Happy 4th of July, my darlings!!
I’m going to be honest– today is my favorite holiday. Not because I love freedom or anything like that. I mean, I guess I do. But that’s not why I love the 4th.
This holiday is the best because it’s basically the only holiday with no stuffy rules, rituals, or family obligations. Seriously. Almost everyone has the day off, it’s nice outside (usually), and nobody has to go to church, visit Grandma, dress up for photos, or anything.
It’s basically the only holiday we actually get to enjoy and celebrate however we want without offending anyone or doing it wrong, and I LOVE IT.
To me, this holiday is all about day-drinking, grilling, relaxing, and being happy.
In honor of this blessed holiday, I want to share a block I’ve recently identified to being relaxing and happy.
So here’s what I’ve discovered: The internet is bad for me.
More specifically, being connected to social media, articles, and email all day via my smartphone is bad for me.
Whomp whomp. I run an online business, right? Social media is kinda my main form of advertising and message-sharing, plus honestly: I love it. I love posting, I love connecting, and I love following people.
But being constantly plugged in is bad for me. For me, it’s addictive, and sticky, and irresistible, and draining.
The thing is, even when I’m not on facebook, or reading articles, or checking my email (things I do hundreds of times a day), part of me is still thinking about these things.
I know they’re right there. The apps are always open, in my brain.
Part of me is always wondering if people are interacting with my last post, and curious about what other people are up to, and hoping I don’t miss anything important. Part of me is constantly aware that anyone can try to reach me at any moment, and that their message will just be sitting there until I check it.
Being plugged in means I’m constantly thinking about other people.
I never really center myself in my own experience.
I’m never really alone.
My brain is never really quiet.
Plus it’s draining. When I don’t have the energy to create or do anything, I have an aching desire to just passively consume stuff. But doing that makes me feel more tired and less likely to create or do anything. Which is how I end up 45 minutes deep into some political rabbit hole, or reading articles about teenage girls who made their own prom dresses to honor their heritage, like “I just… can’t… stop… scrolling.”
And at the end of a scroll session I’m still kind of unsatisfied, too. Like: but there’s still more! There is so much more to consume!
So. I have an internet problem. I’m owning it.
(And I know I’m not alone in this. I hear it all the time from clients, and I believe this is a problem our generation will probably have to spend the next few decades solving.)
Ok, so now what?
Well, since “just try harder” is a terrible plan for behavioral change, I’ve come up with:
3 actionable steps to deal with this apparent addiction,
and I think they’re pretty effing good.
Make it less accessible. I’m still working on this one, since I need social media for work, but I’ve recently deleted Buzzfeed from my phone, and installed an app called Forest that locks me out of my phone for chunks of time during the day. Plus I leave my phone home when I socialize sometimes, and it’s never allowed in the bedroom. Because less access = less checking.
Replace scroll time with other stuff. Behavioral psychology dictates that you must replace any maladaptive habit with something else. So far my replacements have mostly been reading, napping, and going for walks. I’ve also been dedicating more time to daydreaming, during which I do absolutely nothing, and do not occupy my brain in any way. It’s wonderful.
Figure out what’s underneath the desire to numb. Here’s the big one: anytime I have the urge to numb out with social media scrolling or article rabbit-holes, there is usually something I’m avoiding. Some uncomfortable feeling I’m trying not to feel. Some unpleasant knowing I’m trying not to know. Something. By getting curious, and figuring out what I’m avoiding (and then facing that thing head-on), the urge to numb away the time dissolves.
Which brings me to why I’ve created my all-time favorite digital course Make Friends With Your Feelings: to help you figure out exactly what you’re feeling!!
This self-study e-course is a 10 week self-study course delivered via 70 daily emails, designed to help you learn how to recognize, welcome, and understand every part of your complicated emotional landscape. (And yes, that includes WTF is going on with you when you’re craving a binge-session of netflix and Instagram.)
Think of this course as the emotional education I wish we all got growing up. I created it as a tool for my clients to boost self-acceptance, self-trust, and embodiment, because learning to befriend your feelings is basically the key to all that shit.
Personally, I suggest you register immediately. Then I suggest you unplug, day-drink, grill, relax, and be happy for the rest of the day.
With fireworks and confetti, <3 Jessi
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