Slow living

My first new habits

A few months ago I adopted my first new habits. Some habits may stay with us for only a short amount of time, but some might become more permanent (until they become, one day perhaps, obsolete). There might be things that I do or do not do on a regular basis, but right now I have two relatively new habits that have stuck with me over the past four months.

The first is concerning my phone. I have always slept with my iPhone right beside me on my nightstand as it was also my alarm clock. This has been a habit for over ten years, so it is not easy to beat. Of course I had heard stories about how a phone in your bedroom could affect your sleep, but I always thought that it wasn’t a big problem for me. I never had any problems sleeping.

Until these problems started. I had trouble falling into sleep and also trouble with waking up at night and feeling bright awake. These problems were not solely because of me having a phone in my bedroom, but it certainly did not help. When you’re waking in the middle of the night and you check the time every fifteen minutes, it is agonizing. At the same time, I would feel very tempted to just scroll on my phone, which certainly doesn’t help getting back to sleep. So, I decided to leave my phone behind in the living room when I’m getting ready for bed. I try to refrain from checking my phone an hour before, but this doesn’t work. I do often sleep better when I do, though.

We have purchased an old fashioned (silent!) alarm clock and it works just fine. It really feels more peaceful leaving that phone behind… Aside from this, I have also quit social media. Some might be temporary, others definite. I have finally deleted my Twitter account after ten years not using it and I have logged out of Instagram over six months ago. My account is deleted and my pictures gone, but I do not mind. I was always busy comparing my images and in extend my life, to others. This is what’s good for me right now.

Then onto my second new habit: reading. Reading is a form of relaxation – or at least it should be. I already talked about my bookshelves and the massive number of unread books that was slowly stressing me out. ‘Having’ to read certain books to live up to an imaginary standard is never okay. I was, until six months ago, always reading three (or more!) books at a time. I have decided to read only one book at a time. If I do not like a book, it should go, if I do not feel like reading it right now, I am swapping it for something else and, perhaps more importantly, it is okay to not read… I do own a Goodreads account and I have been tracking my reading habits since 2015, but with this new habit I’m trying to find that relaxation again.

I am hoping to adopt new habits over the next few months, but I am also trying to remind myself that habits come and go and should be positive and beneficial and not something that forces us to continually compare ourselves with others who might to ‘a better job’ than us.

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