

If I have my phone anywhere near me I can almost guarantee I’ll be doing some mindless scrolling every few minutes. No wonder my brain was so exhausted. It needed a break! If you think about it, I actually don’t need to know what a girl in Sweden that I don’t actually know in real life, but follow on instagram is doing right now. It’s quite irrelevant to my own life and that extra bit of useless information just take up important real estate in my brain, and consequently, my mental health. Don’t get me wrong, I love following inspiring people on instagram, but too much information is absolutely exhausting. Too much input is actually unproductive.

So everyday I’ve been taking mini phone breaks and it’s marvellous. I highly recommend.

If you find it too hard to take a break from your phone, you can try a few things:

No phone for the first and last half hour of your day.

Take that time to stretch (it helps you sleep better, and it’s great in the mornings), maybe just read a book or lie there in bed and try to meditate for a few minutes.

Go for a walk.

Nietzsche said all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. Maybe your next idea will come to you next time you turn off your phone and go for a walk. It’s great to clear your head, to breathe some fresh air and forget about everything else.

Instead of spending the next 30 minutes on social media, try a different activity.

What about putting on a nice playlist and cooking a meal? Cooking is an act of self love. Nurturing your body with healthy food and taking the time to prepare it has the same benefits as walking. You can just focus on your task and let your mind wander. Don’t try anything too elaborate, just make something simple and delicious.

Sometimes it feels good to just live in the moment. Just daydream. Be a temporary observer instead of a compulsive information consumer – me, talking to myself. I hope I listen.

 

A digital minimalism: Take a phone break

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