7 Ways to Quit Your Cell Phone Addiction
Some devices just don’t belong in the bedroom. Yet most of us bring them in. In fact, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been guilty of giving more attention to my iPhone than to my husband. Have you been reading your messages or emails while your hubby was talking? Or chosen Facebook over sex? Have you fallen into the trap of checking your emails or social media accounts just before you sleep and as soon as you open your eyes? If so, It’s time for a breakup. Preferably, not with your partner!
I’m well acquainted with the iPhone/iPad addiction. I used to check my phone at the park with my son, or while “talking” to my husband, or every morning before getting out of bed. I used to jump every time I heard one of those notification beeps. I’m not quite sure what I thought was so important that it needed my urgent attention. Actually, I didn’t think. It was an automatic, hardwired reaction. Every spare moment felt like an “opportunity” to check one of my accounts for an update. I was permanently connected.
Just remembering that feels exhausting. My brain at the time sounded a bit like a full pot of popcorn on the stove. Kernels of business ideas, work tasks, to-do items, pending projects, bills to pay, activities to organise, play dates to plan, day care to research would all pop away madly in my mind. It was deafening.
If you’ve been part of my community for a while, you’ll know that the addiction ended badly. I ended up stuck in bed with a nasty case of pneumonia, adrenal fatigue and hand, foot and mouth disease from my son.
Thus began my journey into trying to master what I considered some of the fundamentals I’d need as a working mum. Productivity and mindfulness were top on my list, and clearly an iPhone addiction didn’t feature highly in either. It was time to quit.
I’d like to say I was like the iPhone addiction equivalent of a former smoker-turned-devout and preaching anti-smoker who can’t stand the smell near them. But that’s not me. I’m more the type who gets tempted each time they have a wine or a coffee, yet, in general, abstains.
I need clear boundaries and rules to keep me in line. If you have a slight – or serious – iPhone/ iPad addiction, here are some steps that could help:
- Create a zero tolerance policy about inappropriate devices in the bedroom. If you use it to wake up, buy yourself an old school alarm, or at the least turn it onto airplane mode.
- Don’t take your phone to the park with you. Play with your kids, not your phone (sorry it’s harsh, but I say it with love because I’ve been there too).
- Have a digital sunset, in other words, a set time when you turn off your phone and computer – or, at least, turn them on airplane mode.
- Put your phone away when you’re talking or connecting with your partner, kids and friends.
- If you’re really addicted, take email and Facebook off your phone. Yup, that’s right, I dare you!
- Don’t let yourself check your phone in the morning until you’ve done your morning routine.
- Have at least one digital-free day a week, so you can hang out with the family instead.
Following these has remarkable side effects, including dramatically increased productivity, improved connection with loved ones, a brain that isn’t at risk of exploding, less mommy guilt, appropriate use of the bed, including improved sleep. Keep your mind on those when you next feel pulled to incessantly check incessantly your phone. And, if that doesn’t work, maybe we’ll have to create an AA or a patch for iPhone addicts!
READ MORE FROM KELLY:
- Teaching Our Kids to Fly
- The Busy Mum’s Guide to Fitting In Exercise
- How to Wake Up Each Morning Energized
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This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media, LLC.