Throwing away the phone: A proposition for well-being

As you close your work system for the day, a ping from your mobile sucks you back into your work. The next time you check your watch, it’s past 4 hours than the scheduled time you had planned to call it a day.

Tired, as you head towards bed after a cold, late dinner, the fantastical stream of endless Instagram content grabs your attention for the next 1–2 hours: a short from your favorite celebrity or a clip about your favorite foreign destination from random strangers fighting for your attention and coming up triumphantly over your aching need for sleep. Finally you go to sleep at around 1–1:30 AM (as against your initial plan of going to sleep at around 11 PM).

The alarm buzzes off at around 7 AM in the morning. As you try to snooze off the alarm to get some more sleep, you realize that further delay in waking up will make you arrive late at office. And so, without any further delay, you put the phone on charge and go about getting ready for the day, sleep-deprived and a bit irritated.

If the above cycle rhymes with your life, you are not alone. People are literally sacrificing their health and well-being for content over phone. As against the title of this blog, the use case is not to do away totally with the phone in the pursuit of well-being, it is more an advocacy for a balanced and responsible usage of the mobile phone for better health and relaxation.

Say, you wake up at 7 AM in the morning. From 7 till 5 in the evening (when you are done for the day), you have 10 hours. How about using your phone for consuming Instagram feeds within these hours only (if you get a chance that is. If not, there is always a tomorrow for checking Instagram). In case of content like YouTube videos, Netflix etc., how about utilizing the commute for consuming these content. Or say marking them to catch over a weekend or any free time during the day. And irrespective of how you choose to consume these content, how about logging off from the phone at 5 PM each day-no Instagram, no Netflix, no YouTube. And if you are logging off, it should be complete which means no further communication related to work items either. To do this, nowadays most phones come with the “Do Not Disturb” feature against which you can enable only certain calls to come through (like your family’s) and no one else’s.

Once logging off from the phone at a specified time towards the evening becomes a habit, out of sheer boredom you will slowly start realizing a few things:

(a) The prospect of going out to meet your friends is better than laying on the couch glued to the phone.

(b) There is so much time towards the evening with nothing to do that you can pick up the book that have been collecting dust on the shelf to kill the time.

(c)Even after reading a couple of pages each day, you’ll realize that there is still enough time left till bed time.

(d) How about trying out a new hobby like learning to play guitar, hitting the gym to work on your dream build or trying your hand in cooking in the style of Gordon Ramsay instead of ordering the food.

(e) After all the activities, once you have your food, tiredness will overcome your senses. And since there is no phone to fight your sleepiness, you sleep like a baby at around 11 PM (the time you had always wanted to go to sleep)

(f) After having a sound sleep throughout the night, you wake up fresh at around 7 AM, all alert and relaxed. And you start the day with a smile on your face.

Hope this practice of disconnecting towards the evening helps you with your overall well-being.

Thank you for your time.

See you tomorrow !!!

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