I Tried To Spend An Entire Day Off My Phone And I Failed

I Tried To Spend An Entire Day Off My Phone And I Failed

To those who have been brave enough to break free of the chains of social media, I envy you.
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There is constant controversy surrounding the idea of whether or not social media is considered to be “healthy” for users. It is often considered to be rather addictive as our subconscious indirectly reminds us to check our phones for a notification every few minutes, even when we do not hear the ringer go off. Clearly, each of us is addicted to a social media app of one form or another, though the real challenge seems to be taking the time to separate ourselves from our electronic devices entirely.

I recently spoke to a few friends who decided they were going to conquer the said challenge of spending less time on apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. My first thought was that they had lost their minds, but the more I began to think about it, the more I began to question the benefits of reducing time spent online.

Studies have shown that people who spend lesser amounts of time on social media in a day are perceived as happier, less stressed out, and overall more self-secure.

As people around me not only began ignoring the notifications from these apps on their phones, but deleting them in their entirety, I felt an ounce of inspiration to do the same.

For one day, I decided that I was going to delete Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook from my phone, as well as respond to texts as little as possible. I had the overwhelming urge to discover whether or not I would be happier without my social media accounts, and if I truly needed to rely on them for information and entertainment as much as I thought I did.

It was safe to say that after a dreaded three hours of separation from my phone, all of my apps had been successfully restored and all of my text messages had been fully responded to. In reality, I do not believe I gave this study the proper amount of time to determine whether or not I felt happier without my social media. Truthfully, all I could seem to think about is what updates I may have been missing out on in the time I spent offline.

Although this challenge resulted in a failed attempt, I did come to the realization of how addictive electronics can be. Though I do not consider their usage to be harmful and do not see any blatant effects on my well-being, I believe it is important to take time away from the phone and engage in real-world activities that do well for the body and for the mind. If I exit my social media accounts for a few hours at a time, this addiction reminds me that there will always be new notifications to receive once I return.

Cover Image Credit: Chad Madden

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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4 Ways Clutter Is Negatively Affecting Your Health

Clutter affects your physical, emotional, and psychological health.

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If you're aware that your cluttered space is causing you stress and discomfort, it might be helpful to understand how and why clutter affects our health. When we clear our space we are more likely to feel at ease, relaxed, and tranquil. There is no better time to freshen your space than at the start of the new year when we are already setting new intentions and re-assessing goals and putting new ideas into motion.

1. Clutter produces dust and exacerbates allergies

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Have you ever gone through your closet or bookshelf, only to see the visible layers of dust and dirt that were hidden behind your items? Clutter gives dust and other environmental fibers a place to accumulate. If you find yourself sneezing, coughing, or tired and fatigued in your space, it might be time to de-clutter - your itchy eyes will thank you!

2. Lack of organization in your belongings leads to stress and anxiety

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I know I'm not the only one who has had the experience of needing an item before running out the door, only to realize it wasn't where you left it...and now you need to tear apart your entire room looking for it. Sound familiar? Having too much clutter leads to a disorganized space that provokes anxiety and stress and can have a strong, negative impact on your day to day life. Whoever came up with, "a place for everything and everything in its place" was definitely onto something.

3. Clutter puts your nervous system in overdrive

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Cluttered environments are taxing on the nervous system. The sensory overload prevents us from being able to relax and rest, and keeps us activated in our sympathetic nervous system, AKA "fight or flight". This means we're more likely to be on edge and hyper-aware than calm and relax when at home.

4. Living in a cluttered space impacts your mood and self-esteem

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Our brains thrive off of order and organization. When things are disordered and chaotic around us, it's natural to feel irritable and frustrated in response, lowering mood and reducing our self-esteem and self-worth. Rather than thinking about the things you want to get rid of when de-cluttering, focus on what things you want to keep and what you want to have in your immediate environment.

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