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One Simple Hack to Reduce Stress this Holiday Season | and always

One Simple Hack to Reduce Stress this Holiday Season | and always

How many times a day does your phone pull your focus away from what you are doing? Research indicates that the average person checks their smartphone 150 times a day, which broken down over waking hours is like every SIX MINUTES. I bet that if this is you, its because something has triggered you to check your phone. Those triggers are normally some kind of alert. So & So has posted a photo on Instagram…..Betty Sue has checked in on Facebook.

These notifications are dictating your schedule and your behavior. TAKE BACK YOUR TIME.

Turn off your notifications! All your notifications, but especially social media and email notifications.

The average smartphone user doesn’t adjust the notification settings on their phones. Don’t be average…make your phone work for you. By turning of notifications your attention won’t be pulled by the ping or buzz of your phone. You are in control of when you check your phone and when you want to take a moment to check Facebook, Instagram of Snapchat, do it. The only notifications I leave on are my health apps. I love a Stand Up Now….Take a Deep Breath…..or, a be present, reminder.

Turning off notifications should only take a minute and will free you from split attention. Part of the reason we feel stress is because we have too many open loops going on in our mind at a time. When you see a notification while you are doing something else it can spiral into a longer visit on your phone than you intended or it can trigger you to do something else, like commenting on photos, or wondering why you weren’t invited to lunch. Next thing you know it’s 20 minutes later, you are now behind schedule and the stress starts to build.

So take a breath, take the plunge and free yourself.

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Runner Up Suggestions for less stress during busy times

  1. Do NOT check e-mail or social media for the first hour upon waking up. If your phone is your alarm clock or sleep tracker check those things then put your phone by the door so it’s ready to leave with you for the day, then leave it alone. Sixty minutes without you phone will set your day up on your schedule. When you check into your phone you check out of your life.

* Studies show that within the  First 15 minutes of waking up, 4 out of 5 smartphone owners are checking their phones and among these people, nearly 80% reach for their phone before doing anything else.

2. Before picking up your phone write down, on paper, the top 3 things you have to accomplish today. This way your days priorities are set before there is any distraction

3. Set phone alarms that are a positive message for 4 times a day. Currently my favorite is a reminder of how I want to be each day it reads ‘Present, Energetic, Bold’. This alarm goes off at 9am; 1pm; 5pm and 8pm.

4. SLEEP! Get to bed by 10:30 at the latest! Our body actually gets better quality of rest between 10pm-12pm. Don’t short yourself of this benefit during this busy time of the year. Remember quality rest also boosts your immune system….no one has time to be sick during the holidays.