Unplugging -- Making My Bedroom A Technology Free Zone
I've been meaning to write this blog post for a while but seeing that we're well past the halfway mark for 2019, this post is long overdue.
I've never been a "resolutioner." I'm stubborn, a realist, and to put it quite frankly, I equated making a New Year's resolution to being weak. If you want to do something to better yourself, why not just start that day? I've always been a go-getter and quick to jump on a new idea of mine, so resolutions didn't make sense or sit well with me. Anyways, what's a date change other than just a new number to write on my rent check (yes, my prehistoric landlord still asks for checks... to be MAILED... stamp and all)? And after all, time IS a social construct.
Those were my past views. Now, I have not completely changed my mind on them, I have reaped the benefits of sticking (or trying my hardest to) with a New Years resolution. I decided to let go of some of my inhibitions and set a 2019 New Year's resolution: UNPLUG.
I noticed I was on my phone way more than usual, part of it due to the fact of trying to launch Jet Sweat from the ground up, and the other part was trying to keep my "personal" pages up to date so clients could see I was active on social media (this is still a bizarre concept to me that clients are looking for this in LA).
I decided to dive headfirst, January 1, 2019, my bedroom would become a technology-free zone. A place to completely zen out creating an oasis of creativity. Easy enough, right?
My first step was to buy an alarm clock. I've been relying on my phone for the past 13 years to wake me up, so this took a while to get used to. I also had to tell Dom my plans and he was so into it, he even joined me for a couple of months. Throughout the past 7 months, I've fallen in and out of it, especially this past month, but for the most part, I try to keep all electronics out of the bedroom. Sometimes I feel like I can't afford to take a break from working and my phone follows me into the bedroom, but GIRL, can I tell you how much better I feel without it? And can I also let you know that the world didn't stop when I didn't reply to that text or email straight away? SHOCKING!
POSITIVE EFFECTS I NOTICED OF "UNPLUGGING"
- Easier to fall asleep
- Decreased anxiety
- Increased productivity
- Increased creativity
- Sense of freedom
- *** NEW FOUND SENSE TO SET BOUNDARIES***
There have been many positive results of making my bedroom technology-free, however, something unexpected came up: I, yes-sayer to everything, have learned to set boundaries.
This first sparked from not being reachable for odd hours every day. I model, teach pilates, run Jet Sweat, and freelance, every day is usually a 12 hour day of working, so come 8/9pm I'm ready to crash. Nothing is so important that it needs to be addressed at midnight, plus I live on the West Coast so I'm already 3 hours behind the majority of my friends and my mother agency... whatever it is, that email can wait.
From being unreachable during off-hours, I've also learned to be more present with who I am spending time with. Unless I am waiting for an important call or text from my agency, I generally won't even look at my phone if I'm spending time with friends,
For me, my phone brings a lot of anxiety into my life, each notification feels like a single brick being stacked on to my chest until I am suffocated by all of them so the least amount of time I have with it the better.
If my phone isn't in the room when I go to bed or wake up, my phone is no longer the last and first thing I see when I wake up. I feel like I can actually LIVE again, and for real, not just online. Many days I set my phone down hours before I go to bed and pick it up at LEAST an hour after I wake up. It gives me the time I need to digest what's happening in my life, my creativity is flowing, I have energy, and best of all, I have mental clarity.
Even on days when I slip up and bring my phone into the bedroom, I still have the same sense of personal boundaries and it is LIBERATING!! I was not expecting this "side effect" when I set out on my journey to unplug. UNPLUGGING IS FOR EVERY SINGLE PERSON, we all need a sense of self, privacy, and less time spent interacting mindlessly on our phones and more time creating memories with the people right in front of us.
However it IS 2019 and life is pretty much impossible to live without a smartphone, and in SOME cases, phones do make life a little better -- mobile check deposits, MindBody, Classpass, and just the entire mothership of Google in general -- I definitely could not live without, how would I ever figure out directions and recipes on my own?!
I'm not sure if I'll stick to making New Year's resolutions in the future, but it is easier to be able to track and look back on the exact date and goal rather than just going for it at the moment.
I challenged some of my readers back in January to join me in this unplugged challenge, how have you been doing?!
Tips and other thoughts about unplugging:
1. Buy an alarm clock, mine was $13 at Target
2. Don't get discouraged if you can't commit right away or have days you bring your phone/laptop in to the room. Acknowledge that you did, ask yourself why, and remind yourself of why you want to unplug. Getting to the root of WHY you do something makes it easier to quit -- are you "bored," are you in an argument, are you upset, are you seeking validation, are you working, are you comparing yourself to other people?
3. Read from a book before you fall asleep, paint, journal, knit, give your animals some attention, give your significant other some attention
4. Shocking facts about the blue light our phones emit
5. Other reasons why tech in your bedroom is harmful
6. Unplug Meditation in WeHo half inspired my 2019 New Year's resolution!
7. The other half was inspired by Feng Shui