Make a Social Media Sabbath — Try to establish one day a week as your Social Media Sabbath, where you minimize or completely cut-off all social media use for the entire day. Although it may sound like a big deal, you’ll be surprised how quickly it will become your favorite day of the week. So much of the technology we occupy ourselves with are merely distractions. Instead of distracting yourself with social media, TV, movies, or video games, go out and spend quality time with the people you actually know and love. Otherwise, designate a time (ideally, each day) to turn off those screens and speak to your loved ones, face to face, with no agenda or competition. Taking time to truly be with your significant other is a great way to build your relationship and prevent the development of negative patterns and emotions. This process will also teach you to listen more carefully and accept criticism in a healthier way. I am not talking about a fancy ‘date night’ with a baby sitter. I am talking — for example — about scheduling a time when the kids are asleep, the screens are all off, and you can talk to each other without any distractions.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Caleb Backe (MBA). Caleb is a personal trainer, business aficionado, marketing expert, and health & wellness expert at Maple Holistics. Maple Holistics is a rising company dedicated to producing cruelty-free, sustainable, and natural personal care products. Growing up a passionate foodie and fitness maven, Caleb has been able to pursue both his professional and leisurely passions by working with Maple Holistics. In addition to his experience in physical and mental health, the newlywed Backe has been featured in countless online and print publications, including Livestrong, AskMen, Under Armour, Forbes, Huffington Post, and Business Insider.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your backstory?
I was born and raised in Riverdale, NY where I grew up playing sports on a daily basis. Rain or shine, nothing could stop me from those after-school games of stickball, basketball, and football. As I got older, this developed into an interest in fitness, which in turn, translated into a passion for nutrition. I wasn’t just drawn to the fun and games, I was attracted to the newfound energy levels and vitality that this lifestyle had to offer. I started to train my friends which ultimately led to referrals and a successful side hustle. Nevertheless, I wanted to learn more about health and fitness. Eventually, I spent a few years studying psychology, sociology, nutrition, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology so I could have a better grasp of the factors which make up human health and development. I was recruited to Maple Holistics by the CEO Nate Masterson, who happens to be a childhood friend of mine and former client. I now combine newly honed business acumen with a passion for natural health at Maple Holistics.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Before joining Maple Holistics, I was in the final stages of negotiations with a digital marketing firm in order to build a more contemporary career to support my family. While health, wellness and fitness are integral parts of my life, it was becoming increasingly difficult to put those passions to work in a full-time capacity given the competitive nature of the private training and nutrition scene. Maple Holistics and its hierarchy presented me with an opportunity to combine the best of both of these worlds in a way that I wouldn’t have thought possible. It was an easy decision to walk away from that other career opportunity to join Maple Holistics, where I now joyfully synthesize health and business on a daily basis.
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?
I’m working on two big projects now, one personal and one business. At Maple Holistics, we are currently working on bringing our products to store shelves across the world. Besides for increasing our market reach, we expect that collaborating with popular brick-and-mortar stores will have a significant impact for our brand recognition. Although we’re proud to be the leader of natural personal care on Amazon and in E-Commerce, we can’t ignore the companies that have been knocking at our door for some time. It’s time to stretch the legs of the company a bit and expand our reach.
Personally, I’m currently in the process of establishing a volunteer after-school fitness program for kids in my community. Besides for helping them stay out of trouble, it’s imperative to teach kids how to live healthy lifestyles while they’re still young. Likewise, a lot of these kids don’t have the resources or access to the proper equipment. I strongly believe that big changes need to start small, within our communities, if they have any chance at being successful. I was blessed with an aptitude for fitness and I feel that it’s my responsibility to impart my knowledge and experience to the next generation.
Between work and personal life, the average adult spends nearly 11 hours looking at a screen per day.
How does our increasing screen time affect our mental, physical, and emotional health?
Most of our content consumption these days is done via some form of screen. It isn’t news to most people that excessive staring at a blue-light emitting screen can be damaging to our eyes, but that doesn’t seem to stop anyone from doing it. In fact, there are probably the number one way we, as a society, are slowly harming our vision. Screens reflect an unnatural bright light which is harsh on the eyes. If you want to maintain your vision, it is a good idea to read off old-fashioned paper. Over-exposure to a monitor’s blue light could be harmful, especially in the long run and especially for kids and teens who are still in a developmental stage. Get a glare screen, purchase a desk lamp, and consider wearing computer glasses.
In addition to these physical effects, excessive screen-staring time can also cause a variety of psychological, emotional, and social complications. As humans have evolved, we’ve developed into social creatures. In fact, spending time with others is a crucial step in the development of a deeply-rooted and comprehensive set of ideals and the overall process of integration. Conversely, social isolation can have intense and earth-shattering consequences to both the mind and body. Contrary to popular belief, social media simply can’t replace genuine communication and connection. Our brain’s are so hardwired to this type of bonding that it is irreplaceable. Besides for impacting our immune system and neuroendocrine functioning, authentic socializing has the ability to significantly decrease the risks associated with morbidity and mortality. There’s no better proof of this than the fact that we are living in a world of unfathomable interconnectivity, yet depression and loneliness are rampant. But this is not merely a coincidence. It’s this very obsession with the social media culture that is detrimentally affecting our mental health and causing countless people to futilely search for meaning and self-worth through fleeting external mediums.
Can you share your top five ways people can improve mental wellness and create a healthy relationship with technology?
1. Refocus your tech time — Many of us rely on technology to fill time, and that’s okay. However, instead of mindlessly browsing the internet or watching meaningless programs, I recommend using this time more productively. TV shows are far too easy to binge watch, so opt for something more educational and informative. Many people praise technology for how accessible it’s made everything, but how much of that information is left untapped? You can still unwind and relax while watching videos but trying choosing a TED Talk instead of the latest ultimate fails compilation.
2. Teach kids how to use technology responsibly — For instance, getting a smartphone doesn’t require a specific age. Rather, it requires a level of maturity and responsibility which varies greatly. If up until now you shielded them from certain things, get ready for a serious paradigm shift. Your kids may think they know a lot, but it’s still up to you to keep an eye on what they do online. Be open and honest and know when to draw the line. If you are not going to do that, it may be time to wait. YOU, the parent, are the one who needs to be at the perfect age. It is you who needs to be ready to deal with internet, smartphones, and social media in your kids’ lives. The golden rule is: don’t do it if you are not ready to handle it. And yes, there will be a lot to handle. Because even though you are meant to let your kids run wild and free sometimes, you still need to possess the ability to control and maintain within that frame. It is within limitation that we acquire the most growth.
3. Make a Social Media Sabbath — Try to establish one day a week as your Social Media Sabbath, where you minimize or completely cut-off all social media use for the entire day. Although it may sound like a big deal, you’ll be surprised how quickly it will become your favorite day of the week. So much of the technology we occupy ourselves with are merely distractions. Instead of distracting yourself with social media, TV, movies, or video games, go out and spend quality time with the people you actually know and love. Otherwise, designate a time (ideally, each day) to turn off those screens and speak to your loved ones, face to face, with no agenda or competition. Taking time to truly be with your significant other is a great way to build your relationship and prevent the development of negative patterns and emotions. This process will also teach you to listen more carefully and accept criticism in a healthier way. I am not talking about a fancy ‘date night’ with a baby sitter. I am talking — for example — about scheduling a time when the kids are asleep, the screens are all off, and you can talk to each other without any distractions.
4. Make a pact — It’s never easy going it alone, so why not team up with a friend and help each other curb your tech usage and dependence. This simple yet effective method is a win-win situation for both parties. Naturally, you’re more likely to succeed when you have someone to check up on you and monitor your progress. On the other hand, you can work together now that you have someone to spend time with in the real-world.
5. Work on body image — Technology has had a huge impact on how we live our lives as well as directing or influencing our lifestyle choices. Likewise, if you’ve ever seen an advertisement and felt a bit inferior to the models, you can imagine what this could do to a person’s mindset over time. Even if you’re healthy, you may feel out place in terms of appearances compared to what you see in on TV, movies, and social media. Many people tend to forget that these images and videos may not portray the truth. They are often doctored or created to elicit specific feelings and desires.
Many people struggle with body image positivity which often results in anxiety and diminished confidence. Although this issue is typically rooted in a fear of not knowing how others perceive you, there are ways to improve your self-image and regain your confidence. Most people lack conviction and self-assurance, which makes confidence a hot commodity, highly sought after by the collective. Many people alleviate the stress of body positivity by eliminating the unknown and asking a trusted friend for one thing they like about your image and one thing which could use improvement. A reliable friend will be honest and know how to avoid hurting your feelings. Once you feel more confident in yourself, it will be exhibited outwardly by how you walk, talk, and go about your everyday life. Eventually, you’ll want to live in the now and minimize your social media and tech use as much as possible.
51% of Americans say they primarily use their smartphone for calls. With the number of robocalls increasing, what are ways people can limit interruptions from spam calls?
The easiest thing to do to avoid spam calls is to utilize your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” features. Many smartphones now allow you to prioritize your notifications so that you can preventunnecessary disturbances. For instance, you can set your phone to only alert you for calls from numbers in your contacts list or to even tighter specifications if need be.
Between social media distractions, messaging apps, and the fact that Americans receive 45.9 push notifications each day, Americans check their phones 80 times per day. How can people, especially younger generations, create a healthier relationship with social media?
Embrace solitude — The best way to overcome the destructive fixation with social media is to learn to embrace occasional solitude and introspection. Ideally, adolescents will learn to stop assessing themselves by the external, such as by measuring successes in superficial proportions such as Likes or follows on social media. Designated time away from screen is also a great way to build your relationship with yourself and to become a more mindful individual. Using this time appropriately can help you become more comfortable with yourself and your mind. Many people use screens to distract them from responsibilities and behavior. That being the case, it’s tremendously important for individuals to find alone-time, facilitate their own success, and ultimately develop a love for the self. These are the steps needed to approach life’s challenges with the proper attention and determination.
80% of smartphone users check their phones before they brush their teeth in the morning. What effect does starting the day this way have on people? Is there a better morning routine you suggest?
I’m a firm believer that this tendency to immediately check our phones after we wake up is part and parcel of a chaotic value system. Specifically, it lends itself to the development of misguided priorities and the underappreciation of what we have. However, it’s not just about counting your blessings, it’s more about having a reliable and consistent awareness of your thoughts, feelings, desires, needs, and goals.
I like to structure my mornings according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which clearly delineates the value of each of our needs and priorities. Maslow’s theory classifies these needs into three categories: Basic, Psychological, and Self-fulfillment. He explains that we have to meet our most basic needs (more or less) before moving on to higher needs. In practice, this means addressing your basic physiological and safety needs before anything. Eventually, you move up the hierarchy and can address more elaborate drives such as friendship, intimacy, self-esteem, and status. Ideally, each of these steps facilitates your overall growth as you reach for the ultimate goal of self-actualization, the stage where you become the best “you” you can be.
Can you please give us your favorite life lesson quote?
“The Pessimist Sees Difficulty In Every Opportunity. The Optimist Sees Opportunity In Every Difficulty.” — Winston Churchill
Life’s tough, and that’s a fact. The only questions that remain are how tough it will be and whether or not you will use this difficulty as an excuse for mediocrity. There’s a reason why we like to root for the underdog. We can all appreciate the value of a struggle and the inherent importance of rising above adversity. That which comes easy is rarely cherished, but that which requires hard work and perseverance, now that’s a treasure.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Imagine you have 100 people in front of you, each prescribed medication from their doctor. Now suppose that ⅓ of them never even fill the prescription, while ½ of them fail to take their medicine as prescribed. This is the unfortunate and unacceptable truth of medical non-adherence in America, which costs taxpayers nearly $300 billion a year and causes over 125,000 deaths annually. Even more disturbing, is that studies show, we are better at filling and properly administering prescriptions to our dogs and cats than to ourselves.
Friedrich Nietzsche poignantly noted, “He whose life has a why can bear almost any how”. I believe this is the key to solving the crisis of medical non-compliance worldwide. It is our duty to strengthen the individual so that self-motivation, determination, and responsibility become the default modus operandi. In other words, people have to begin treating themselves as if they were someone they are responsible for, so that they can be dedicated to what is in their best interest. There has to be discipline and care, so they are better equipped to handle the challenges of Life.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
All of my thoughts and feelings will be delivered to the public shortly via the Maple Holistics Twitter account! Twitter.com/MapleHolistics, be on the lookout for #backtobacke!