The past couple weeks, my meditation practice became nonexistent.
I checked my phone way too much.
And I stayed up late Googling nonsense.
The end result? I was more tired and stressed than usual.
The irony was that I was trying to get more things done, but I was running around with scattered energy.
It always makes me laugh when I think about how the more pressure I bring to my life and situations, the less I actually complete.
So every so often, it's important to hit the reset button.
Here's my back to basics plan for creating a sense of calm and grounded energy in my life when it's needed most:
LOVING BREAKS FROM MY PHONE
I recently spoke with a friend who said she turns her phone off when she notices she's "grabby" with it.
I thought, "Grabby?!" what a great word to describe the knee-jerk reaction I have to grabbing my phone every ten seconds!
I try to do an occasional phone cleanse to see where I'm at when it comes to being overly attached to my device.
My latest experiment involved deleting certain apps from my phone and not checking emails after 10pm. I felt way more calm and less crazed almost instantaneously, which was revealing in and of itself.
Perhaps I don't need Instagram on my phone all the time? Or maybe phone-free Sundays? I'm figuring this one out :)
A SPIRITUAL REFRAME
One of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite spiritual teachers is:
"Everything is here to help you." - Matt Kahn
When I'm stressed or stuff isn't going according to plan, I've been working on myself from the inside out. How can I release control? Everything is here to help us receive some sort of lesson. And 9 times out of 10 for me, it's learning to go with the flow.
This one is super hard for me, but even saying to myself, "Everything is here to help me" helps me to shift my perspective. Suddenly, the so-called inconveniences in my life are part of a bigger picture to teach me patience and letting go.
BOOKENDING MY DAY
When I was a kid, I loved getting ready for bed, probably because it involved reading books like Sweet Valley High and Babysitter's Club.
As an adult, my "bedtime routine" can be more like throwing on pair of sweats and brushing my teeth five minutes after turning my computer off.
Long gone are the days of relaxing music and teenage novels.
Studies suggest we need about three hours of dim lights and no technology for our bodies to wind down. I don't even need science on my side, since I know that if I binge watch Real Housewives right before bed, I'm going to stay up longer.
Low lights, relaxing music and possibly a little journal session sound like a decadent retreat. Why not make it part of my adult bedtime routine every night?
I think it's really important to know the best rhythm for your life.
When you need to take it easy and when you need to hit the reset button.
I'm definitely not perfect when it comes to establishing routines and healthy boundaries around technology. And I probably never will be and that's okay :)
But if you have any tips for feeling centered and calm, bed time related or otherwise, please let me know. I'd love your insight!
Leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a beautiful day!
From my heart to yours,
Devon McLeod, LCSW