Disconnect In Order to Truly Connect [Bringing Balance Back Series]

Bringing Balance Back will be a monthly series on Diehard Foodie, by Kat Beck. Kat is my sister, best friend, role model and go-to expert for all healthy living outside of nutrition. We work together to support and better each other. I give her advice on healthy eating, and she gives me so much advice on other aspects of healthy living (that I sometimes neglect!) My hope is she will become your guru on these aspects, and bring more balance in your life as well. Is it just me, or does anyone else get overwhelmed with the amount of screen-time in your daily life? Whether it's my phone, the computer or the television, I feel like there's too much time spent staring at screens in our current culture.

My iPhone has become a boredom cure. I've also realized that with the availability of a search engine, phone, internet, iPod, and camera in my hand at all times has totally reduced my attention span. If I am stuck at stoplight- I check my phone. If I am road tripping as a passenger- I spend half the time on my phone.  Waiting in line at the grocery store- guess I'll check Instagram.  Wanting a distraction while eating- let's scroll through Facebook.

Last month I spent a solid 5 days without using my phone for the internet. I texted only with my family and used it as a music and camera device very occasionally.  I was in the woods in an amazing lake house with friends for 2 days and the other 3 days were spent at home and on the road. This phone-free time brought about a lot of awareness; I kept catching myself habitually going to my phone for a "fix." It felt impulsive and I didn't like that. I kept thinking about what we used to do pre-iPhone days. Did I spend more time having conversations with people? Did I go outside more? Did I actually think about a question before googling it? It didn't take long to realize how FREE I felt without my phone and how much I liked living like it was 2000.

Each of us is unique and intuitively we all know how much of anything we can handle. As a highly sensitive person, the more time I spend on screens of any type, the more stressed I feel. The more time I dedicate to disconnecting from the internet, the more connected I feel to everyone in my life and the earth.

I have to say this while I am on the subject: doing anything on your phone while driving is VERY irresponsible (duh). I have been guilty of this, but I am taking conscious action to STOP myself and I am asking others to do so as well.  Do we really need to risk our lives to send that text? Are we becoming so selfish that we risk killing others to check our newsfeed while driving?

I have begun actually enjoying my time on Instagram, Facebook etc. more since implementing these little tricks:

  • No Facebook app on my phone (I can check on my computer when I make time for it)

  • No notifications for all social media apps (I'm a little OCD about having no red notifications anyways)

  • I put all the social media apps on the last page of my iPhone (So I really have to choose to go there)

  • I stopped following people/accounts who promote negativity in any way whatsoever.

I know I sound like a hippy,  but I truly believe we could all benefit from reducing mindless interactions on the internet and increasing time spent in nature.

Namaste Y'all,