Taming your Pocket Pest

If I told you that there was something in you life that caused you a huge amount of stress every day, would you want to deal with it?

What if I told you that it makes you feel shit about yourself by presenting impossible ideals to live up to, wastes hours of your time a day, affects your sleep & stops you being present with your loved ones?

That it robs you of your focus, concentration, creativity & productivity.

It would be a no-brainer to deal with it right?

But we don’t.

I’m talking about that pocket-sized stress pest – your phone.

I know you’ve just read that sentence, felt a huge amount of resistance, & rolled your eyes 🙄

But this little fucker will ruin your life if you don’t establish who’s in charge.

Rules I’ve had to implement with clients before now.

  • don’t use your phone after midnight
  • don’t use your phone at mealtimes
  • don’t take your phone into the toilet
  • don’t use your phone in bed
  • spend less than 10 hours per day on your phone
  • don’t use your phone when you have visitors

I mean, that certainly sounds like the behaviour of an addict right, having to have those boundaries enforced upon them? 😯

Your phone is often a distraction technique, to distract you from your own thoughts & feelings, to get validation from others.

Ironically, it stops us CONNECTING, with ourselves and others, and connection is incredibly important for reducing stress and keeping well mentally & emotionally.

Phones (and apps) are designed to make you stay on them as long as possible & give you a great big dopamine hit every time you hear a ping or see a little red bubble.

You are literally being conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs.

And don’t get me started on doom-scrolling, arguing with fuckwits on Twitter & thumbing through Instagram wondering how you can get thighs like a Victoria’s Secret model, or a chest like a Men’s Health cover model 🤦🏼‍♀️

It’s time to get this shit under control.

Yes I know you use your phone for work, but really, if you’re totally honest with yourself, you spend plenty of time on your phone that isn’t productive.

So, let’s get this shit done so you can start showing your phone who’s boss 💪🏽.

Here are my top 10 tips for weaning yourself off:

  1. NEVER keep your phone in the bedroom. Buy an alarm clock to wake you up, and use a smart speaker to play sleep stories/meditation etc.

2. Don’t use your phone at mealtimes – sit at a table, be present with both your food, and the people you’re eating with – it’s better for your digestion, your mental health and your relationships

3. Switch your phone to Grayscale – those notifications look a lot less appealing when they’re not bright red

4. Turn off all notifications – don’t be salivating like Pavlov’s dogs every time one pops up on screen

5. Social media is the equivalent of junk food – bloats your brain, dents your confidence & gives you zero nourishment – put these apps in a folder on the last screen of your phone

6. Start your day on YOUR terms – wake up, have a coffee, go for a walk, meditate. journal etc – don’t shove your phone in your face first thing & have your mood dictated by the shit someone else has written.

7. No phone in the bathroom – I can’t believe I need to say this, but if you can’t do what you need to do in the bathroom without having your phone there to distract you, then you probably need to reassess your life.

8. Have designated phone-free time – agree with your partner/kids that, for example, between 5pm & 7pm is phone free time. Put all your phones in a drawer & don’t take them out until the time is up

9. Do an app audit – which apps are adding something useful to your life – BE HONEST here – no matter how much you try & justify it, Candy Crush is neither mentally stimulating or helping you be mindful. Those that aren’t useful, considering deleting, or at the very least putting in a folder on the last screen of your phone.

10. Choose more enriching activities to distract yourself with – have your favourite book near your bed, have games or puzzles in the lounge or go for a walk with no technology!

Those are my top tips for reducing phone stress.

I want to know:

a) which of these you’re willing to try this week and

b) any more tips you have to share

Comment below & let me know 🥷🏼

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