At some point, everyone has felt completely overwhelmed. Things like work, school, friends, and family all add something unique to our lives and are super important, but sometimes it seems like all of these things combined work against us.
If you're anything like me, stress is a normal part of your day-to-day life. I'm a perfectionist, so I want to make sure that I do everything just right and make sure I fit as much as I possibly can in one day. A little while ago, however, I really began to notice the stress affecting me, emotionally and physically. I felt like I just couldn't get a break and that I was spreading myself too thin.
From helping friends deal with problems, keeping tabs on family, making sure I turn in my homework in time, and having enough energy to pour into those who care about me, I found myself feeling completely drained at the end of the day, and I had no idea how to fix it.
One day, I decided to turn off my phone for the entire day. I wouldn't offer anyone an explanation beforehand; I would just shut it off and see how I felt. It was a really last minute decision, but I just felt the need to get away from all the chaos around me.
As the day went on, I found myself reaching to check my phone out of habit, but when I remembered that it wasn't on, I would do something productive or simply sit there in silence and enjoy the fact that I had time for myself.
At the end of the day, I realized two things. The first being that next time, I'll probably tell my friends what I'm doing because they thought I had dropped off the face of the planet. The second, and most important, was that finding space for your thoughts is so important. A lot of times we focus so much on everything else, that our own thoughts seem nonexistent.
We get so absorbed in social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, and we often feel the need to respond to everyone right away, but doing this every day can cause a lot of unnecessary clutter in our lives.
Without even realizing it, we use our phones as partial "fillers" in our lives. What I mean by that is we pour so much of our energy into other people and other obligations, that we often feel like we don't have time to focus on ourselves. Some days, that's true, but most days we spend an hour here and an hour there aimlessly opening app after app on our phones as a way of relaxing and escaping the outside world.
Doing this, however, is the very opposite of what we need, and it isn't really that relaxing at all. Instead of picking up your phone when you have free time, try picking up a book, or go outside and enjoy the beauty of nature. Go for a drive, write in a journal, or go get coffee, but don't pick up your phone.
Realistically, we can't keep our phones off all day every day, even though some days I wish I could. However, taking a 1-2 hour break every day from your phone can easily be done and is often necessary.
Stepping away from your phone and shutting out the outside world will definitely feel weird at first because it's something everyone is used to, but just hang in there. Eventually, you'll look forward to that small break everyday.