For the month of February I put my phone to bed. At the end of each day there are a few things that need to be put away for the night: my kids, my house, and me. This month I added my phone to the list. I used to fall asleep every night playing sudoku or one of those candy crush games. And I told myself I had to in order to turn my brain off enough to actually get relaxed enough to fall asleep. I made a goal to try to plug my phone in downstairs in the kitchen and keep it out of my room at night. He literally had a little place where I'd practically tuck him in each night. So after going without my phone in my room at night for 28 days, here are the 5 things I learned:
1. I needed my phone way more than I ever wanted to.
The first couple weeks (isn't that so long??) were soooo hard to fall asleep. I was like antsy for my phone! I wanted to be entertained or numbed before falling asleep rather than deal with my to-do list or think about everything I wasn't rocking in my life. I felt like I needed my phone and I honestly hate that! I honestly felt like I didn't have as much control over my mind as I'd originally thought and I realized I'm a little more addicted than I wanted to be.
2. It doesn't take me as long to sleep as I thought.
I thought it took me at least 30 minutes to fall asleep. My brain seems to go so quickly before I zonk out that I thought there was no way it wouldn't take a super long time for me to get my REM going. Well, I was very long. One night I went to bed without reading or anything and my husband said I was snoozing after like 5 minutes. 5. MINUTES. That's it! Why don't I trust my body more?? Why do I tell myself I have problems that I maybe don't? Or at least that are self created?
3. Reading before bed is the best. Period.
Ever wish you were more well-read or that you could carry on a conversation with super smart people? Since I spend most of my days hanging out with children under 6, I used to feel like my brain couldn't articulate what I really thought about things. Either that or I genuinely felt like no one would want to hear my opinion. I am just a stay-at-home-mom, afterall. Who would take my word for anything? Well, I was really wrong because once I started reading, my brain started exercising rusty parts of itself and I was not only able to talk about diverse topics, I was able to express my views with authority because I legit knew what I was talking about.
4. The best offense is a good defense.
Have you ever heard this saying? Basically, the best way to win a game is to keep the other team from scoring. One of my new year's resolutions has been to cultivate a better morning routine. I still have a lot of ground to cover but putting my phone to bed at night kept me from checking it first thing in the morning. Not having people's texts, dm's, posts, and emails right in my face the moment I opened my eyes helped me get more centered before I jumped into the world head on. Taking better care to have a good night time routine actually helped me have better mornings!
5. I actually felt like I didn't want my phone with me.
During the day, I would actually want to put my phone away and just check out from the world. Usually, I feel like my phone connects me to the outside world #sahmproblems But setting those boundaries at night, made me realize I didn't "need" it as much as I thought. I had more time to process what I wanted, needed, and I could actually focus to meet my goals faster than I would've otherwise. I'm still trying to find that balance of using it for my business and other responsibilities and being able to leave it locked up all day but my desire is changing which is a big win for me.
What I originally thought would be the WORST punishment of my life has actually been a big blessing. Do I think phones are bad? Nope. Do I think we need to have more limits so we can be examples to our kids? Yeah, I do. Do I still have a lot of room for improvement? Yep. But consistent, small steps cover great distance. I'm going to keep the phone out of my room at night for another few months and see how it feels. I honestly still feel like I'm detoxing which is another reason I'm keeping it out for longer. I don't want to need it. I'm going to keep putting my phone to bed.