“I’ll browse Instagram for 10 minutes and then go to sleep”, I’d tell myself.
30 minutes (and sometimes 1 hour) would usually go by without me noticing. Trapped in an Instagram rabbit hole again. When I finally got the courage to switch off my phone, my brain was so over stimulated I couldn’t fall asleep…
That was me every evening. I’m sure you can relate.
This year I decided to stop that so challenged myself to a new year’s tech resolution: I would leave my phone outside of my bedroom every evening. They say “out of sight, out of mind”, right?
The idea of not having my phone right by my side seemed a bit daunting – I’m not gonna to lie. Firstly, because I use my phone as my alarm o-clock, and secondly because checking my phone at night was kind of a ritual.
I figured I’d transition smoothly instead of going cold-turkey. The first few days I set my phone on airplane mode and left it on my bed side table. Then I started to switch it off completely (still sitting next to me). A few days later I designated a “bed” for my phone in the living room and officially put it to sleep outside of my bedroom.
At first, I missed it. But that didn’t last long.
During this first month sans phone in my bedroom, I started to experience such positive changes that I don’t think I’ll ever go back to sleeping with my phone by my side like I used to.
I fall asleep faster
The first thing I noticed when I started this experiment is that I fell asleep faster and felt more relaxed. I realized my habit of using my phone to unwind was causing more stress than relaxation. Without the scrolling, I was able to quiet my mind much more easily.
I read more
I usually crave some sort of entertainment to wind down and ever since leaving my phone outside my room, I find myself picking up a book every evening and making real progress. Gosh, how I missed reading a good book at night! I’m currently enjoying this book called Thinking, Fast and Slow.
Surprisingly, my mornings are more relaxing
Instead of spending an extra 15 minutes in bed scrolling through all social media channels, now I get up faster and feel more inclined to do a morning stretch or meditation. Taking 5 minutes to set your intentions for the day is so special and makes such a big difference!
I have more (interesting) conversations with my partner
Even though he still has his phone in bed (I’m working on converting him though!), the fact that I don’t have my phone with me means that I’m either reading or starting a conversation with him haha. I find that we now tend to talk more: about the highlights of our day, our plans for the next day, or any random topic.
I’m less attached to my phone throughout the day
This came as a surprise, but I find myself reaching for my phone less during the day since starting this experiment. Probably my brain was like “wow, that’s refreshing!” and naturally craves for more offline time.
I highly encourage you to try this tonight if you can and see how you respond to it. If your excuse not to do it is “my phone is my alarm o’clock”, go get yourself a good old analog alarm clock and start tomorrow. Your mind will thank you for it, I promise!
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