Learning To Switch Off
When you wake up in the morning, how do you go about your day? Do you check your phone first thing? Get swamped by notifications, and spend far too long scrolling through the grams, or responding to emails?
I know I do...
It's the first thing I do when I wake up, and it has gotten to the stage where I hate it. And the worst part is, I have this weird OCD where I have to go through my entire newsfeed to catch up on what I've missed out on whilst I've been sleeping... and I have to press play on all the IG stories and Snapchats (even if I don't actually watch them, I still have to clear them). And this to me is quite alarming. It is like I am so soaked and infatuated with social media that it has become unhealthy....
You see for me, I have this weird thing that if I have a red notification on my iPhone, then I have to have it cleared. I can't stand having red numbers next to any of my apps, and it gives me anxiety when I see them. Even worse is when I see someone else's phone and they have 236+ red notifications on their emails. That stresses me out wayyyy to much.
I know most of you would probably say, why don't you just turn off your notifications?!
Well it's not that easy for me since I love to stay connected with you all. I love reading all your positive comments, and getting back to you as much as I can. I also believe that communication is imperative. But sometimes, it can all be a bit too much, and I need to step away.
I am slowly disconnecting and only checking my notifications when it suits me, instead of being constantly swamped by them, and I am quite proud in the fact that I recently turned off all notifications on Facebook, and only receive IG notifications from my friends. But the sad part is, I have developed a habit where most mornings I will get up an extra 30 minutes early, just to spend time scrolling through all my social media platforms, when I could be spending that time outdoors, in the fresh air, staying active.
Lucky for me, I am completely aware of my actions, and I am slowly attempting to break the habit of grabbing my phone first thing in the morning, and learning to switch off. And I have found that the best way for me to switch off and start the day right, is to get up, grab my keys, jump in the skyline and go for a swim or a run, and then check all my notifications when I'm finished.
One thing I love doing is getting up early and watching the sunrise as it always feels so invigorating. Getting up early provides optimum benefits, especially since all your senses are fully engaged at this point. What this basically means is that your senses function at its purest form. There are no other factors that would be able to affect its performance yet. And with an added peaceful environment like the beach, those senses are quite sensitive to various perceptions coming from the outside or within your internal body.
So this past Sunday, before I went to the Porsches & Coffee event, I decided to get up extra early, and go watch the sunrise at Palm Beach with @maatske, who is like a little brother to me, and is always good company and full of positive vibes. I also decided that I wouldn't check through all my IG stories and Snapchats until after the event. Yes I still Snapchatted because I love sharing what I get up too, but I wasn't spending my time watching what everyone else was getting up to, and being glued to my phone. Rather, I stayed present in the moment. And I surprisingly felt much better and more focused. I just had to keep reminding myself that whatever is on my phone can wait.
Powering-down for a period of time provides opportunity to reset and refocus appreciation and gratitude for the lives we have been given.
Here I was, watching the sun rise over the horizon, with an incredible view of the beach, including my car and one of my favourite homes in Sydney that I did a feature on earlier this year. Sometimes it is easy to forget that life, at its best, is happening right in front of you. Our world may be changing. But the true nature of life is not. These experiences will never repeat themselves. And if we are too busy staring down at our iPhone screens, we’re gonna miss all of it.
So take this as an opportunity to switch off and put your phone down once in a while to see the world from a different view. And remember that whatever is on your phone, can wait. You will be amazed at what is out there, if you just look up from your phone. Try to not be one of those people who are stuck in front of a phone screen seeing the world through second hand information and being succumbed by notifications. Instead, put your phone down and be present in the moment.
Remember we aren’t here for a long time, so make the most of your time on this earth, instead of being confined by your phone or having the constant urge to check if you have a notification.
Learning to power-down technology is an important life skill with numerous benefits. It is becoming a lost art in our ever-connected world. But the wisest of us take time to learn the discipline. And live fuller lives because of it. My goal is to spend less time being glued to my phone, and to slowly minimise the need to watch what everyone else is doing on social media.
Does anyone else have this issue or have you found something that helps to not constantly check your phone? Surely I'm not the only one, so let me know in the comments below!