Unclutter Your Life

How to Detox from Your Cell Phone

Well, it is the Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend.  It is when we get the first taste of what the summer will bring as the “shoobies” make their way to the Jersey Shore.  This is always a tough weekend for me…. not it isn’t because of the influx of people; it is the weekend I am reminded of the loss of my aunt, Elsie AKA “my buddy” in 1999.  Yes, I squirreled for a moment, sorry back to today’s blog post…………..

Does the picture look like you 99% of the time?  When your phone isn’t in your hand, scrolling Facebook, reading emails or sending text messages, where is it?  I will admit mine is usually close by at least within arms reach.

How often has your Hubby or family or even you wished you could have “phone-less” time!  I mean a time when the phone was either shut off, put away or on “do not disturb”?  Are you starting to sweat at the thought of missing out on notifications?  Are you already picturing the fight with the kids over not being able to talk to their friends?

Most days, my cell phone is on “do not disturb” so the only people able to reach out to me are family.  Why?  So I can stop being obsessed.  So I can work my “at home business” on my time not when ever any calls or texts.  It wasn’t long ago I realized the ONLY time I have been totally “unplugged” from everything (cell phone, computer, tablet) was when we were on a cruise.  It is an automatic switch when I get on the ship, it goes off and it doesn’t come back on until we reach the car on our drive home.  I know a week worth of emails and messages can make your head spin but the truth is, we all need it once in awhile.

If all of these boxes apply to you, you’re clearly in need of a detox

  • When your thumb on your dominant hand is sore from all the scrolling
  • You look at your phone first thing when you wake up
  • A panic attack is around the corner when your battery is running low
  • You get anxious when being separated from your phone
  • You lack concentration and check your phone too often (even unconscious)

Did you answer yes all (or most) of these?  Then you are in desperate need of a cell phone detox!

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Start with 8 hours of disconnectionyou’ll feel restless at first, but getting used to being phone free takes time.  The easiest way is to turn it off an hour before you go to bed and don’t turn it on until you have had your coffee in the morning.

2. Throw a phone free dinner – see how the conversation changes.  People actually talk and listen to each other.  Oh and no photos of food.  Dinner is a no brainer for me.  I don’t do the phone at dinner, especially on the nights hubby is off.

3. Go out in nature and connect to the real world.  The weather is nicer so this is a whole lot easier to do. No pictures or checking your phone.  Depending on where you go for a walk, you may need to take your phone in case there is an emergency.  I carry mine in my pocket when I go for a walk only because of the MS.

4. Set a phone curfew to turn phones off after 8PM and have a relaxing night.  Okay, so this may be a little bit tougher but I am willing to try it.  The problem is when I switch off the phone, the iPad is close at hand to check emails and Facebook.  How do you totally unplug?

5. Grab a magazine, a coffee and go soak up some sun by yourself!  This sounds great in theory but my books are on my iPad which then keeps me connected to the internet if I am close to the house.  UGH!  Solution – I have been buying some old fashioned books at yard sales so I can start reading “electronic free”.  Then I donate them back to the church rummage sale.  A win for everyone.

So, be honest… how many times a day do YOU check your phone?  I’m getting better but it is still a process.  How about you, are you willing to give it a try this holiday weekend?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Family

Happy Birthday Elsie!

 Elsie

Family…. that is what today’s blog is all about – Elsie (on the far right) was my mom’s baby sister.  An amazing woman who taught me about courage, willpower and the importance of never giving up on your dreams.

Elsie was about 9 years old when I was born.  She was glad that there was someone new to be the “baby” of the family.  Little did she know that as she grew up, she would have to drag me with her.  I am sure that she dreaded it until I grew up – well when I go to high school which was when our relationship started to change.  It was then that I shared some of my deepest secrets with her.

Fast forward to about 1980 when we traveled to Atlantic City for new jobs at the Claridge Casino Hotel – we were each others support systems.  When I had Belinda – she became Belinda’s buddy. To most, Elsie was shy, quiet and very seldom stepped out of her comfort zone.  She was caring and faithful, always ready to help someone in need.

After her first mastectomy, Elsie showed what a fighter she really was.  She went back to work. She worked through the side effects of the medications and never wanted to be pampered.  It was then that she was my support system as I struggled to get clean from drugs.  She showed me that if I really wanted something – I had to fight to overcome the naysayers, the Negative Nellie and the Tempting Thomas. She didn’t judge me for my mistakes, she showed me how to use them to help others. I am sure she never really knew the impact she had on me during that time.

The struggles were a little tougher with the second mastectomy, fear started to creep in BUT she didn’t let it stop her.  Elsie had a dream – owning her own business.  After the second surgery she took a leap of faith. She moved back to Ocean Grove and opened Small Wonders – a gift boutique. She really wanted to a bed and breakfast and she hoped that Small Wonders would be a stepping stone to that dream. DREAM BIG and she did. As the cancer caused her to loose the majority of her sight, she continued to go to work each day. She knew the layout of the store, she had helpers who stopped in and she continued to work as if nothing was wrong. Those closest to her saw the changes but as long as she wanted to fight – we were there to support her. Then on Memorial Day weekend of 1999, Elsie gave up her will to fight. She had just returned from a trip with friends and told us that this was the end. Not something we wanted to hear but we knew she had fought long and hard.

I have so many memories but her strength stands out the most.  Her fight, her commitment to our family and her ability to dream big are what help me to keep going when my faith starts to waiver. I DREAM BIG and hold fast for I know that in God’s time, my Weston angels will help me to reach my dreams and my goals. I step out of my comfort zone and I know that she is right behind me cheering me on.

Happy Birthday, Elsie. I miss you and I know that even though you don’t like parties – there is one going on in heaven today just for you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.