Unplug & Recharge//

Comedian Jenny Mollen On Scrolling Vs. Sex and Knowing When It’s Time to Unplug

Mollen joined Arianna Huffington and Marina Khidekel to discuss Thrive’s first book and how to set real boundaries with your phone.

Comedian Jenny Mollen joined Thrive founder and CEO Arianna Huffington and head of content development Marina Khidekel at the launch day event for Your Time to Thrive, which combines science, storytelling, ancient wisdom, and practical advice to help readers improve their health, happiness, and sense of purpose  through small, science-backed Microsteps. In the one-hour virtual discussion, the three shared actionable ways to unplug before bed, their favorite strategies for recharging — and yes, their challenges when it comes to disconnecting from technology and getting essential sleep.

They were also joined by Thrive’s chief training officer Joey Hubbard, who led a mini workshop with actionable takeaways and plenty of Microsteps to help you sleep better and unplug. (There’s still time to register for one of our upcoming book events here!)

If you couldn’t make the event, here are some of the standout takeaways from the discussion:

Arianna on the power of box breathing:

“There are many Microsteps about breath in the book, and my favorite is box breathing. Navy seals do it. In times of extreme stress and pressure, practice box breathing — which is very simple. You inhale to the count of four, pause to the count of four, and exhale to the count of four. And if you can’t sleep, or you’re stressed, or you’re about to shout at your children or your husband, try box breathing.”

Arianna on the Microstep that helps her unwind:

“My favorite Microstep is picking a time at the end of the day that you declare the end of your working day. You mark this through the small ritual of turning off your phone and charging it outside your bedroom. This may seem too big to do seven days a week, so start with one night. Pick a night when you start the Microstep. And charging your phone outside your room has a huge impact on how you can begin to unwind, surrender to sleep, and truly wake up recharged… That’s been a game-changer for me.”

Arianna on her treadmill TV rule:

“I made this agreement with myself that I cannot watch my favorite shows — I cannot binge watch them — except on my treadmill. When I was watching Bridgerton and I got totally engaged, I ended up spending two and a half hours on a Saturday on my treadmill because I wanted to get to the end.”

Marina on the power of starting small:

“Microsteps are small little steps that give you something to celebrate every day. You can say ‘At least I did this.’ If I didn’t do anything else for my mental and physical well-being, at least I did my Microstep. And you can’t do them wrong. Even if you forget to do it one day, you can do it the next day… There’s nothing wrong with aiming big, but you can help yourself with starting small — that’s the whole idea.”

Marina on the tip that helps improve her sleep:

“I used to have trouble winding down from the day. You can’t just go to sleep when your head hits the pillow. So I’ve started setting an alarm for half an hour before I want to go to sleep –– before I even go into bed, to wind down. Otherwise, I’ll forget and then I look up at the clock and it’s however late… Setting that alarm for me has really helped. It’s a mental shift where I know this is my time to wind down.”

Marina on pausing before scrolling in the morning:

“I used to check my phone in the morning right when I opened my eyes, and I hated the feeling that I got. I felt anxious, and so I challenged myself to just take one minute in the morning between waking up and checking my phone. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it really helped eliminate this anxiety spike I felt when I checked my phone first thing. I realized that when you look at your phone first thing, you’re focusing on what other people want from you, or what inspires others, or the scary news headlines of the day, rather than what you want from your day. So now I just take that one minute and I either set an intention for the day, do box breathing, or drink a glass of water.”

Jenny on how our phones intrude on our relationships:

“Once you’ve been married as long as we have, scrolling is almost better than sex. Being on your phone is more exciting, because you never know who you’re gonna stumble upon… I feel like there is this third party that sort of hovers about. When you’re making dinner, it’s there. When you’re eating dinner, it’s there.”

Jenny on setting boundaries with social media:

“A lot of us have built careers based on feeding this bottomless pit, this insatiable force that no matter how much you give, social media always wants more. It’s never going to be enough. So it’s about striking this balance of admitting that this device sort of made me, but how do I reclaim my own life and not get sucked into it completely where I’m a slave to Instagram?”

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