Today, begins Day 11 of my self-imposed hiatus from social media. And what was the most noticeable at first is that I am straight-up addicted. The number of times I reached for my phone each day was eye-opening. And when I paid close attention I realized I was wanting to escape something. I didn’t like how I was feeling: I was bored, frustrated, stressed, etc. So I reached for my phone to get away from it.
But as the days have passed I notice that I reach for my phone less. It’s surprising how loud all of that distraction is in your head. I realize that technically scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and the like don’t always have sounds that go along but it still creates a lot of static in your mind.
After a while you can’t distinguish what is your emotion and what is just something you picked up elsewhere. When you take that out of the equation you notice that you get clearer about your own emotions and feelings about things. You also can get quiet a little easier.
As I close in on the 2-week mark I find that I am enjoying my break from social media. I am getting more work done, often in a shorter period of time, because I am less distracted. But what’s even better is that my down time is quieter. I am outside only running as I leave the headphones behind. I am only folding clothes. I am simply doing one thing at a time.
I am being called to do one task at a time and it’s not only refreshing but it’s opened my eyes to the lie that is multi-tasking. It doesn’t really work. We just think that it does. Of course, there will always be moments that move fast but we really can’t do more than one thing at a time well. For all the moms out there with little ones who are reading this and rolling their eyes, I realize that isn’t always practical. But notice the moments when it is and allow yourself to do one thing, even if it’s after the kids are in bed and you are loading the dishwasher. Be in that moment of quiet no matter how mundane.
If you are driving, only drive. Choose to set your phone on do not disturb. When you are at the grocery store, focus on what you are there to do (again if you don’t have littles with you). Even if it’s walking to the mailbox. Do only that. Notice what’s around instead of already thinking about what you need to do next. I know you, you already have a to-do list so you won’t forget the items that need checking off.
Be in what you know in this moment and let go of the anticipation of what may come next or the seemingly bad stuff that’s already happened. Let it go and be with what you know for sure. As I write this, I am sure that the sun came up, it’s shining, I am still breathing and as each word is being typed it’s the only one I have power in so I am going to stay where my power is.
Of course, I have lost my focus many, many times on this adventure but I catch it sooner. My mind and my body are starting to like this calmer thing and so when I begin to get super stressed or agitated I notice it faster and I am reminded that I have a choice. I can answer an email under great stress and holding my breath. Or I can stop, breathe a few nice deep breaths, and remind myself that it’s just me sitting at my computer. Often that simple act brings me back into the present where I can choose calm. That commonly used phrase Be Here Now is starting to really make sense.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G