11 tips to a more mindful relationship with your phone
This is one of my biggest challenges and I often find myself feeling addicted to my beloved iPhone. I've had times where I feel it's attached to me and I'd be completely lost without it and I'm sure many of you can relate. It’s what we use to call, text, email, check social media, get directions, check the bus time, read the news, listen to music, listen to podcasts and audio books, check the time, check the weather, the list goes on!
I'm also conscious it's a love hate relationship. We've somehow, unwillingly been ticked into this obligation to be constantly contactable. People assume we should answer the phone, messages and whats apps at all times. Everyone's phones are always on them and so we feel we must respond to everyone or else they may think we're ignoring them. Whats app tells the world when we're online, if we read a message, the other person knows, we're all in big group chats that can leave us with 79 unread messages at anytime. It's overwhelming and I for one feel that this is not what I signed up for.
Recently, I've been trying to have a more mindful relationship with my phone and so I thought I'd share my top tips.
1. Don't have any apps on the 1st page of you screen.
It's almost habitual to find ourselves unlock our phones without a reason, so I've found that if my home page doesn't have any apps that entice me or remind me that there are notifications, I'm more likely put it back down.
2. Use your notes page for journaling.
Ideally, we'd all be journaling in notebooks but this isn't always possible or practical. I've found it really helpful to write down anything that I'm feeling or thinking in my notes when out and about. I also write down any inspiration that comes to me, anything that has made me happy and I've enjoyed that day. I find giving my thoughts the attention of writing them down helps me feel with positive emotions more often and it helps me let go of negative ones by bringing them to the surface.
3. Use Airplane Mode.
This is a total game changer and I would really encourage everyone to do this. I started off doing this at night. 1 hour before I go to bed, I put my phone on airplane mode so as to switch off from social media, messages and emails and let my mind relax. This is likely to really improve your quality of sleep too.
My goal is not to sleep with my phone in the bedroom but I'm not there yet.
More recently, I also spend time each day with my phone on airplane mode especially when I'm reading or trying to relax.
4. Only check social media twice a day.
This is my new rule. I'm tired of finding myself mindlessly scrolling through social media.
If it makes you feel good to scroll through social media all the time, then great.
If it doesn't then I would encourage you to reassess your relationship with it. I'm going to check social media in the morning and the evening but I'm no longer going to check it every time I pick up my phone, which embarrassingly, has become second nature in recent years.
5. Download some mindfulness apps
I particularly love:
- Headspace - a meditation app
- Meditation Time - a gong which you set to go off when you finish meditating
6. Use the health setting to count your steps
Rather than investing in a fitbit, you can count your steps each day using the health app on your I phone. Aim for at least 10,000 steps a day!
7. Listen to podcasts and audio books
This is one of my favourite things to do, especially when out for a run or walking around London.
8. Download an app called Forest.
This app costs £1.99 but it's great for keeping you focused and off your phone if it's become an unconscious habit. When you use the app, it starts to grow a tree and each time you pick up your phone and start using it, you go back to square one and a new tree will begin growing.
9. Delete some social media apps and the daily mail app (if you have it!)
I've deleted twitter and snap chat from my phone as I know I was on a social media overkill. Next to go is facebook but I'm not ready yet. I also (embarrassingly) was daily mail obsessed for my celebrity news. I deleted the app in December, for obvious reasons and haven't missed it. The more of these pointless apps we have, the more we mindlessly scroll.
10. Pick up a book
One of my new years resolutions was, whenever I find myself scrolling through my phone to pick up a book and I'm feeling better already!
11. Don't connect to the wifi on the tube.
Smile at people, say hello to someone or read a book instead.