Adulting and Anxiety: No More Slumber Parties With My Phone...
My phone and all its beloved apps really add to the noise in my mind. So, to better calm myself at night, I’ve started going to bed with it way out of reach. Maybe many of you have been doing this all along, and I’m late to the party.
Here’s where I’m bad: WhatsApp. Especially during the quarantine times this year, WhatsApp has been wonderful. I still feel connected with others via the texts and little pictures and videos. I heart WhatsApp. But at night I say no to it, and I’ve started plugging my phone in the hallway, totally out of my room and away from my sleeping area.
It has been incredible for these three reasons:
I have a calmer mind at night. Throughout the day, WhatsApp keeps me constantly multi-tasking. I’m doing my usual tasks, but a part of my brain is focused on the multiple messages between friends and family; and I enjoy this. But as a result, even when I’m not looking directly at my phone, I’m thinking about those ongoing conversations. And they can make my mind just spin. And this can cause anxiety.
I’ve noticed a sense of freedom. Maybe it’s the JOMO – Joy Of Missing Out – but I have one task at night: to calm my mind and go to sleep. And I think for years, I have taken this for granted with last minute article searches and final texts before falling asleep. Why have I insisted on my phone? Is it always so important that I get those last few chats in? Mindlessly scroll Pinterest? See what the latest is on Instagram? No. It’s not. At least not for me.
Lastly, I’ve noticed a hunger for more peace. That peaceful feeling I’m enjoying at night? I’m starting to want it through the day. And I’ve found that when I’m at home, I like to plug my phone in that same spot in my hall and leave it for a time period. I’ll check the messages later and instead focus on other aspects of life. My phone will be waiting for me, and it’s fun to wonder what the latest message is instead of grabbing my device the exact moment it chimes.
Have I perfected my new routine? No way. One time I was heading to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and I made eye contact with my charging phone (if this is even possible…I feel like it is). And oh, it tugged on my heartstrings. What if my Mom texted that she got the package I mailed? Or my friend sent me new pictures of her baby? I had so many “good” reasons to pick that thing up.
Instead, I mentally told myself no, walked past it, and slipped back into the bedroom and under the covers. It felt good.
I’m not denying myself. I’m discipling myself, and as a result, I’m giving myself more power along with all those other benefits I listed: a calmer mind, a sense of freedom, and more peace. I’m finally saying yes to what is important in life and not just blindly following my habits.
And it’s incredibly worth it.