Phoenix Integrated Health Professionals
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Mindful Disconnection
by Kendra Barss on June 13th, 2018

​Technology is everywhere. If you’re here, you’re reading this on a screen. Chances are, you stumbled across this post while scrolling Facebook and are reading it on your phone or tablet. Screens aren’t inherently bad--we use technology to connect with others, to learn, to grow, and to find the things we need (Google maps anyone?). But more often, we use technology to disconnect. We use it as a tool to take our minds away from the day, and into the world of our friends beautifully filtered HGTV-worthy home images, perfectly behaved clean children, and meticulously put together meals. We use it as an escape from our present moment.

Statistics are showing that people are living with more stress, depression, and anxiety than ever. They’re a by-product of our busy, fast paced, technology driven world. We even have a word for the fear of being without our phone—Nomophobia. But how the heck do we find a way to function without our phones when they’re such an integral part of our lives?

Making a few simple changes can help balance out our need for technology and our need for mindful presence in our day-to-day lives:
  • Schedule time with your tech.
  • Give your phone a home.
  • Fall in love with the “Do not disturb” feature
  • Find a mindful hobby

Schedule time with your tech. Decide that you’re going to spend time with your phone, enjoy it, and then let it go. Ideally, this time will be at least an hour before you go to bed, and not immediately after waking. Pick a time, schedule it into your day, set a timer, and stick to it. Enjoy your time surfing Facebook, or connecting with people who are elsewhere. When you put it down, maybe make some time to be face-to-face with that friend.

Give your phone a home. Again, ideally, your phone should be away from your sleep space (good sleep hygiene is important!). Find a place that your phone can stay in your house that isn’t immediately visible (to avoid the temptation to use it), but accessible if you need to make a call. “Put it to bed” at night in its spot, and keep it there when you’re not on scheduled phone time. An added bonus is no more searching for where it went!

Fall in love with the “Do not disturb” feature. Do a little digging in your settings and see what your phone can do. Most smartphones these days have this feature. Pick a time at night that the phone doesn’t alert you. If this causes anxiety, start small—shut off notifications from 10:00 PM-6:00 AM. Gradually lengthen that time. There are often features that you can set to allow “urgent” calls and texts through by prompting the person calling to indicate that it’s urgent. Check out your settings, and if you’re having trouble you can always consult a friend or Google it!

Find a mindful hobby. What will you do with all this free time!? Find a hobby that keeps you present and mindful. Try colouring, doing puzzles, sewing, cooking, moving (yoga is great!), or read, keep a journal or even try and memorize a poem! Spend time in nature, really look at the sights around you, and enjoy the smells and sounds. Look at the clouds, and see what you can imagine. Let your thoughts float by like the clouds do, and spend some time meditating.

Spend some time thinking about how spending more time “in the now” can benefit you and the people around you and see if you can build it into your lifestyle! If you need some help building a life you love that is centered in true well-being, health, and happiness, you can always call the clinic (780-842-3112) and book an appointment. I’d love to help you out!

-Kendra


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