Have you paid attention to what you’re absorbing on your screen on a daily basis? The latest Apple software now reports the average amount of time spent on your screen over the past week and it tells you whether your usage is up or down from that of the previous week.
The one week my usage was at 1h15 a day and the following week it went up to an average of 3hours spent on my phone, daily. I had to take a moment to figure out why my usage had increased and whether the time spent on my phone was valuable. Obviously, my blog, Instagram page and YouTube channel has me spending more time on my phone in weeks when I am actively posting but I realized that, amidst checking my engagement and response to posts, I spend a lot of time scrolling, mindlessly, through Instagram. That cannot be good for anyone so I set some intentions to begin feeding my mind with things that matter. I didn’t expect that the decision to feed my mind would result in my soul being fed as well.
How did I do this?
I put my phone down by 9pm. This isn’t as recent as the last few weeks but I find that saying goodbye to the online world helps my mind to disengage and start resting at least an hour and a half before I would like to be asleep. Coupled with this, I’ve started reading at night and find that the quiet space of my novel (currently Jane Eyre) is exactly what I need to help me relax. The result of these two things is a good night’s sleep. I usually wake up to use the toilet but am finding that my 5:30 am alarm is beginning to be the first thing that wakes me. I sleep right through on occasion and have so much energy the next day! Feeling less lethargic makes me productive which, in turn, reduces the amount of stress I feel.
That being said, I am generally quite an anxious person. I need routine and predictability to keep me calm. I’ve started packing my food and taking out what I will wear the next day before going to bed. These two, simple, things make me feel so organized and in control. They make my mornings a little less rushed, too. What I haven’t been able to accomplish, fully, is my green tea and a 20 minute read before leaving the house but I will get there!
I’ve realised that what I feed my mind with has a huge influence over what I think and how I feel. I still spend time on my phone but I have begun selecting what I will view. I visit specific Instagram pages of individuals who inspire me and I search for topics on google that interest me. A recommended magazine (The Economist) has become a part of my afternoon read. It has exposed me to articles that I would not have come across in mainstream media (and I cannot help but feel a little privileged to have been introduced to texts that are helping me to expand my reading and thinking). I don’t tap on every article that News24 sends me and I don’t listen to the afternoon radio news. I feel that it is important to keep up to date with current events but also find that listening to possible negativity after a long day at work is bound to put me in a bad space. So I listen to music and I sing along to whatever fuels or soothes the day’s mood.
I nap. This has been the best part of my self care! I allow 20 minutes of nap time when I get home. Initially, it was a little lie down but I’ve begun to fall asleep in that time and find that it is enough to get through the rest of the day.
I exercise. I try to do this five days a week and have begun incorporating yoga into my workout routine. Yoga is so good for the body and the mind that I regret not continuing with it over the years! But I am back at it now and mix it up with high intensity interval training and light weight-training.
I go for physio. There’s nothing worse than allowing your body’s aches and troubles to ruin your experience of life. My back has troubled me for as long as I can remember. I have allowed myself to have the benefit of good health care; being pain-free on some days has improved my quality of life.
I drink green tea.
Reading over this post has made me realise that I’ve been able to incorporate a lot of good practices into my daily/ weekly routine. At the end of the day, a healthy lifestyle is what helps me feel whole. I still feel that my diet isn’t as consistent as I would like it to be and know that my mid-week sugar allowance makes me crash but I also know that there needs to be some room for ‘error’ and spontaneity.
These are some of the things that have helped improve my experience of life. Being mindful about what I feed my mind and how I take care of my body has helped me to live with intentional contentment.
Are you satisfied with the information you feed your body? How can you begin to feed in so that you can begin to experience rest and peace? Set those intentions and find your experience of being whole.