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Nightly Phone Ban: Trouble Shooting

Wellness Apr 25, 2016

Soooooooooo how is everyone going with their nightly phone ban? Still on the wagon?

It’s been a pretty successful few weeks back on the ban so far, for me anyway. Although admittedly one morning I found myself on my phone (how did that happen?!), which quickly turned into a browse of instagram and somehow even a post. All in the space of a few minutes – calm completely shattered. This is a great example of how easily you can slip into phone mode without really meaning to (as opposed to flight mode… get it?). It’s so great to see how many of you got involved in this little challenge, but it turns out there’s a lot of questions. So I thought it would be good to chat about some trouble shooting for this phone ban, how you can get over some of the pitfalls easily and quickly. If you’re just joining us now, make sure to check out my first post about the phone ban, and also a list of books that *should* help you fall asleep.

What if I need to receive calls, like in emergencies?

Big thanks to Syd who commented on the last post and mentioned the Do Not Disturb function on iPhone… This was completely new to me and I think is fantastic. Rather than putting your phone in flight mode which is what I used to do, the Do Not Disturb function allows you to silence all alerts, calls and notifications while your phone is locked, but you can also allow certain people to get through. This is great if you have aging parents or other people (like that friend who is going on her first date and you HAVE to know how it went) who you would want to be able to call you if they needed to. That way you know when the phone rings that it serious AF. I’ve been using this!

I could never give up my phone, you’ll have to claw it out of my dead hands.

I hear ya sister. I used to think this 100%. Let me count the reasons I justified my phone being glued to my hand: 1. It’s my job 2. What if I miss something? 3. I need it! 4. I’m scared of it sleeping on it’s own… the list goes on. The reality is you don’t really need to be plugged into your phone at all times, and the fact that you feel like you need it all the time is a good sign that it’s time to detox. Now, don’t get me wrong, your phone isn’t the enemy, but chances are it’s making it hard for you to be creative, sleep well and concentrate. Try putting that baby down for a little while, you can make it a little knitted sleeping bag if you’re worried about it getting cold.

What if I use my phone for other things?

This the the most regularly asked question, and it’s a very legitimate one. I have this issue too. Yes you can deal with the issue of the alarm clock by getting an old fashioned one, but how do you manage all the other things you use your phone for like patterns for knitting, monitoring your insulin or really whatever else you use it for. Phones have so much important equipment these days they can be a lifeline. I would say, therefore, that if you have self discipline you can still use it, as long as you turn notifications off and disconnect from the internet so that you’re not accidentally getting sucked into the void that is all those ‘minimalist Swedish design’ boards on Pinterest.

But what about the weekends Geneva? Is catching an uber cheating?

Not at all. Something I didn’t mention in my last post was that for me on the weekends, the phone ban is kinda null and void, on Friday and Saturday atleast. That’s mainly because at this time chances are I’ll be communicating with friends, trying to work out plans or booking a taxi. All of which you need your phone for. You also need it to be in working order for your safety when you’re out and about so yep, I use it then. For me on the weekends is actually less about putting it down at a certain time each night and more thinking consciously about your phone use during the weekend as a whole. And I don’t mean using your phone to take photos or do something else creative, more like the mindless scrolling while sitting on the couch that we can all fall prey to. Ever lost 3 hours on Instagram and come to with a stiff neck and a very hot hand? What, where did Saturday go? This is exactly what you don’t want to happen, so being conscious about what you’re doing on the weekends as a whole is important.

What if I hate the alarm beep?

Ahhhhhh welcome to the club! If I even so much as hear a beep of an alarm I want to scratch someone’s eyes out for the rest of the day. I’m also way more prone to just turning it off and going back to sleep for another hour. Not a good way to start. If you’re like me, I suggest getting yourself a clock radio. The more simple ones just allow you to tune into a station and get woken up to that. Others can be connected to the internet and even be programmed to play your own spotify playlist. How good! But on the basic side, if you find a good station with not too many ads it’s a good way to wake up – preferably to 90’s RnB.

What if I live in a studio and I can’t leave my phone outside the bedroom… cos the bedroom is the whole house?

When Ben and I first moved to Hong Kong we lived in an apartment that was so small you could put your arm in the kitchen while lying in bed… Seriously. So I get you. In this case, put your phone over on the other side of the room, so you can create that separation which will allow you to sleep better and leave work at work. And turn off notifications because those vibrations are going to ruin your sleep.

I’d love to hear if you have any other things you’re stumped about! And also how your phone ban is going, have you tailored it to your lifestyle?

Tags Health & wellbeing life technology
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