Healthy Mobile Phone Habits
I have a question for you to ponder – do you think you’re addicted to your mobile phone?
I know I do and I know it’s not great for my overall wellbeing.
I rely on my phone to run my business, keep a running list of shopping lists and to-dos, scheduling appointments, connecting with friends, booking train tickets, I even use it to control my lights at home! (I have the Hive system).
And if I’m being honest, I often feel like I am constantly connected to my phone, plus I very rarely use it to actually make a call!
Maybe you can relate?
Putting your mobile down more often is good for your health in so many ways. It helps to reduce stress and anxiety that stem from constantly being connected to email and social media, improves sleep quality, and lessens the strain we put on our necks and backs from long periods of time spent looking downward.
And by reaching for our phones less often, we also get to spend more meaningful one-on-one time with those we gather with — an important part of being able to find joy and abundance in life.
So this month in The Lifetonic Club we’re going to focus on the health benefits of reducing our phone use.
Because we rely on our phones to help us with so many things in our lives, it’s very easy to pick them up even when we don’t have anything specific to check or do. For example, I find often find myself scrolling through instagram when I am standing at the bus stop – twice I’ve been so checked out of my mind, that I’ve actually missed the bus which has made me late and angry for no reason!
If you’re up for joining me in the attempt to spend less time on our phones this month, I’m suggesting a few strategies to help you:
- Use the Screen Time function (for iPhone users) or Digital Wellbeing function (for Android users) to get an idea of how much you use your phone. Then, set time limits for specific apps. Just by setting this up and giving it a try, you can see how often you open certain apps on your phone and start to be more mindful of how you use them. For the apps that you spend the most time on, consider this question: how is this app improving and supporting my wellbeing?
- Set a few “down times” during the day when you can put your phone in another room. This will help you to be present throughout the day and reduce distractions that might affect the quality time you spend with others or on certain activities. I like to use the Down Time function on my iPhone to make certain apps inaccessible during specific days or windows of time.
- Use the time you could be scrolling to do something for yourself! Read a book for 15 minutes, get down on your mat for a quick Pilates workout, or simply go for a walk.
- Sign out of the apps that lead to you falling down a rabbit whole. This can help create a barrier between you and the app as you then have to log in to use it. You may be more inclined to think about whether or not you really want to spend your time on your phone or doing something else?
You might try one or two of these ideas each week in June to see how well they work for you. The idea is to get more mindful about how you use your phone.
Want to go one step further? Then I invite you to join me in a very simple challenge for the month:
CHALLENGE: Take a 24 hour ‘digital sabbatical.’ That means you actively turn your phone off for the whole day. And please only do this challenge if you do not rely on your phone for emergency contact things!
It may seem like quite the stretch but having tried it, I can reassure you that it can be transformational for your wellbeing.
If you do decide to give this a try, take a note each week of the thoughts, behaviours and feelings you have towards your 24 hour digital sabbatical. No judgement here. Just observations.
I’ve consciously used my phone a lot less since January and it has had a real positive impact on my wellbeing – my concentration has improved, so has my productivity, and my patience (does anyone else get unreasonably annoyed by the constant ‘bing’ of a what’s app message?).
It’s also helped to improve my mindset around not comparing myself to others (which I can often do on social media).
But the surprising revelation is how much money it’s saved me on my bill each month! With the cost of living rapidly rising in the UK, I’m seeing this an unexpected and very welcome WIN!
I’ll sign off by saying that, if you find reducing your mobile phone use to be a real challenge, here are a few resources to help your mindset towards this month’s Lifetonic: .
The New York Times recently wrote this article about how putting your phone down can actually increase your life expectancy!
Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport is a good read if you want to go deeper on this month’s Lifetonic.
Courtney Carver’s 8 little tricks to spend less time on your phone are great suggestions with some novel things in there too (like 6 and 7!).
All food for food!
Start small folks and remember this is not about giving yourself a hard time! Even if you just become more mindful towards how you use your phone, you’re doing something good for your health 😊
Make a note of your progress and the results you see from taking part in this month’s Lifetonic.
- How much time are you able to get back?
- Do you feel less stress?
- Are you able to be more present in your own life and when in the presence of others?
Share your thoughts, learnings and views in our Private Facebook Community Group.
I’m looking forward to working together on this month’s health mission!