Picture the scene: It’s bedtime and I’m sat on the edge of my bed in my silk pyjamas*. I take off my watch and place it on the charger so it’s ready for tomorrow. I turn on my bedside lamp, pick up my phone and turn off all the lights in my living room and hallway. I then have a choice; take a 10-15 minute detour through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), or pick up the cable lying on the bedside table, plug my phone in to charge overnight and go to sleep.
Sound familiar? Which do you choose?
Most nights I opt for the ‘quick check’ on social media, and most nights it becomes 20 mins, or 30 mins, until I eventually put the phone down and restlessly try and fall asleep.
Then in the morning I don’t feel fully rested and groggily reverse the process, putting off getting up for just another few minutes, then a few minutes more.
This past Monday I changed that. I’ve moved my phone charger to the other side of the bedroom.
So now when I go to bed I plug in my phone, then get into bed, switch off the bedside lamp and pick up my Kindle to read for a while. The difference is noticeable. When my eyes get tired, I put the Kindle down, and pretty soon I’m fast asleep.
No big surprise I know, reading helps calm my mind, switching off the ‘ohhh I must remember to…’ and ‘ohhh DID I remember to..’ and the usual gamut of ‘what ifs…’ that I still struggle to escape.
In the morning I’m forced to get up to silence the alarm, so I’m much less tempted to hit snooze, and less inclined to end and start my day with a myriad of disturbing thoughts (currently ALL Trump), kitten pictures, and all the other interesting things that social media flings our way that have me taking the bait and click click clicking into rabbit-holes.
So far so good, I’m not sure I feel particularly more rested when the alarm goes off but my mornings feel calmer and as a result my days have felt a little less stressed as well. In time, once it’s bedded in, I’ll add some gentle exercise to my routine as well, and zen my way through the day.
* I don’t actually wear silk pyjamas, but it’s that or picturing me naked, trust me, the pyjamas are the better option.
Also published on Medium.