by Jacqueline Smith
You unplug your router every night? Yes.
If you're not doing it, and you think it's a little neurotic ––you have no idea–– place a houseplant by your router and watch that poor thing decay.
Disconnecting from the real world and the digital world by getting adequate rest and connecting with our persons face-to-face is becoming a talent. Having the discipline to read a printed book, enjoy a full meal with phones away, relax without Netflix, run without headphones –– these simple acts without electronics are becoming rare. Especially with the constant buzz and alerts of texts, emails, shares, tags, comments, et cetera, et cetera.
One. I've taken the time to declutter my phone –– how it supports me each day by cleaning up one thing: notifications. Guess what? There will always be new emails. Always. So why have that pesky little number alerting you of what you have yet to read and respond to? I've done away with badge app notifications, notification center alerts, and more importantly the lock screen notifications that stack up faster and faster like a losing Tetris game. Another must-read detailing the importance of "Rebooting Your Phone Mindfulness" by Tristan Harris that offers detail and instruction on why and how to declutter your phone this spring. Do it!
Two. What's better than being in your space and having a sense of calm come over you without interruption? Try no electronics and wifi off by 8:30pm. Make a list for tomorrow, fold your laundry, read a book to yourself or aloud to loved ones, debrief the day over sleepy tea (and focus on the positives), stretch out for an hour, have a hot bath with Epsom salts, meditate, doodle, color, make love, tell fiction bedtime stories –– the possibilities are so creatively endless.
Three. I know I said two changes, but this one is a freebie. Go to bed earlier! With the wifi off at 8:30pm, you'll be relaxed within the hour and entering dreamland before you know it. Soak it up, wake up earlier, and show up on time the next day.
Two changes to my routine have helped simplified my personal time at home to be more mindful and helped lessen the false belief that "I'm so busy" all the time. Imagine answering that too common question of, "How are you?" with a new line other than, "Busy! You?" (This is another topic, but a great read from The New York Times, "The Busy Trap.")
At the very least, keep your bedroom an electronic-free zone for one week and tell me if you've ever slept better. This means no phones too! Set your alarm, turn airplane mode on, and leave it in the kitchen. It will be there when you wake up. Promise.