Whats the last thing you do before bed?
Just quickly check those emails, have a quick peak at your calendar to remind yourself of what tomorrow's schedule looks like... or as you pick up the phone to set the alarm, you 'just' take a moment to scroll social media...
That 'just a quick peak' soon becomes 20mins, 40mins, or even an hours. I soon started to realise my calendar, my business and life was on my phone...
Does this position and picture look and feel familiar...?
Have you ever checked the amount of time you are on you phone, online, on devices... ?
Its actually quite scary! I am talking from experience... and I am personally working on this. so I know the challenge when everything we do and need is on our smart phones, from our alarm, calendar, notes, emails, pictures and memories, online classes, shopping (food, clothes, and gifts)... it's even where and how we book appointments to go see the Physio, or the Doctor to find out why we have neck or back pain, or we are unable to sleep at night...
See where I am going with this... ?
The picture above says it all and like I said, I am talking from experience.
Everything is online and everything is in our phone, tablet... we even read books on devices now!
That I have to say I don't do, nothing beats a real book for me, the smell of and feel of a book when you pick up your favourite read. The whole experience... it feels like a real treat, on the other hand, a 'luxury' to have time to read!
We even socialise differently...
In person and online...
As a result of all this technology and to be fair, the pandemic hasn't helped either... we are constantly 'plugged in' to something!
Affecting our eyes (...again, I am talking from experience!), our posture, our general health and wellbeing and our sleep.
If we are constantly on the go all day, rushing from here to there, juggling a million things, then checking your devices on breaks, during lunch and just before bed... how on earth do we expect our bodies to know when and how to switch off?
I am as guilty as the next person, so I'm not sitting here all 'smug' and saying I don't check my phone before bed, scroll through social while eating lunch... but when I started measuring the amount of time I used my phone and 8hrs+ came up, I nearly fell off my chair!!
Thats when I put my phone down... and cried! I didn't and couldn't believe this, I still don't. Especially running my own business and wishing I had more time and wondering where all the time goes...
I am surprised my finger pads haven't worn out! What was I doing and how could I be on my phone for over 8 hours a day... thats a full working day?
From this moment on I became very aware and conscious each time I picked up my phone. From that 'social post' I just have to do first thing, to catch the 'peak time'... before everyone goes to work. To checking the weather or surf report for that day. I soon started to realise my calendar, my business and life was on my phone...
The two biggest things that came out of this was how it was affecting my sleep and that I never really stopped! I wanted that time back to do the things that I didn't have time to do... and no longer wanted my phone on my bedside table, or with me during my lunch break or on that afternoon stroll. I wanted to unplug!
It turns out it wasn't all social media and aimless scrolling, you'll be glad to hear. There were calls as well ('yes' phones calls, what phones were originally designed fo hey?!!!). However I started to notice other things like the positions I was in when on my phone...
Ah! That'll be why my neck hurts and lower back is starting to ache... or I've been to the opticians twice during this past 18months!
Becoming more aware of the use of my phone, also drew my attention to others around me, when walking around town, out for dinner...
So many people were glued to their devices (literally) and it really started to concern me that the younger generation, were walking around like zombies... how were they not bumping into things?
We are becoming addicted to our devices... and becoming more detached from the outside world, less social and the younger generation and experiencing more and more anxiety and stress related disorders.
Our other devices in our house, from lighting to music, alarms and door bells, can now be controlled from our phones... is there anything we can't do with and on our phones?
It started to really concern me how these smart devices are becoming something we couldn't leave the house without, like our keys... but in fact I forgot my keys a few times, although not my phone though!!
So I decided to make a conscious effort to change this habit and how much I relied on my smart phone. Starting with my evenings and mornings.
1. I started creating social posts in the day and scheduling them for the morning or evening.
2. I banned my phone from my bedroom (poor thing...) and left it outside the door, or the next room, to avoid temptation before bed.
3. I set a time to put my phone on DND (do not disturb), as well as 'social media' time slots and set my alarm earlier in the day on the days it changed from the normal schedule, to avoid the temptation during dinner or before bed to check 'that one thing quickly' (that I knew would lead to a 'quick scroll' and 20-40mins later realising I have been aimless scrolling in a back hole of social and the internet...)
4. I used my phone standing or at the desk sat upright with the phone raised, to avoid hanging my neck, crunching in awquad positions. Which also helped me to be more aware of when I was on it.
5. I stopped replying instantly to people - whether that was emails, social media or messages.
6. I wrote my 'to do list' & calendar on a note pad instead on in my phone
7. I didn't pick up my phone until after my cup of tea, breakfast and shower...
These few adjustments and...
My sleep started to improve, I felt more relaxed and not over stimulated before bed
I started getting back into reading (real books) and switching off the TV during dinner, eating more mindfully and chatting about 'life' and giggling with my partner.
My mornings were so much more enjoyable... watching sunrises and enjoying a cuppa on the balcony or meditating, reading or just having a 'morning stare' (they're the best aren't they!)
My neck ache reduced...
My eyes felt better (although I think the damage has been done!)
The automatic urge to pick up the phone stopped and I actually found more time to... go for a walk, meditate, go for an early morning ocean swim, do a quick stretch or study a little. I felt less anxious overall and more calmer in the morning
We live in a world that is already very over stimulating and our brains never switch off... and as a result our Sleep is being affected. Our nervous systems are being affected, our posture and our physical and mental health and wellbeing too.
Sleeping well is such an essential part of our well being and health and a good nights sleep supports our immune system, mind and heart. We need rest in this already busy world to restore our mind, body and soul.
When we sleep our bodies recharge, cleanse and repair. During sleep we unwind and reverse the effects of the busy day... our brains process thoughts and memories and a whole network of things happen in our bodies when we sleep. We nourish our cells and our souls.
Lack of sleep including the quality of sleep can lead to lots of common health issues and here's an interesting article about Sleep Deprivation and it's affects on health: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307334#_noHeaderPrefixedContent
So why don't we sleep well...?
We are so overstimulated with technology these days, we live a very busy and ever-demanding life-style and who actually has 'enough time' these days to do anything...
This is why we need to create new habits and one of my focuses atm is the 'bedtime routine' and how we wind down at the end of a day. It is so very important that actually allow our bodies and mind to switch off from the day... to 'unplug'. If we are looking at emails, social media or any blue light... yes, including watching the tv, we are continuing to stimulate our brains and releasing chemicals within our bodies, that tell our nervous system to 'stay alert', we are constantly in 'fight or flight' mode and affecting all the natural rhythms within our bodies that tell our bodies it's time to sleep. We are keeping our minds active with to do lists, emails, blue light and general being 'active' in those last few hours before bed, no wonder we can't sleep... we are actively overriding the unwinding process... towards sleep. Re-wiring our brains and bodies and not in a healthy way.
Then we find ourselves needing stimulants like coffee and sugar during that day to stay awake... alcohol to unwind at the end of the day, all turning into a vicious cycle.
While I am not sleep expert I do know from experience and what I see around me that it is becoming more and more of a common issue in society and without sleep we can't function properly.
I like to refer to it as, "if you didn't charge your phone/devices they just don't work... so why do we think our mind and bodies will work properly if we don't re charge them?"
I offer relaxation and restorative yoga practices from breathing, gentle exercise and guided mediation (Yoga Nidra) to help bring balance and calm back into our lives and routines. I also run a Sleep Well Course based on these three pillars mentioned above... check out more here:
Enjoy the FREE Yoga Nidra on this page as well and try as part of your bedtime routine before you head to sleep and listen to this instead of scrolling through social media.
Get in touch for a chat about private or regular relaxation and restorative yoga practices to help calm the mind and body. There's lots of very simple and accessible techniques and practices available to help with things like sleep disorders, anxiety, or just a general feel of ovwehelm. I highly recommend the Sleep Well Course as a good introduction to three of the practices I often recommend to people.
Movement is medicine for the mind and body
Movement is medicine for the mind and body and doesn't have to be over-ally active, it can be seated, or laying down, so if you are anxious about exercise, see it as simply unravelling the body and tension built up and held in the body...
I invite you to come join me online for a weekly class (Tuesdays evenings are the best class for beginners, but all my classes beginners and regular practitioners are welcome and I offer options and variations for all) If new to me come and join me for free by using this FREE Yoga Class Pass: UNPLUG_OCT21
Book or check out all the online Yoga Classes, Retreats and Workshops I offer here:
Check out my Blog for some other FREE resources and Breathing Exercises, or bedtime routines for good nights Sleep:
Take care of your mind and body... it's your home your entire life xxx