I hate to admit it, but I am THAT mom. The hyperconnected one who tells her kids to put their phone down, and then turns around and mindlessly scrolls through Instagram while the water for the pasta boils. I realized my hyperconnectivity was taking a toll. I wasn’t present, and when I was, I was cranky and anxious. Worst of all I didn’t really know why. So, I decided to do a little experiment to see if it would help my mood. And, a little something is better than nothing. Here are three small things I did to help me disconnect from the digital world and tune into the real one.
BUT FIRST COFFEE!
I started doing this about two weeks ago, and it’s making my mornings stronger, and my coffee sweeter. I used to wake up and reach for my phone while still in bed. Now, I wait until I’ve had my coffee before I let the digital world and everything that’s brewing steep into my day. The positive posts and news from my friends brightened up my day for sure. But, the negative news made me want to hit snooze and sometimes not even the strongest coffee (or the entire pot) could pick me back up. So, now I wake up, stumble to the coffee maker, pour my cup and wake up at my own speed and grounded in my own thoughts.
I define my mood and my outlook for the day before I open the digital window. So no matter how sunny or shady it is–I’m ready to go! Drink your coffee, or sip on your tea, and make your own day!
DO SOMETHING NOVEL!
I’ve spent countless hours of screen time while waiting in the parent pick-up line at school, and while waiting for the girls to finish their dance classes (or whatever other activity they’re into at the time). Had I spent those hours writing, I would have probably written a short novel. Perhaps not a very good one, but still. Instead, I spent my time misadventuring down an unwonderful Instagram hole, lurking through Facebook comments and falling for clickbait.
My negative screen habits were taking a toll on my mood, giving me FOMO and making me apathetic to the awesomeness around me. So I ordered a book, and I promised myself that instead of reaching for my iPhone, I would reach for it. It wasn’t easy. I always reached for my iPhone first–until eventually, I didn’t. I started with Pride & Prejudice because it was my favorite novel and I finished it in less than a week. But, more importantly, I remembered how much I loved reading. My mood improved so much. It opened up my imagination and sense of hope. It made me less concerned about the online world and all of its baggage. And, I have a list of books that I can’t wait to devour.
Go ahead, order a book you love or one you’ve been meaning to read. Put it in your purse and reach for the novel instead of the phone!
SOCIAL HAPPY HOUR? YES, PLEASE!
I knew that I didn’t want to give up social media altogether. There are so many things about it that I love. It’s how I keep up with friends (how else would I know that my high school bestie had twins?), trends and even news. And did I mention that #transformationtuesday and #throwbackthursdays are my guilty pleasure? But during the last month or so, I have tried to be more purposeful when I plug into social media, because I don’t do it in the morning or when I have breaks in the middle of the day. Now, I make a daily social media appointment. Depending on my day, I scroll through Instagram, check on my friends on Facebook and go to my favorite sites while unwinding with Bread & Butter, my favorite California pinot noir.
On Saturdays, I’ll do my social media hour with a warm cappuccino in hand. This ritualistic approach makes the experience more relaxing and enjoyable. It actually makes being social a happy moment. And it’s less likely to affect my mood because I’m not thrusting it into the middle of my day. Plus, I no longer have anxiety because I saw something and was unable to respond or read the end of an article that I’m really into because I’m in the middle of something more important. It’s made me happier and given me peace of mind. So, find your social happy hour, and get social!
What I discovered in my little experiment is that sometimes I am THAT hyperconnected mom, and sometimes I am not. But, at least I try. And one day my girls may even take note and put their phones down. That makes it worth it!