Before our feet hit the ground, our hands reach over. No, not reaching for a loved one or to take a nice morning stretch. Hands are reaching for a phone. The day starts infused with the fear inducing news and the angry opinions of others. We’re hit, as soon as our eyes open with the latest tragedy or government moves. When did the choice to start the day fearful of impending doom become the ideal morning routine? I don’t say these things to judge, I say these things because I believe that we have gone on autopilot when it comes to social media. And in heightened times of political unrest, fear is injected to the masses in double doses from both mainstream media and social network outlets.
Unlock phone. Check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or whatever your platform of choice is. Before anything else gets done, a few of these will be peeked in on for any comments, likes or shares. It’s as if the phone automatically opens to social media pages, right? There were times that I’d find myself mindlessly scrolling. I don’t know what exactly I was expecting to find. Perhaps an important cat video that I’ve not yet seen? More likely to find something that solidifies the belief that the world is a fear filled place where the next shoe can come crashing down at any moment.
So many times when people say that they don’t have time to work on their passion projects, the time likely could be found by replacing the scroll. We are not even conscious of the amount of time that we are giving away unknowingly craving a dopamine hit caused from little blue thumbs. Sounds odd but here we are.
How can we stop the automatic reaction to having our smartphones constantly in our faces?
- Social Media Free Mornings – You deserve to have the first fifteen to sixty minutes of your day for you. Do anything but log on to any social media site. Meditate for 15 minutes, exercise, dance, read, do nothing but enjoy the silence. Once the day starts, it seldom slows down. If you are a caretaker this goes triple for you. Because typically, caretakers, put everyone’s needs above their own. Making yourself the focus for the start of the day sends you out in the world with more peace of mind than scrolling will.
- Stop Auto-Scrolling & Ask – If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling, stop. Ask yourself if this is serving you for good. If so great. If not, halt your thumbs! There is no treasure at the end of the scroll.There are probably things that you’d like more time to do. Schedule those activities in place of arguing with trolls who’s mind you’ll never change. If you are auto-scrolling, stop and ask if it is getting closer to your goals? Is it using time you could spend on something you really enjoy? Do more of that and less mindless scrolling.
- Social Media & News Breaks – Log out for twenty-four hours minimum a few times a month. Here goes some more of time! Include mainstream media into this break. No newspaper, evening news or radio news programs. Logging off is the new stay-cation. Feel your anger and stress melt away as you do something crazy like be in the moment or fully take in your surroundings. Have a conversation with someone in person. What is something you want to do just for fun? What’s your passion? Do that during your social media breaks.
Is there is a passion project you really want to finish but can’t seem to find the time? Use your scrolling time. That first fifteen to sixty minutes in the day can go towards you and/or your project. That hour and a half you scrolled, for no particular reason before dinner, could be spent on your project. Or use your scrolling time to meditate, read or do nothing instead of filling yourself full of FOMO or despair at world affairs. If you live enough life, you’ve likely had some type of unwanted experience/s. There is no need to outsource the gathering of negative fodder into our minds to start every day.
Think about what you want your goal for the day to be. It can be to take a guilt free day off. It can be to take a five minute regrouping break after each meeting. It can be ploughing through the top five on ye ole to do list. It can be practicing a new habit like noticing throughout the day what muscles can be released or stop negative self talk as soon as it begins. By not looking at our phones first thing in the morning, we get to set the trajectory of the day. Take back the power to start each day the way you decide instead of it being decided by someone else’s curated timeline.