It’s Saturday night and a 7 day challenge of No phone and social media day is here.
As I turn my phone off – I panic. Wait, I need it! What about the alarm? I don’t own an alarm. I’m one of those crazy people that wake up at dawn, way before everybody else in order to stretch 24 hour day by an hour or two. So I settle for an airplane mode, set my alarm for Monday morning and let myself sleep in tomorrow.
As I wake up, I compulsively reach for my phone to get my morning updates. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.. you know.?! Then I realize, none of this is available to me, not for the next seven days. Panic sets in but I try to move on.
Still sleepy I brush my teeth and make my way to the kitchen and have my morning glass of water. As I’m preparing breakfast I think to myself, what am I going to do?
So I grab a book and park myself on the couch to eat my breakfast.
Hmm, this is actually enjoyable I think to myself. I got into the book so deep that I just might finish it before getting on with my day. This is amazing!
You see, I love to read. A lot. But never ‘have time’ for it. I am so obsessed what everyone is doing, saying, participating in and the need to update my family and friends that live worlds and coasts away with what I’m doing, saying and participating in. That I forget to enjoy and take advantage of what’s in front of me and to cherish the present moment.
As I mentally plan my day I decide to go for a run, without my phone, equipped with a Garmin instead. To my surprise it was so relaxing and that much more enjoyable. There were no distractions. No ringing, no buzzing, no texts or email notifications – just silence. And then I realized something, phone heightens anxiety and stress for me – I just know it.
To tell you the truth. I struggled.
Day 1 and 2 were sheer torture. I couldn’t get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Getting out of my comfort zone is not easy, but absolutely essential for personal growth.
By Day 3 I started to surrender. I found myself reaching for the book on my lunch break, enjoying the peace knowing that no one can reach me, distract me, or pull me away from the present moment. I happened to have no watch on me either and that made me slow down a little. I’m still on my regular schedule and ticking things off my to-do list, it’s just done in the more mindful way.
It’s the end of Day 4. I pick up my phone to set an alarm for the next day – I feel repulsed by it. The thought of dealing with hundreds of emails, texts, and notifications makes me anxious. So I put down the phone, take a deep breath and remember, it’s only the end of Day 4 – Thank Goodness!
On the Day 5 I noticed myself getting more creative. A lot more ideas, future challenges and positive thoughts fill my head. It’s all about me and the present moment. I must admit – I love it!
Day 6 and 7 effortlessly flew by without the thought of needing my phone or social media to connect. I learned to have old fashioned home phone and one-on-one conversations instead, be proactive and enjoy what’s in front of me.
Now I watch TV and actually pay attention, read and submerge into the book, have real connection and conversations with my spouse and have my days planned out to be a little more productive than they were before. I also learned that there is so much more to life than social media, texting and the rest of virtual world.
In my eyes I succeeded. And not because I endured 7 days of no phone and social media but because I learned something in the process.
How will YOU challenge yourself today? Share your most proud moments here and let’s continue this awesome circle of Inspire me to Inspire you!