Honest question, how involved have you been feeling with your life lately?
It’s a funny question I know, but do you truly feel engaged with your life or do you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel simply going through the motions?
For me, I’ve been feeling like I’ve just been sitting back and watching time slip past. I wake up, go to work, come home, eat tea, go to sleep and then repeat. Nothing is bad, but then nothing is making me excited for the day either as I’m sure many of you can relate.
Thinking about this I feel like my main problem is a little thing called mindless scrolling. We’ve all been there, you’ve sat down and a few seconds later your phone is in your hand and you’re doing that thumb motion scrolling through social media. You’re not particularly taking in any sort of information, you’re simply scrolling with no real purpose. How often do we do this? Truth be told I struggle to sit down with a book now because my attention span is shot and I want to see if anything has changed on my twitter feed in the last 30 seconds. By no means am I addicted to my phone, but I do have an unhealthy relationship with it and social media.
When I have the time to do something, like read a book or spend some time reading my bible or even pick up my sketchbook, I simply don’t have the energy to. It’s not that I’ve had a hard day and want to nap, I just feel like it requires too much brain power and scrolling through social media is far easier than that.
I’m starting to think that this lack of feeling engadged with my own life is partially caused by this need to be mindlessly scrolling on my social media pages. It’s not like I can justify it with my blog and call it work either (because let’s be real, how often do I post on Instagram?). I simply waste so much time in front a screen that making me feel a bit rubbish about myself.
So a few days ago I made the decision to uninstall Instagram on my phone. My account is still up and running, just the app is no longer on my phone.
I’d like to share with you my last few days.
The first challenge I faced was what on earth to do in car journeys, especially since we had an hour and a half journey facing us to get to a place called Bodnant Garden’s. But the funny thing is that if you actually talk to the people you’re in a car with, you can enjoy yourself quite a bit. I did wake up very late and was half asleep during the journey so most of it was spent napping, but when I was awake it was so nice to spend time just talking to my family. Instead of looking down to a phone, giving myself motion sickness, I made more of an effort to chat and be part of the conversation.
I felt like I was part of the group more by the time we got there. By not of playing the role of the antisocial teenager my socializing muscles were all warmed up and by the time we arrived to meet our friends I was up for a chat.
I had brought my big camera and our friends had also brought theirs. We stayed at the back of the group laughing and getting in the way of people as we tried to get the best possible shot of the beauty of the place. By not worrying about missing a message I was just staying in the moment.
I was a lot less anxious as well, it was a lovely day and a lot of people had descended to the gardens. That volume of people tends to put me on edge and as a result I use my phone as a distraction. I thought this helped but I was surprised to find that I did a whole lot better by not looking at my phone. By not getting engrossed by a screen then looking up to find myself suddenly surrounded by people, I allowed myself to get used to them and with in 15 minuets or so I was completely fine with the crowds.
Since recovering from anorexia I’ve wanted to make the most out of my life. I’ve really been given a second chance and I’m unbelievably grateful for that fact. But sometimes I do find myself just going through the motions. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, I do find myself not appreciating my freedom as much as I should be.
I’m learning that forcing myself to always be productive is not the way to go about it. I’m not a robot and I can’t cope with an instead and unmoving schedule that isn’t really needed. Bullying myself isn’t what God healed me for.
I want to be here for life.
Living with pretty bad anxiety and a lovely mix of other mental illness doesn’t make that the easiest task going. I spend more time in my head than anywhere else, but I’m starting to understand that isn’t really living.
Living is saying yes to opportunity, even if they scare me. Challenging myself to push past anxiety so I can go out and do something fun and just enjoy myself. I’d like to grow and spend less time on my phone and more time with God.
Instead of being scared of the future I want to be excited for it.
Maybe that starts with switching off from social media for a bit. Let’s be honest, Instagram will make you feel absolutely rubbish about yourself and it’s not really all that good for our mental health. Twitter is nice and all that but it can be exhausting at point.
So my challenge for myself is to spend less time on my phone and just live in the moment.
My challenge for you guys for you today is to try and spend a day without social media. Just allow yourself a day away from a screen and see what happens, who knows… you might just like it.
Till next time folks, take care.