Hello and welcome back to “Make a Fresh Start.” Last week we talked about a few simple ways to start fresh with your belongings. Now we are shifting focus to ways to refresh our lifestyle.
During recent months, many of us have had to adapt our behavior in order to stay healthy. We’ve learned new skills (can you say, “Zoom Proficient?”), and altered both where and when we go out. We’ve started wearing masks and slathered on more hand sanitizer than we might care to consider.
The headline is: change is possible.
In life, it is often the small changes that we sustain over time that have the biggest impact. I often say, “Variety may be the spice of life, but consistency is the sugar.”
Therefore, I’d like to suggest a few small changes you can make to improve your quality of life.
The first one has to do with our devices. There is no arguing that we are more tethered to our phones, tablets, and computers than ever before. Admittedly, it is hard to get away from them. Those of us who work from home, as well as parents and other caregivers, are expected to be perpetually “on call.” Socially, we don’t want to miss out on anything fun or important. Our devices are also our source of news and entertainment, which is constantly being updated.
Nonetheless, we need a break from screens. Not only do they strain our eyes and put pressure on our head and neck, but they also hinder our ability to focus. It is common to find ourselves looking at our phones instead of the people around us, a habit that can damage our relationships by making those in our midst feel invisible and unimportant.
One small step we can take to address this problem is to set aside a time each day when we choose to be “screen free.” For example, perhaps you put away screens at mealtimes. This is a boundary that is easy to understand (i.e. no “gray areas”), making it more likely that we will still stick with it. Famed movie director George Lucas said, “Focus determines reality.” If we want to have better relationships, we do so by focusing on one another, face to face, for at least a few minutes each day. Even if you are dining alone, stepping away from your device while eating will help you smell, taste, and enjoy your food more.
If you want to give this habit a try, designate a surface nearby the dining table where you and others can set your devices when it comes time to sit down and eat.
What do you think? Do you normally look at your phone or tablet during meals?