So last night I did that thing you’re not supposed to do.
I read the news on my phone right before I went to sleep.
I didn’t have a hard time falling asleep, but I woke up feeling anxious. And anxiety doesn’t just exist in thought; I felt it in my entire body- my chest, my stomach, my back, my shoulders.
Fortunately, I have learned tools over the years that are effective in helping me during those moments of tension and stress, and I was able to move forward with the day and get into a groove. But the episode was a reminder to me of some important things:
1) Let’s be honest. World news today is scary and can be triggering. If I choose to read the news, I need to be in a certain mindset to do so. When I am tired late at night, that’s probably not a great time for me to read or watch the news.
2) Phone curfews are a good thing. Numerous studies have shown the effect that phone use can have on the ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling rejuvenated. Stopping phone use a few hours before bed can be helpful in giving the mind time to actually unwind and decompress from the day.
3) Being happy is not just influenced by about our DNA, childhood experiences, responsibilities, etc. It’s also influenced by what we see see, read, and watch. 4) The mind and body are intricately connected. To address one without the other misses out on a big piece of the puzzle. 5) Little self-care habits can have a big impact on daily functioning. Consistency is key, but we just need to take things one day at a time.
Sometimes I wonder if the world has become scarier or if we are just more aware of everything because we walk around with an IV drip of unsettling information. Regardless, it means that in order to feel present and able to feel joy in the moment, I need to be mindful about what and when I read the news. And start charging my phone in the kitchen.