Week 1

Let’s dive into Week One!

Watch the video:

Prefer to read or listen? Click below to download the complete module (includes video transcript) or download the video audio.

Tech Tip - Turn off Notifications

Now, don’t freak out. I’m not saying that you need to turn off every notification.

But here’s the thing: every single time you see that little red flag on your inbox, or hear the ‘ping’ of a new message, you are training your brain to be in a constant state of alertness, stress and fear.

These constant pings and alerts literally spark our stress response into action.

And our bodies — still wired for the “good old days” of Paleolithic living — can’t tell the difference between a text message alert and the threat of a woolly mammoth. Our physical response to both ‘threats’ are literally the same: adrenaline surges through our system, pulse increases, breath rate goes up, and our muscles tighten ready to sprint from danger…

Of course, there’s no mammoth in sight… it’s just a text from your sister.

But your poor brain and body don’t know that!

And while our cave-dwelling ancestors may have encountered a scary predator maybe once every few days, we’re experiencing these “tech threats” multiple times every hour.

In fact, the latest research indicates that the average person gets 45.9 push notifications per day… which is a LOT of stress for your system to have to deal with, and we’re simply not equipped for it, biologically speaking.

So yeah: even if you *think* you love the ‘thrill of the ping’, it’s actually causing a constant flood of stress hormones in your body. (And we all know how much havoc stress hormones can wreak — on your organs, your sleep, your mood, your mindset, your weight… it’s hella scary.)

So, for your first #techtip: switch off your notifications.

Your body is going to L.O.V.E. the space and relief this one simple act brings.

(Hint: on most phones, if you go into ‘settings’, you’ll see the ‘notifications’ option. Here, you can quickly see every single app on your phone, and go through turning them all off….. aaaahhhh, can you feel the sweet relief already?!)

Another idea here may be to keep your phone on silent — which is a personal favourite technique of mine. I just don’t like hearing it!

Extra (optional) Tip - Know your usage

There’s a stack of apps that will give you a snapshot of how you’re using your phone.

Here are two popular ones:

Moment (iphone users only!) automatically tracks how much you use your iphone (or iPad) each day. You can set daily limits on the app and it will notify you when you go over.

They even have “Family Moment” that allows you to track and manage screen time for everyone in your family.

BreakFree allows you to track how much you use your phone. You can use the app to set limits on your use and you will get a notification when you go over.

Tracking your usage might seem like an unnecessary step, but remember the old saying: What gets measured gets managed.

It is super eye-opening to get an actual measurement on how much you’re using your phone, and/or certain apps. It also makes it really easy to track your progress — each week, you’ll be able to see the numbers drop, and can celebrate your achievements.

It also makes it much harder to fib to yourself when you’ve got the data staring back at you in black and white…

So pop on over to the app store right now and download one of the above tracking apps… it’s definitely worth it! 🙂

Weekly Challenge - No phone first thing

The data says that for around 80% of smartphone users, their phone is the last thing they look at, at night. And the first thing they look at, in the morning.

Whhhhhat?! Isn’t it nuts how quickly phones have changed our daily habits?!

For me, I used to believe I couldn’t get to sleep without reading. I’d nod off after a few pages, but I love-love-love reading books and this was my nightly routine...

… Well, it *WAS* until #netflix #stan #itunes #allthefreakingamazingshows came along! Now listen, we aren’t tackling night time phone usage this week … let’s build up to that!

We are tackling the morning because mornings matter.

Here’s what happens when you open turn on your phone first thing in the morning:

     >> You are thrown into ‘catch up mode’. So much has happened over night (has it?!) and your brain gets hijacked. We are already thinking about all the things we’ve missed since yesterday, and are immediately taken away from the present moment.

     >> Your boundaries between work and home get blurred. You may even do some work from your bed first thing in the morning... Which is bizarre when you stop to think about it, right?

>> A UK study of 2,000 people found that email notifications increase anxiety. So looking to see that little red dot of emails waiting for your attention first thing in the morning — hello, stress!

For most of us, there’s no getting around it: from the time we open our eyes in the morning, we are compromising our brains. It’s really crazy when you think about it.

Changing this habit cemented for my that my phone habit had become an addiction, because I found it SO HARD!

Here’s three things that might help you complete this challenge and ditch your morning phone habit, but feel free to come up with other ways to help yourself keep off your phone first thing.

     1. Buy an alarm clock. So many people use the excuse ‘But I need my phone for an alarm!’ to justify having their phone nestled right there on their bedside table each night… making it so damn tempting to have a little scroll when you wake up. Solve this problem by getting an old-school alarm clock and leaving your phone on a charger OUTSIDE your bedroom.

     2. Create a new wake-up routine. Perhaps you want to start with a stretch? Or thinking of three things to be grateful for? Perhaps with that time you used to spend scrolling, you could get up and go for a walk around the block? Or maybe have a cup of tea in peace before others wake up? Or would it feel good to journal for ten minutes? Whatever it is, think about how to make mornings more enjoyable for yourself, and to actively replace your phone time with something nurturing and enjoyable.

     3. Start small. Check your phone after your shower. Then stretch it out to after your shower AND your breakfast. Then after the school drop-off, and so on. In this way, you can gradually stretch yourself without feeling deprived.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s ideas. I can’t wait for you to experience the freedom that comes from implementing them.