Updated: Dec 21, 2022
The digital age has brought a number of new and amazing ways to connect with the world, but there’s a downside to that. The need for constant connection requires a lot of your time, energy, and resources. Curated feeds of the "good life" brought out the comparison tyrant in many - making people feel deeply inadequate. Real life social skills went down while social isolation and depression rates went up. The digital age has been a gift and a curse - which means self-care in this digital age is that much more important.
A recent survey from the American Psychological Association revealed that women are more likely to practice self-care than men. However, self-care is critical for everyone, regardless of gender (or age or culture or anything). It can be challenging to strike a balance between the internet, work life, and personal life; but it's not impossible!
So, here are six super, simple tips for you to take care of yourself in today's modern world. They are mostly free and don't take a lot of time to execute.
1. Turn Off Your Phone
Lisssten! It won’t hurt to turn off your phone for at least a few minutes every day. How do you feel when you’re at dinner with friends, and someone checks their phone every few minutes instead of engaging with you? Doesn’t it feel disheartening? Don’t be that friend, okay? If you need to do something over the phone, complete it before or after dinner.
Choose not to let your phone dictate your life. Work will still be there. Social media will still be there. Texts and all will still be there. The world will not crumble because you silenced your phone for one hour! Whether you're by yourself or with others, be PRESENT in the moment. After all, that's where the really good memories are created.
2. Take Back Your Time From Technology
Sometimes we complain that we don't have enough time. But have you actually measured how much time you're spending with a screen in front of you? Many people find themselves constantly glued to their screens. We’re constantly scrolling, clicking, and refreshing our feed to keep up with the latest updates. It can be very addicting.
We’re also becoming more dependent on our technology for both work and personal life. Technology makes us more efficient, but it also causes us to lose our focus and take on more responsibilities than we can handle.
Start using a social media time tracker to track how much time you're spending on your phone each day. Many apps (like Facebook & Instagram) will also tell you this somewhere in the settings. It can be very enlightening because you may think you're only spending an hour, but in reality, you're spending six hours. And those hours start to add up!
3. Focus on What’s Important To You
If you're unsure and wondering on how to figure this out, here are some questions to guide you:
What people, values, or areas of your life would you go to bat for?
Do the things that you're doing from day-to-day bring you joy or put you closer to your goals? If not, identify what activities or tasks would do that.
What are you passionate about?
What would make a more fulfilling life experience for you?
Self-care is about finding what matters most to you and making sure you spend your time and energy on those things. Identify activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Spend more time doing these things.
4. Take Care of Your Body
Everyone deserves to take care of their body. It’s a big part of our life (obviously). However, we often neglect or don't understand how the traumas, lack of self-care, or emotional distress take a toll on our physical bodies. This is why you'll often see "mind, body, and soul" as a collective unit (one part affects the other parts).
Maintaining our bodies can include eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, drinking plenty of water, and reading good material. I recommend reading The Body Keeps Score if you want some more quick and easy tips for collectively taking care of your mental health and body.
Speaking of your mental...
5. Clean Up Your Mental Clutter with Mindfulness Meditation
What’s Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of focusing on the present state of mind and acknowledges any thoughts or feelings without judgment. The key here is without judgment. It’s calming and is a great way to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and pain.
How does it work?
Mindfulness meditation requires you to observe your thoughts with honesty; and then, let them go. So, instead of trying to change or stop thoughts, I encourage you to acknowledge them. Once you’ve acknowledged your thoughts, it’s time to label them. Label them as "thought" or "feeling." And, after you’ve labeled them, release them. Mindfulness meditation also requires you to focus on your breathing for a few minutes during the day to clear your mind of clutter or negative thoughts.
6. Connect With Nature Every Day
Technology surrounds us. A way to break our technological fixation is to take daily time to connect with nature. And we cannot ignore our connection with nature. A walk in nature reminds us of the beauty that’s all around us. At the very least, make a daily effort to step outside and breath deeply for 5 minutes!
Studies prove that spending time in nature has many benefits, including lowering stress levels and improving moods. Not only that, but it also increases creativity and problem-solving abilities. Additionally, studies have shown spending time in natural environments leads to increased mental health benefits, such as decreased anxiety and feelings of loneliness. It’s no wonder why so many people are turning back to nature for their mental wellbeing!
Of couse, there are many more things that you can do, but I wanted to highlight a few to get you started. Remember, you don't have to do it all. Pick at least one tip to focus on over the coming weeks. Progress is better than perfection.
If you need deeper guidance making self-care a priority in your life, click here to book a complimentary consultation call.