(A Monthly Challenge is the introduction of a specific change that you would like to make in your life for the purpose of gaining a healthier lifestyle. These changes may be to add a healthy habit, or to get rid of an unhealthy one. I will be suggesting a number of Challenges throughout the year and you can choose which ones you would like to take on. The goal is to live happier and healthier lives.)
As you can imagine, being device free might be tricky in this day and age, but I gaurantee, you will feel a bit lighter when you control “it” and “it” doesn’t control you! If the amount of time you feel captive to your smart phone is starting to stress you out, then maybe its time for a change.
Having the world at your fingertips isn’t all its cracked up to be. It is nice having immediate answers and connecting with whomever you need to at a moments notice, however, that means you can be at everyones beck and call 24 hours a day if you aren’t careful! Emails, texts, social media, and alerts that bing every time someone says, does or posts something, all in your handy-dandy little smart phone that is so accessible and transportable. You never leave home without it. Rarely shut it off. In fact, you panic a little if your charge displays 20% power left. Hmmm. Maybe its time to take a reality check and challenge yourself to not rely on your smart phone so much (or computer/laptop/tablet).
This month, I Challenge you to create a Device-Free-Zone. Start off with just 15 minutes the first week. Pick any time. Be deliberate in choosing a time. Perhaps its the most overwhelming time of day, or when you are feeling tired after lunchtime. For me, its after the kids come home from school. There is a lot going on and when my attention is taken away from the chaos to answer a text, it can snowball and I feel even more crazy! So, I may start my Challenge from 3pm to 3:15pm. The following week, I will extend the Device-Free-Zone time to 30 minutes. Working my way to a whole hour without being a slave to my phone. Whew. That sounds lovely.
What time of day seems the most chaotic for you? When do you think you can realistically give yourself 15 minutes of peace away from your device? First thing in the morning, when all you want to do is enjoy your cup of coffee instead of catching up on emails? Last thing at night when perhaps escaping into a couple of chapters of that great novel would be more relaxing than catching up on Facebook? Think about it. Start with 15 minutes. Add an extra 15 minutes every week. Aim for an hour by the end of 30 days. Or perhaps, four 15 minute spurts of Device-Free-Zone times works best for you. If this is a Challenge that speaks to you….then get started!
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Kirsten Hammond is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Evolutions Massage Therapy Clinic- Saanich, BC & Sidney, BC & Brentwood Bay, BC