Sunday, January 31, 2021

Life Lately: On using my phone more mindfully


January feels like it zoomed by. I can’t believe it’s already a month since I sat on the sofa, coffee in hand, and reflected on which habits I wanted to continue prioritizing this month. At the end of the exercise, this list included things like: using my phone more mindfully, meditating every day, eating and snacking healthy, being more mindful and present…

Using my phone mindfully is something I have wanted to do for very long but didn’t crack until recently. For many years, I would reach for my phone first thing in the morning, respond to instant messages throughout the day, use it to escape once things got boring, and stay up late catching up on the latest news. I would sometimes make drastic cutbacks to accommodate busy periods at work or school but otherwise continued on that trajectory.

While all that time passed, my case for change grew stronger. First, my mood and energy levels would vary unpredictably and in ways I couldn’t control. I might randomly see a tweet about a stabbing and descend into a negative spiral for hours. (I’m introverted and I become overstimulated pretty easily). Second, interrupting myself frequently meant I wasn’t producing my best work. Third, keeping up with my new workload required me to be extremely productive during the day or work late every night. Fourth, all that phone use was resulting in a lot of connection but not enough conversation*.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Life Lately: On COVID, work, and my word for the year

Victoria park on a sunny winter day. My first walk after recovering from COVID in December. I didn't leave our flat for ~14 days so I was very glad for this beautiful day.

This year has started really positively. I’ve heard a lot of good news from friends and family, ranging from new boyfriends to new jobs and babies, and it is so exciting that good things continue to happen for people despite the pandemic. I hope that there continues to be more good news than bad news as we go through the year.

I’ve had a pretty strong start to the year myself. After getting quite sick with COVID over Christmas and being very frustrated that I could not travel to Nigeria or the UAE, I’ve again come to terms with the world we now live in. I say again, because it seems to be a cycle. I come to terms with it, then I’m tired of it, then I remind myself I can’t change the situation but can change my attitude to it and so I come to terms with it, and then the cycle repeats.