Some didn’t have a counterpart.... Saying yes to things I didn’t want to do. Going, going, going and never having time for myself. And some of what is bad for me..... is too private to mention on a public forum.
After I brain dumped all the good and all the bad, I circled the top five on each side of the paper. The idea is to create a plan to spend more time on the good and minimize and/or eliminate the bad.
Fortunately, the list of bad things was far smaller than what was good. But one word seemed to be more powerful than the rest. When I looked at it I immediately felt the emotional drain.
At some point in time my phone evolved from being a technological tool used for phone calls, to a device that has stolen my time and energy pulling me away from living my life in the here and now.
I could feel the negative emotional and physical response from the hours and hours I spent clicking and refreshing.
It never used to hold so much power over me. In fact, five or six years ago I had the wherewithal to remove my work email from phone. I hated the anxious feeling I had every time I saw a work email come through first thing in the morning, right before bed or when I was supposed to be enjoying personal time with my kids.
I think my relationship with my phone began it's negative downfall when my dad was sick and in the hospital. I used my phone as a distraction, a way to escape the emotional devastation I felt living in the real world. I also used my phone as a way to receive support and encouragement from Facebook and texts. Those words of love and encouragement were my lifeline. They are still invaluable to me to this day.
Over the next couple years the more time I spent in the oncology department and the less control I felt in the real world, the pull into a world that was safe and controllable became stronger. The more sadness and pain I felt due to life’s unfortunate circumstances, I looked for distractions in other people’s stories. My phone in the last couple years has become one of my appendages. Watch TV with phone in hand. Refresh. Do the dishes, come back to phone. Refresh. Lights out, head on pillow. Refresh. Wake up in the morning, grab off of nightstand. Refresh.
The sick feeling I had towards my phone grew and grew. So when I wrote those five letters on the right hand side of the page I knew I needed to develop a plan to change our relationship with one another.
If it weren't for the handful of applications on my phone I felt add to my life in positive ways, I would have dumped the whole hunk of metal all together.
1. First and foremost, I need my kids to have immediate access to me day or night.
2. The calendar
3. My Fitness Pal
5. Safari when I’m out and about and need to research something
In order to use the phone for the good and not the bad I created a plan to change its role in my life.
Alarm clock. I purchased an independent alarm clock. This involved research and running to four different stores to find one that offered soothing wake up sounds and was not dependent upon my phone. I purchased this one and I love it!! http://www.amazon.com/Sony-ICFC1PJ-Alarm-Clock-Radio/dp/B00IEYHMPK
Facebook. I deleted the app from my phone. I only check Facebook once a night from my laptop. I love Facebook for keeping me updated on friends and family. I still thrive on the emotional support I receive from friends and family through Facebook. The change from constantly looking at my phone to only using Facebook in the evenings from my laptop has felt awesome!
Its home. I no longer bring my phone with me to the bedroom. It lives in our family room. I can’t stress enough how liberating it has been to not check my phone right before bed and first thing in the morning when I wake up. In fact, I almost forgot to grab it the other day before work.
Driving. I know you all will cringe. I didn’t check it while I was driving, but I would grab it at stop lights and sometimes be one of those annoying people who didn’t notice the light turned green. It's now locked in the glove box or safely tucked away in my purse.
I cannot adequately describe the positive impact it has had on my physical and emotional state to change my relationship with this one little device. I feel like I’m living life in the present and not living it through a cold, rectangle, metal box.