We live in a non-stop busy world. We rush from one meeting to the next. Our phone notifications go off day and night. Our email notifications can get out of control. Yet, this is the new norm, and it is causing anxiety and overwhelm to take over many parts of our lives. Creating a calm mindset can help gain back some of that control. Let’s look at how to create calm.
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Creating a Calm Mindset by Looking for Anxiety Builders
Every day I rush through my morning to-do list, I love to write it is my passion but blogging requires much more than just writing. A lot of my time is spent on social media as well. I know I can tend to spend way, way, way too much time on my phone.
Have you ever checked your screen time? It might shock you. I am embarrassed to say that I have spent an average of 40 hours per week on my screen. That’s a freaking full-time job of hours. Although that includes time spent listening to classes, books, music, and the news, which I usually do while working, social media is a lot of that time.
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If you have an iPhone you can see exactly where you spend your time on your device. Productivity, social media, communications, etc. It even shows you which apps you use the most. You can look back through the weeks to compare stats. This is a great tool to track your habits and see where you can gain extra time by cutting the chaos.
Creating a calm mindset by causing more anxiety… just for a few days
Cause more anxiety by stirring up the pot good and hard. Yep, that’s right! The best way to make a big change is to take a giant step of action!
When I first started writing this draft we had been without communication services for 8 days.
Our town had a fire and we lost all services in the early hours one Sunday morning, the fire affected one building, but in turn, it reached the lives of everyone for miles around. They worked hard to get all our services back up and running, it was 21 days by the time our internet was restored.
The outage meant our banks were closed for a few days while they figured it out, all stores were cash only because there were no debit machines, for a few days if you needed an ambulance or the police you had to go to the nearest station for help, no T.V, no internet, no phones or emergency services, no data and asked to restrain the usage of mobile phones only to emergency calls, and no landlines.
The first 2 or 3 days my anxiety levels were through the roof. I had work to do, I needed to be online, I needed to be on my phone. How do I get quotes for jobs I need to call businesses that no longer have a phone, I can’t google phone numbers, oh my word!
My anxiety was freakin the f#ck out. Notifications would pop up on my phone all day long, but I could not open them. This drove me even crazier! Hearing that damn ping to instantaneously grab my phone only to remember I can read the first sentence of the email or the Facebook message and go no further. Kaboom!
My anxiety of not being able to reach out to my friends, family, and followers was intense. I felt alone and depressed periodically. I thought I could keep myself busy but really struggled because it affected me that much.
I even cried once while Josh was at work and the kids were playing as I felt myself going crazy with no outside force breaking into my mind. The anxiety and stress of having a whole new contactless normal were surreal. To be honest I had no idea it would be this hard for me.
They did restore emergency mobile phone service so that we had the ability to call 911, so thankfully that helped ease those worries of not being able to reach emergency services.
Embracing a Calm Mindset
In the evenings my husband and I always enjoy Netflix, without services that disrupted our routine. We went to bed at better times, slept better I am sure, and our relationship both intimate and verbal grew as well.
I forced myself to be productive. I drug my lonely anxiety-ridden ass around and set to work around the house. My mission to reduce clutter set forth. Our three girls joined in on some of the projects and we cleared the twin’s room of 5 garbage bags of clothes and toys.
I was starting to feel some calm.
We bought a few movies since we had no television and enjoyed a movie night.
By Thursday, which was day 4 of emergency services only, I found a shift within myself. My children were screaming and it did not bother me. It did not make me yell, it did not make me feel anger or embarrassment. I felt calm. I felt patient. I felt good. For the first time in forever, I felt like a calm parent.
I felt happiness, gratitude, and calm most days. The first two I have been working on for a long time. Calm is an experience I thought I had practicing self-care and eliminating stress here and there. But calm is something I can have all day, every day if I just slow down. I can slow down by reducing the time I spend with technology.
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As of the moment, I wrote the first draft of this post I had 16384 notifications on my phone and I could not look at them. And you know what? I found a point where I was ok with that. In fact, the absurdity of it all was pretty eye-opening.
Once my services were restored I had some serious decluttering I needed to do in my email box and on social media.
I had decided to start using the built-in iPhone ‘keep your ass in check’ features aka screen time options.
Two main focuses I discovered in the creating a calm mindset process
Whether I wanted it or not I was forced to take a break from the communication world I have known and loved for years. I also took my declutter challenge to the next level and did at least one declutter / organization project per day.
The decluttering relieves a lot of anxiety for me. I have a long way to go as we have accumulated so much over the years, but it is a project I’m working on every day.
The communication obviously was not my choice but it sure the heck opened my eyes up to all that I had been missing in the world that is right in front of me here and now. The present, not the present online not the present anywhere but right here in front of me right freaking now.
Of course, this was an extremely drastic change but you can use this experience to give it a try for yourself. Cut out social media for a few days, leave your phone off for a day, or limit your use and track what you are doing.
Creating A Calm Mindset is A wonderful Place to Be
My chaotic experience gave me a whole new perspective on living in the moment. As the world seeped back in with the restoration of services, I felt a bit saddened. Sad that I had allowed myself so much time wasted not seeing the world right in front of me. Don’t get me wrong living at the moment is something I really worked hard at, but this changed things for me in a big way.
It has been nearly a year since and I am much more connected with my family although admittedly I can fall back into the trap of my phone. However, I’m much more aware of it now, and I can catch myself and get back into the present.
Life of course is crazy busy with homeschool, running two businesses and the many doctors and specialists we deal with each week, but we schedule it in. We make time to do things together, connect with nature as a family and relax and enjoy each other’s company. Hearing the ping of my phone doesn’t make me stop what I am doing to see who might be reaching out or what might be happening.
I can not help but envy our ancestors a bit as they must have been much better at creating a calm mindset. Of course, we can not dwell on that and technology has really changed our lives and for that, we do need to find some gratitude.
Have you ever created a calm mindset?
Have you ever taken a retreat from the world around you, or maybe found yourself in a similar situation? How did it go for you? Were you able to get past the initial shock and enjoy it? I want to know what you do to create a calm mindset! Drop it in the comments below.
Take care and chat soon;
Living A Boss Life