Ok, so you're probably wondering what is "Phone Self-Care"? Well, I think I might have made it up so there's no wonder you're confused.
What it essentially gets down to though is we spend soooo much time during the week on our phone, it's an extension of ourselves at this point. It controls nearly all our communication, how we view the news, how we wind down but also how we organize ourselves, how we schedule ourselves. Our phones wake us up in the morning for goodness sake. No wonder we have such a love/hate relationship with these things. Something that is such an integral part of ourselves, whether we like it or not, needs to be taken care of.
During the worst stages of anxiety in my life, my phone has been a major trigger. Irrational fears of receiving angry emails while organizing events, anxiety over receiving texts and being made to converse when I didn't want to, wasting hours away on social media before I even realized what I'd been doing. I'm sure these are all situations you can relate to. Let's just say, taking advantage of airplane mode when you haven't even left the house is a very real thing. But how does it get to this point?
Today I want to talk about ways our phone can help us to quiet our minds. So much of the advice out there is all about limiting our time on our phones. And let's be totally honest for a minute here. We KNOW we should be spending less time on our phones. I don't need a blog post to tell me that. At least for me, and let me know if you're the same, trying to remove my phone from my life is not just impractical at this point it's impossible. So I'm getting with the times and providing some tips and tricks to make the time spent on your phone quieter, a bit more intentional, and a bit kinder to your mind.
- USE YOUR WALLPAPER FOR GOOD I harp on this one all the time, but that's only because I believe in it so strongly. Turn your phone background into a mantra and change it regularly. Changing it is the key here since after a week or so you'll just stop noticing it. I really enjoy changing mine, it's like a little refresh! You can download a typographic quote from Pinterest that resonates, write your favorite mantra on a piece of paper and photograph it, or take a photo of your most recent tarot reading so the advice stays close by.
- GO BLACK AND WHITE. Did you know you can put your phone in black and white? It's even better than the new dark mode all the apps are rolling out because the colors are no longer there to overstimulate your brain. To access this on iphone just make it a shortcut: Settings>Accesibility>Accessibility shortcut>color filters This will put your phone in black and white mode with just a triple-click of the home or power button (depending on your model). And to bring back the rainbow just triple-click again.
- DO AN APP SPRING CLEAN: all the apps you never use? delete them. Marie Kondo that shit. Less is best on your phone. Once you've gotten rid of the obvious ones, take it a step further and delete the ones that you don't need and you know are triggers for you. If you can access from your computer when you actually need it, then get rid of it. I recently deleted youtube because it's a bad time waster for me, three photo editing apps, and a streaming app from my phone and I haven't missed a single one but it sure felt good to get some digital space.
- NOW TRY ADDING SOME BENEFICIAL APPS: There are thousands of apps out there now that can help us meditate, exercise, journal, etc etc etc. Here are 3 that I actually use and love...
hyper-personalized astrology tracking. It's based on your exact birth minute and gives you daily horoscopes that are absolutely fascinating. And the interface is beautiful to look at
a habit tracking and goal setting app that can help you develop better habits, and break negative ones. It's calm, motivating, and geared towards the anxious mind. And they have a plan in place for every habit you could imagine!
cloudLibrary: or whichever app your local library uses. It gives you access to thousands of audiobooks for free! I listen to an audiobook for about 20 minutes even night before I fall asleep and it has been 100% the cure for my insomnia and anxious nightly thoughts.
- More like 4.5 USE FOLDERS and name the folders creatively. Fun names are so much nicer than the ones your phone auto-creates for you. Get creative and have fun with the names of your folders.
- DO NOT DISTURB. This feature is so helpful with anxiety reduction as it just stops alerting you of notifications during a set window of the day. [On iphone Head to Settings > Do Not Disturb > Scheduled > on Android Settings > Sound & notification >Do not disturb] you can then set the time and specific parameters of the Do not Disturb. Mine is from 930pm-630am. You still get notifications but the silently appear on your phone so you'll only see them if you look. A great way to stay distraction-free.
- CLEAN YOUR PHONE. I mean actually clean it. Take off the case, wipe down those grimy edges. give the screen a nice buff. bring it back to how you felt about it the first week you owned it. Don't you feel better after you've had a shower? Just don't soak it unless it's waterproof!
- TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS Any notifications that aren't necessary to you, disable them. I only receive notifications for texts, my work app, and calendar events. No Instagram, to Emails, no facebook, nothing. This works for me and my lifestyle. Think about yourself and do what fits you.
I hope there were a few tips in here you found helpful, If you have any phone secrets of your own share them in a comment below!