This is the day when we admit to ourselves that we use our smart phones too much. I know that I carry mine around with me from room to room so much that my youngest child thinks that I “have to” have it with me and will bring it to me. Cute? On some level, yes. Scary? Absolutely. I don’t want to be that ghost mom that zones out into her phone so hard (even in the name of “work”) that I set that example for my kids.
Take a look at your phone use today and be honest with yourself. How much are you on your phone? Do you feel it’s too much? Do your kids or family members feel it is too much? If you want to make some changes, take a look at the list below and choose one (or many) things that can help you do a little bit of smart phone detoxing.
Not sure where to start? Try one of the tips below!
- Install a usage tracker on your phone to see how much you really use it
- Designate a place to store/charge phones when not in use so you can focus your attention on the task at hand
- Commit to a digital day off—turn off your phone and turn into your family
- Turn off all notifications on your phone
- Start that creative project you’ve been putting off! Use your time you spent on your phone to take up a hobby or pursue a creative passion
- If you feel like you’re on your phone too much, the moment you feel that way go outside and do something. Notice the world around you, take deep breaths, go for an impromptu walk, listen to the birds, anything that brings you back to nature
- Make “more eye contact” a goal & you’ll find your focus shift to that rather than your phone
- Schedule times to be on your phone and then don’t use it outside of those times
- Figure out what realistic limits you need, create those limits for yourself and then stick to them
- Take regular breaks from social media—either one day per week or for a set amount of time (like a full week or month). Delete the apps from your phone during this time
- Delete time sucking apps from your phone and commit to only using them on your computer
Yesterday we looked at phone usage, today we’re going to look at our other screen time…TV. Does your family watch TV? How much TV do you watch? How many minutes/hours per day? Do you have TV limits in place? If so, do you stick to them? What’s working? What’s not? If you don’t have limits, why not? Do you feel you would benefit from them?
What’s the main reason you turn on the TV? Boredom? A distraction for the kids? Learning? Down time? Examine the “whys” behind your TV habit.
What would you like to change about your TV usage? Are you aware of how screens affect your vision, mood, and circadian rhythm? If not, take a few moments to look it up and write down what you find.
Need some TV Detox ideas? Start with the list below:
- Set limits on TV time and keep them
- Unplug your TV after a certain time
- Set up activities for your kids to do instead of using TV as a distraction
- Let your kids see you read as down time. Encourage reading in your home as a way to decompress instead of zoning out into television
- Have a “no entertainment” rule in your home. Don’t try to be entertained more than you create, play, interact, or pursue hobbies. Your time participating in your life should far outweigh moments that you are being “entertained”
- Quit TV cold turkey
- Talk with your children about how screen time affects their eye sight so they can make educated decisions from a young age about how limits and blue light glasses are good for their health
Commit to making more eye contact with your family. We need a distraction detox…we’re so engrossed in screens and technology that we’re distracted in the moment.
Look at your eye contact. Look at your children’s eye contact. How much does your family make eye contact? Is everyone comfortable with it? Do you feel more connected or like the other person is listening better when eye contact is present? Are you distracted more often than not when your kids are talking with you? Can you easily pause and tune into them with eye contact? If not, take a look at why. If so, see if you can increase that eye contact even more and encourage it in your children.
How do you feel about your answers? Do you feel like you need to make more eye contact? Maybe you need to work on holding eye contact? Or that you need more eye contact from others? Write down your observations and needs.
EMF is short for electromagnetic fields. (The EMFs I’m referring to during Detox Month are manmade ones). How much do you know about EMFs? Have you thought about them before today?
Spend some time today educating yourself on EMFs and how they affect the body. Here are a few suggested EMF topics:
- What are EMFs and where do they come from
- How do electromagnetic frequencies work
- How do EMFs affect our bodies
- EMFs and bluetooth, wifi, cell phone towers, computers, and wifi hotspots
- EMFs and radiation
- How can I reduce my family’s exposure to EMFs? How can I protect them?
- The impact of EMFs on our bodies’ cells
- Figuring out where you stand in the EMF debate
Experiment time! Turn off your wifi on your phone at night (all the way…put your phone into airplane mode) and see if you get a better night’s sleep. Try it for one, two, or three nights.
Or go one step further and turn off the wifi in the room where you sleep. Does that help? What about the wifi for the whole house? Give it a try. Write down your results.
This experiment was suggested to me a few months ago and I tried it. My whole family slept noticeably better. We have continued this practice ever since. I know it’s not an option for all families due to shift work schedules and needing to be available by phone when you’re separated at night, but if this scenario doesn’t apply to you and you can give it a try, I highly recommend it!
Bonus: Do some research on EMFs and how they affect the body and our sleep patterns. Research blue lights and how looking at screens can throw off our circadian rhythm and affect our sleep.
Negativity drains us. It can take hold and keep us down. So let’s look at our own mindset today. Would you describe yourself as a positive or negative person when it comes to other people? Glass half full, half empty, or just excited that there is water in the glass? How do you view yourself? In a positive light? Can you be self-critical at times? What small thing could you do to shift that today?
Some other areas to consider when it comes to mindset:
How is your screen usage affecting your mindset?
How is social media affecting your mindset?
Some ideas for shifting a toxic mindset:
- Eliminate your own negative thoughts. Really focus on any self-critical inner dialogue, frustration, body shaming, etc. that creeps into your everyday thoughts. You are an amazing woman who has taken on the task of shaping an entire generation. That’s a powerful thought to remember and then act upon
- Set healthy boundaries with others who are a negative influence in your life
- Practice more self care. Pursue passions that fill you up and make sure your own basic needs are being met on a regular basis
- Realize that your initial reaction to thoughts/situations is not the whole story. You have the power to shift and grow in every moment and in every situation. If your initial reaction is negative, you can pause…take a deep breath and rewrite the script in your head. Then act from that more positive space
- Brainstorm other ways you can shift negative thoughts that aren’t serving you
I’ve heard it said that we are most influenced by and act like the 5 people we hang out with the most. Can you name those 5 people in your own life?
What do you think of the idea that we are also influenced by the people we follow online, too? Can you name the people you feel most influence you (for better or worse) online? Is there a genre or type of person you follow? How would you describe those people?
When we frequently hang out with others who have a negative mindset, it has the power to bring us down, too. Give this some thought and see who is influencing you. If there is anyone who is negatively influencing you, what can you do to begin to set healthy boundaries? Detoxing people in your life is just as important as the food, cleaning product, and screen detoxing we have done throughout the month. Out with the negative so we can make room for positive, whole good health!