Let’s be brutally honest here, unplugging from technology is damn near impossible in this day and age. At least to completely unplug it is.
If anyone understands how difficult it is to shut down, it’s a mom who runs her entire business from a phone. I own a business where I manage social media accounts for other business owners. I do 99% of that work from home. I’m also a blogger who is connected to her social media ALL. THE. TIME. Trust me, it’s hard to set the phone down. Let’s be real here, even if you don’t run your business from a phone, many of us find at least 10 minutes several times a day to scroll mindlessly through social media.
A few weeks ago that all changed for me. I was outside playing with my kids and I set my phone down on the back of our minivan. I completely forgot my phone was there when I left that afternoon to take my daughter to preschool. I noticed my phone wasn’t in my car, but I figured I left it at home and would get it upon my return.
When I got back, I was able to “ping” my phone from my Apple Watch and found it outside in the middle of our street run over by a car and completely shattered beyond use. Fear, anxiety, nausea, frustration… and a little liberation. All of these feelings hit me at once.
I immediately put a plan into action to get another phone and let my clients know I would be out of commission for a few days. A few days turned into almost an entire week, and the truth is…. I absolutely loved it!
Yes, I was still able to run my business from my computer and iPad. Yes, I was still able to answer emails and texts from my laptop. So I wasn’t completely disconnected, but I did not have the accessibility and ease of simply picking up my smartphone to do all of these tasks any time I wanted.
Here are 5 things I learned from Unplugging as a Busy Mom:
- It’s easier than you think. I know you’re thinking of calling me on bullsh*t here. But hear me out. I didn’t have access to my phone because of a catastrophic event (first world problems). It doesn’t have to be that drastic for you. You can unplug by shutting your phone completely down, run errands or take walks without your phone, put your phone on silent in another room, charge your phone overnight in a different room than where you sleep. I know it sounds scarier than it is, but trust me… you can do it!
- It was so freeing. Liberating, I tell you. To not have the constant dings and notification pop ups was amazing. I felt happier, and honestly seemed to enjoy life a lot more.
- I slept better. I didn’t have my phone nearby to scroll through before bed, and I also didn’t have the temptation to check it when I woke up in the middle of the night. Before bed, I read with the kids and if I woke up in the middle of the night (I’m pregnant, so it happens frequently) I tried to fall back to sleep instead of checking what time it is and then falling down a rabbit hole of social media notifications and emails.
- My stress level decreased. I didn’t have the anxiety of constantly checking my notifications. I checked my emails a few times a day, not a few times an hour like I normally do when fully connected.
- I was present. I actually enjoyed my kids more. Yikes. That’s a tough pill to swallow. But I noticed I wasn’t getting as frustrated with them because they were not fighting with my smartphone for my attention.
Here’s how you can Put Your Phone Down (without breaking it):
- Shut it off. That’s right, shut down your phone when it’s an appropriate time. Just turn the darn thing off! I recommend still having access to emails and texts, via Smart Watch or computer in case of an emergency… but shutting it down is such a liberating experience.
- Charge it in another room at night. Again, so it cuts down the temptations.
- Give yourself parameters. I understand how addicting it is to scroll through Instagram perhaps more than the average Joe. But I now give myself allotted times when I can scroll and do my social media work, and when I completely disconnect. I am connected in the mornings before the kids wake up, but once they are up and breakfast is cooking, I shut it back down. I also shut down when we are at the park or running errands. Sure, I’ll have the phone handy if necessary, but a lot of times I will leave it in the car while we’re out. Lastly, I shut down for dinner from the hours of 5-8 PM. This is precious family time for us, so I want to be fully present!
I hope this article was somewhat helpful for you. Trust me, I’ve heard people talk about unplugging and scoffed at the thought, thinking it was something I could NEVER do… but I am here to tell you it is possible! For anyone, in any life situation.
Do you shut down from technology? If so, how and when? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!