Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Blog Detox | Step 2 | My Phone

I've said it on social already loads of times but I want to say it again on here. Thank you for all the support on the last blog detox post. I only scratched the surface of how I'm feeling as I was quite scared publishing it so to have all the comments and emails and DM's telling me that you feel the same was pretty amazing. I seem to have articulated what many of you have been feeling - some of you are way ahead of the curve than I am - but that in itself was encouraging as you were able to tell me how helpful all this detoxing can be.

So I'm onto step 2 and it's my phone. I watched an episode of Panorama on the iPlayer the other week about smartphone addiction and it has been on my mind since - I'm linking to it on the text above and I urge you to watch it if you can spare 30 minutes because it was one of the catalysts for this detox.

Here's the deal with the phone detox and I've been doing some of this for a while but I started the other parts of it on Saturday - it's early days on the newer parts but they've made a difference already. There are 5 steps and you can introduce them over a week or just go for them all at once. 

1. Turn off your phone at night - properly...swipe that button!

Now I already do this so it wasn't one I had to implement. If you are a poor sleeper, this is one of the key ways to help your insomnia, I promise you. The actual action of swiping over that switch off button does the same in your head. It's a clear signal to your brain to switch off too. 

2. Don't bring the phone into your bedroom - especially don't charge it in your bedroom.

I was guilty of this one until the weekend despite knowing it was a really bad habit.  Having your phone in the room, even if it's turned off (but especially if it's charging) just creates an energy in your bedroom that will keep you from sleeping soundly. You're more likely to reach for it, have a quick peep, google randomness, online shop.  Leaving it in another room overnight will prevent pre-sleep and the pre-getting up scrolling...complete time stealers.
The first night I did this, I slept really badly! Maybe I was inwardly stressing?! On subsequent nights it's been amazing though - I'm reading before I sleep, going to sleep earlier, sleeping better AND I'm getting up in the morning and getting ready before I reach for my phone.

3. Turn off notifications 

Again, one I've been doing now for about 6 months and I can confirm it's amazing. I also mostly leave my phone on silent too. My Fossil watch alerts me to anyone in my main contacts ringing or texting. Anyone else, I just get back to them when the time is convenient.

4. Don't carry your phone around and occasionally leave it at home

Really trying not to pocket my phone anymore. It's in a handbag if I'm out and about or sitting on a worktop charging when I'm home. This stops the constant checking and I actually think it's a healthier thing to do too. Working up to leaving it at home now and again. I do sometimes do this when I got to the gym but that's not very often 🙈

5. Take your work emails off your mobile & delete social media apps 

I don't have my work emails on my phone but I do have blog emails - something I need to mull over.
With regard to social media apps, I deleted Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat on Saturday but I have left Instagram & WhatsApp as they only work on phones and my Instagram activity has dropped massively anyway since I unfollowed all but close friends and family. Haven't missed Facebook once and taking Snapchat & Twitter away only means I don't feel the guilt of never posting on there.  I'm considering whether to ditch Messenger next - I can access it on the laptop and the messages are never time critical. 

I know there are more options than this but I reckon this is a pretty good start - even if you only do 2 or 3 of them. I'll update this post after a few months to let you know if I'm still sticking to it and if it's made any noticeable difference. Also do share any good tips you've found.

Back with step 3 of the blog detox shortly - it's about how I plan to work (or not) with brands and PR companies going forward and it's proving to be a difficult one. How to stay true to my new blog approach, yet also fund the time I spend on here, especially when it comes to supporting local businesses or start ups. It's most likely to be a work in progress kind of thing and I'm keen to get your perspective on it - stand by!

Thanks as always

Avril x
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12 comments

  1. Have never had to detox my wardrobe or phone in my entire life, but reading all the comments is an education for me as your lives seem to be do different to mine. I surely can't be alone in never having to detox, am I?


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    1. I'd imagine you're in the minority. Good for you!

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  2. Sounds very positive, Avril. Social media is such a balancing act. Presumably you don't want everyone else to declutter their Instagram as you have done though - you still want people to follow you?

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    1. If everyone walks away, I won't mind one bit. I only want people to follow if they enjoy my content. I have never tracked my following and would rather people didn't follow me than feel overwhelmed with too much content.

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    2. I expect you will have people put off by the perceived lack of interaction - putting out content but not really interested in what others are doing. I'm sure that is not the intention but it is kind of how it comes across. I feel foolish having commented and interacted with you on Instagram (mostly about running) and it clearly has not registered at all with you, I'm just one of the followers ( not saying I thought we were buds at all ) in a very one sided interaction.

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    3. Perhaps - it's absolutely not my intention to make anyone feel foolish and it saddens me that you feel that way. I loved the interaction with everyone I followed and it wasn't easy unfollowing so many accounts but when your family, career and mental health is impacted by spending endless time interacting with people on instagram, then something has to change. Perhaps at some stage again, I might feel able to keep up with 500 people on the gram but right now, I don't.

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  3. Watched the Panorama episode which you linked to. It was uncomfortable viewing but I'm glad I watched it. And .... here I am in bad randomly checking various sites and social media first thing in the morning! But, this has prompted me to change and I'm going to work on clawing back the time wasted and get more real life stuff done. Well done Avril. I'll no doubt check for a reply (to get a little high!) Later. Or, maybe I won't! No, I know I will because I'm addicted.

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  4. *bed, not 'bad'

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    1. I'm so glad you found it worth watching. I've found myself twiddling my thumbs more than once in the past week. It's taken some adjustment to fill the time - my house is starting to see the benefits though #mrsmop!

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  5. Hi Avril great idea I too do a number of the things referenced above and now reach for my book rather than iPad . I love reading your blog because it’s a lifestyle blog and it covers real life that most of us can associate with . Some bloggers blog every day about what they are wearing and lucrative links to clothes ,the wonderful lives they sail through ,comments just telling them how gorgeous they are it makes it a very vacuous read . I really hope you find a way to continue doing what you’re doing but also make a living out of it. It’s a very fine balance but I’m sure you will continue giving us a great ,informed and interesting read )))

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    1. Thank you very much - it's so encouraging to read your comment. I'm not sure if I can maintain the blog to the same extent...time will tell. But hopefully so! I would miss this little creative outlet and hopefully the content can inspire in a different way x

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  6. I loved reading your blogs on detoxing and so much of it resonated with me. Like you the M&S jumpsuit was a tipping point. The frenzy to get one. Everyone was wearing it and it didn't even look nice. I very rarely go on instagram anymore as I found my volume of online shopping was needlessly increasing for stuff I didn't even really want. And I was checking instagram to validate I was buying the "right" things. I realised I was abandoning my own taste and style. I have stopped online shopping and am going back to occasionally going into town (with a budget), knowing what I want and going back to the old fashioned way of trying things on and making sure I feel good in them. The "I want / I need / I must have / I need to treat myself" materialism of instagram was beginning to get to me particularly when you see someone you follow wear something just once. I found the same with house style too. I always loved my home but was beginning to doubt whether my colour schemes / accessories etc were right. In short it was all leading to too much stuff, too much spending that just left me feeling vacuous and empty. I've deleted all social media from my phone. My kids have told me I'm now a much nicer person because I spend less time on it. And rather than experiencing FOMO, I'm now experiencing JOMO and loving it. Thank you for your honesty and I really admire what you are doing.

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I love reading your comments and will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question. If for any reason, you are unable to leave a comment, just drop me an email at avril@alifetostyle.com or leave a comment on the A Life to Style Facebook Page! Thank you xx

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