Find electronic balance with the beautiful IRL (in real life) world around you
We have been mostly an electronic free household for many years now. My youngest, Vonn, was memorized recently with a microwave in our hotel room and I realized he has never seen one used. And while this approach may border on an Amish-like existence for some, I promise you, it doesn't feel like the dark ages. My childhood in Vermont was minimalist by nature; and that "in the moment" approach to me is so important to pass down to my children. Our eldest, Violet, is now 12 and I can report she is still functioning without a cell phone, ipad, or any other screen. This is a picture of my three kiddos in an electronic free "meditation space" created in our home where they can play for hours with just their beautiful imagination
I am aware, as I type this blog from my laptop, that a healthy relationship with electronics is certainly possible. And if completely detoxing from your favorite smart device does not sound appealing; here are some of my "gut checks" to maintain electronic balance with the beautiful IRL (in real life) world around us.
- the day does not begin or end with an electronic...ever! The easiest way to do this is to not share a bedroom with your phone and do not use any device as an alarm clock. I find small alternative activities like meditation, reading a book, cuddling in bed, and stretching allows self-guiding focus on positivity before going down the rabbit hole of Instagram stories or checking email. Allowing YOU to set the tone for how your day begins will be one of the most significant tools for lessening anxiety, setting positive goals (and achieving them) and guiding you down a path that is aligned to your own "likes" not someone elses
- challenge yourself to put the phone down for the moments that take your breath away, make you smile, and never want to forget. This one has been challenging for me because I never want to forget or “miss” anything. After the passing of my older brother, a few years ago, I felt like I needed to hold tight to every single second I spent with my family. Putting my phone down has allowed me to actually experience these moments, I may not remember them as time passes, but I experienced them. So that means, you watch your daughter's ballet recital with phone in pocket, go on a date and savour the food without tagging the restaurant, and simply take a mental photo while watching the sunset.
- zero notifications. I dictate the times I use my phone versus allowing a constant barrage of beeps and noises obligating me to the screen.
- create a "screen-free" space in your home where natural light and relaxation is abundant. We added a meditation bed, lots of big cushions, books, old photo albums and art supplies in our little nook. And if you are tight on space, simply setting aside a corner of your living room is a great start.