Truth

Step Away From Your Phone…3 Tips For Addicts

Boy, oh boy, is it easy to be addicted to our phones, which is why I’m going to share 3 tips with you to help you break away. I find I go through phases where I’m really self aware of when I’m using my phone and other times not so much. This past week I found myself falling prey to checking my phone while standing in line at the grocery store, getting a tea at the coffee shop and even (I’m embarrassed to admit this) checking my phone while waiting at a stoplight. It hit me the other day that I was back to my old antics and struggling to be comfortable doing nothing. If given even 30 seconds, I felt a strong pull to read, text or click something on my phone.  I felt less joyful than usual over the past week, and suspect my phone addiction is to blame.

Time for an intervention! Over the weekend I heard Arelene Pellicane of Growing up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, speak, and her words hit me hard. I feel more inspired than ever to lead by example and show my children how to set phone boundaries. I’m saying YES to experiencing my life fully engaged. My children will be the lucky recipients of a Mama who’s present, balanced and full of life.

Here are three tips that I practice to help me part with my beloved phone:

1.  Out of sight (out of mind) –If you’re at home, keep your phone in another room. This means charge it in another room! If you’re out with your family, keep it in your purse, or your pocket and disable the wireless. You can still use your camera.

2. Turn it off – (Gasp) I know it sounds so uncomfortable. Just try it for 15 minutes. It’s incredibly liberating. I’m experimenting with not having my phone on at all when I’m with my children.

3. Make an agreement with your significant other and support one another- I find it’s extremely difficult to quit cold turkey by yourself. Discuss guidelines with your spouse, and help each other live by them.

I know it’s incredibly easy to justify why we should be on our phones at times. I’ve been there. (It provides me flexibility. My client needs me. I have a deadline.) However, if your goal is to experience more fun and calmness, you need to take action and make decisions that will help you live that way. My hunch is that there are plenty of times when an email can wait 15 minutes or a phone call can be made an hour later.  Instead you can use that time to be totally present and absorb your surroundings, which might be talking to a stranger in the coffee queue, having a conversation with your husband or sitting at a stoplight and watching the person next to you have a dance party in their car. It’s in our DNA to want more laughter and spontaneity in our life, so let’s make some space for it. Will you join me and commit to using your phone less?

Imagine the fun we could be having,

The Ted Talk that had me in tears and saying YES to more Play…

For all my ambitious working Moms out there who are doing a mile-a-minute with both feet on the gas pedal, please hit pause and watch this Ted talk today ‘My Year of Saying Yes to Everything,’ by Shonda Rhimes.

I’m proud to say I’ve watched this upteenth times because the message is just that good. For those of you who don’t know, Shonda Rhimes spent last year doing a social experiment saying YES to everything, allowing her to push boundaries and fears.

What was most valuable to her is what resonated the most with me. The idea that ‘Work doesn’t work without play.’

When I reflect on my own professional experiences, I can absolutely draw a correlation between the years that I spent head down, chasing, running, scrambling to close the next deal, only to feel disconnected, exhausted, lost and unfulfilled on the inside. The joy had been sucked out my professional life and was seeping into other areas of my life. My a-ha moment came when I had three very active, enthusiastic boys, five years old and under, staring me down every night and begging me to play?

It hit me. The message became clear.

Shonda Rhimes is spot on when she says, “It’s not really about playing with the kids. It’s about finding your joy. Give yourself 15 minutes a day and figure it out. Play in that arena.”

I like to think of our children as spiritual guides, sent here to remind us how to connect to ourself, so we can live our lives Consciously. Awake. Engaged. At the highest version of ourselves. My little boys had done just that.

Here are three things I do to weave JOY and PLAY into my life daily.

  1. I go for a 15 minute walk, and I always find one or more of my children want to join.
  2. I have playlists lock and loaded on my phone and put them on at least once a day – dance parties (solo or w/ children)
  3. I sit on the ground. I find play happens on the ground. Either wrestling, make-believe, conversation….it all happens on the ground.

Lastly, here’s a book I reference regularly with clients called Play, by Stuart Brown.

I couldn’t agree more with Shonda Rhimes, the more I give myself permission to play, the more I feel like myself, which is the ultimate goal, isn’t it? To live and experience the truth of who we’re here to become with grace and ease.

All Love,

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