What I’ve Learned Using Social Media App Timers

What I’ve Learned Using Social Media App Timers

Intentionally Well: Striving for Present Intentionality Every Day

I have been using social media app timers on my phone for about four months. And let me tell you, I have learned some things about myself. Let me first start off admitting that everything that was 2020 had a negative impact on my relationship with my phone. I will be transparent and tell you that scrolling and zoning out on social media became a coping mechanism for all the hard things. This became my escape because I had cultivated my social media to be an uplifting space. In theory, this was a good thing. We all needed some sort of way to deal with the stress we were all experiencing. The problem was when I was ready to scale my consumption back, I struggled.

When Scrolling Became a Problem

I can’t say there was a singular moment when I realized I was relying too much on my phone. It was a slow build up. But one day I had this awareness that I was missing it. My real life, my days, were passing me by. Honestly, friend, I think we all have those realizations from time to time. It is so easy to become engrossed in what is happening on our phone, and we get these little gut checks that tell us we need to scale back. I had the gut check, but I had a really difficult time breaking the muscle memory habits I formed. It was hard for my brain to just be. I felt all squirmy when I tried to let my mind be still and quiet. I realized my brain was constantly craving some sort of stimulation from my phone. That was when I realized my phone was a problem. Was I actually addicted to my phone? The definition of addiction is as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. It is both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness. Here is an article published by CNN about phone addiction.

Implementing Social Media App Timers

No. Based off the clinical definition of addiction, I was not addicted to my phone. However, I wanted to break the habits I had formed around it. Enter app timers! Did you know this was a feature on your iPhone? I honestly didn’t until I started researching them. However, there they are. To find the app timers on your iPhone go to Settings>Screen Time>App Limits>Add Limit. From there, you can choose which apps you would like to limit your time on, for how long, and what days you’d like to have the limits. I decided to use these timers on my social media and news apps. I am sure other phone companies have this feature, so feel free to let google tell you how to access them if you do not have an iPhone.

What I learned

Every day I get the pop ups saying I reached my limit. And let me tell you, there are still days where I override my app timers. I do this for different reasons. Sometimes, especially with Instagram, my time is spent promoting this space or engaging with my community there. I don’t feel like that needs to be lumped together with the unhealthy scrolling habit I am trying to break. Sometimes I override the limit at the end of the day when I just want a little extra time to laugh at funny Tik Toks. However, many days I do stick to my goals. Regardless if I override the app timers or not, having them in place brings so much more awareness to my phone consumption. Do I need to check the news 4 times a day? No, I don’t, and I am better for it. Is it easier for me to leave my phone in another room? Yes, it is. That is something I am really proud of because that used to be a struggle. I am still a work in progress, but I am making progress. And that is something to celebrate.

What do you think? Do you have a healthy relationship with your phone? Let’s chat about it in the comments below. As always, if you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

Simple Self Care Tips for Busy Moms

Simple Self Care Tips for Busy Moms

Hey there, mama. I am so glad you’re here. Today, I am excited to share with you some really easy and simple self care tips for you to incorporate into your daily life. I have been a stay at home mom for nearly eight and a half years now. With three kids under my care, I can tell you that there are seasons of thriving and seasons of surviving. You can read here on why I am passionate about self care, as well as why I feel so strongly about having appropriate and realistic expectations of ourselves. But now I want to give you some simple tips on how to implement self care into your daily routine. And no, I’m not going to tell you to wake up an hour early every day. Sleep wins in my house, always and forever.

Drink Your Coffee Hot

I know you’re rolling your eyes right now. I know how hard it is to finish a cup of coffee with littles running around, especially while it’s still hot. Reheat that cup, mama. Reheat it as many times as you need to. Make a fresh pot even. Drink your coffee hot. There is something comforting about a hot cup of coffee. Drinking lukewarm coffee makes you feel blah, and no one wants to start the day off felling blah. To level up, drink that morning happy bean juice from a special mug. I really like this one with a verse from the book of Proverbs. Whatever mug you use, let it be one that inspires you and motivates you.

Get Dressed

I know. Pandemic life made daily pajamas socially acceptable. But think about how you feel when you put on real clothes versus your sweats. I know for me, I always have a little more pep in my step if I’ve gotten dressed for the day. I’m not saying get glammed up when you’re spending your day at home with a baby and toddler. My point is to make an effort. Sometimes I prefer a hoodie to a sweater. I really enjoy make up, so I wear it just about every day. You might be more of a moisturizer and mascara only girl, and that is okay. But spending ten minutes in the morning tending to yourself can really help you feel refreshed for your day.

A Special Afternoon Snack

The house is finally quiet, and the babies are napping. I know you have a never ending list of chores to get done before they wake up. But hear me on this, that never ending chore list will actually never end. There will always be something else to do. Take 30 minutes. Fix a favorite snack, you know, the snack you keep hidden from the kids in the back of the pantry or that random cabinet. Then, put on a show that doesn’t have J.J. or Mickey Mouse as a main character, and just relax. I promise the day will not fall apart while you take these 30 minutes for yourself. My favorite afternoon snack when my middle child was a baby was a glass of Prosecco and chocolate chips. Yep, it sure was. And while, of course, I’m not advocating for being irresponsible, and I really don’t like this wine mom culture that has become prevalent over the last couple of years – that glass of bubbly and chocolate made me feel fancy and fun when my days felt pretty mundane. My go to afternoon snack these days is a cup of black tea and (again) some sort of chocolate.

Move Your Body

I will confess that exercise was not something I was very good at maintaining during the years when my kids were babies. However, having a fulfilling exercise routine now, it makes me wish that I had made my physical fitness more of a priority sooner. It’s one of my regrets of those early years. Mama, you are worth it. Even if you are taking five minutes at the end of the day to just stretch, it will help you to unwind and recharge. Now that the weather is turning, I really encourage you to get outside and move your body. Maybe that means going for a walk or playing with your kids in the backyard. What ever it is, work up a sweat every now and then. I promise you will be glad you did. And if you’re looking for great at home workouts, I really like Blogilates.

Write It Down

Journaling has so many benefits. For me, I find journaling really helpful for processing life. It’s not something I consistently do, but whenever I am in a season of survival mode, journaling is what gets me through. Writing out all the things gets them out of your head and on to the paper instead. It helps you think and process those challenging times in a more objective manner. Journaling is also a wonderful way to keep track of your prayers and/or meditations. If you want to explore journaling from a Christian perspective, I love these Write the Word journals. I am currently working through the one on worship.

End Your Day With a Hot Bath

I am convinced that people who say they are not “bath people” haven’t actually given daily baths a chance. If you know me in real life, you know that I deem my nightly bath essential to my mental health. I say that with all sincerity. Soaking in that magnificent hot water relaxes my body and allows the daily stressors to melt away. Sometimes I make it a fancy bath with bubbles and a candle. But most of the time it’s not. My husband and children know not to come near the bathroom door while I’m taking my bath. A quiet bath centers my introverted and often touched out self. Give it a chance. I even turn my husband into a bath person.

Often when we think of self care, we think of these grand excursions like spa day or girls’ trip. However, I have found self care to be more effective when you can do little things for yourself throughout the day. It’s also important to communicate with your person about what your needs are. Having a self care routine reminds yourself that you are worthy, lovely, and called to the season you’re in. That season might feel like thriving or it might feel like you’re barely surviving. Either way, I hope these self care tips help you feel loved, because you are!

If you’re looking for some extra pampering, check out these products.

Easy Goal Setting Tips for the Busy Mom

Easy Goal Setting Tips for the Busy Mom

Learning how to set goals changed my life, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that. They brought clarity and focus when I was in a season of uncertainty. We all have a set finite days to our life. I decided that I didn’t want to waste a single one any longer. I stepped into the calling that I was created on purpose for a purpose. And so are you, sweet friend. You have a worthy life to live! Goal setting takes practice, and it can feel overwhelming for someone just starting out. Here are my tips for learning how to set goals for your life.

Start with the Big Picture

What do you want your life to look like when you are 80? This was the question that sparked something in me. I realized I needed to be doing stuff now if I was to have the life I envisioned when I’m old. So, here I am asking you this same question. Think about all the aspects of your life. What do you want them to look like 50 years from now, and most importantly why? Why do you want your life to look like this vision? When you’re struggling, always refer back to your way.

Break It Down

Now that you have your long term vision, it’s time to break it down. Grab a piece of paper and write out various categories. Things like family, relationships, spiritual life, finances, and so on. You tailor this to you. Next, write out what needs to happen in each category for you to reach your end of life vision, and once again, don’t forget your why.

Bust Through the Doubt

We all encounter doubt and fear in life. Your goals might seem pretty far off right now, almost unreachable. You might be hearing whispers of insecurity, or maybe you feel trapped in the comparison game. I am going to ask you to do something hard here. I am going to ask you to do a deep introspection. Meditate and/or pray about what the root of your fear really is. Think back to the first time you felt that feeling. Replace those lies with truth. You are WORTHY. No one can do what you were divinely created to do. Dear friend, let me encourage you. I am here for you, and I am cheering you on.

Write It Down

Now it’s time to get after it. Go back to your categories and start thinking of small actionable steps you can take this month to move to needle forward on your goals. Small steps over time lead to big progress. You are not required to make perfect progress. In fact, I can guarantee that there will be mistakes and missteps along the way. My fellow enneagram ones might be panicking right now. I don’t like the idea of making mistakes either. However, I would rather make a mistake and learn while making progress on my goals, than stay stuck in the same place for the rest of my life. I like to have daily, weekly, and monthly check off items, when I am writing out my action steps. A daily step might be as simple as drinking water every day (why is this so hard??), while a monthly step might be paying down debt by a certain amount. You do you. This if your one life. But here is the MOST important thing. Are you listening? Put your action steps in a place where you see them every.single.day. I have mine taped to my bathroom mirror. It is so easy to get distracted by the day to day. Having your goals in front of your face will help to keep you focused.

Tips and Tricks

  1. While you do not need any special tools to set goals, I really like the resources from Cultivate What Matters. Makse is another popular tool, but I have not personally used them before.
  2. Set a word for your year that encompasses all of your goal. I know it’s not January, but here’s a secret – there’s nothing magical about January 1st. You can read all about my word for 2021 here.
  3. Your goals should stretch you. Be really honest with yourself with what you are capable of. Have realistic expectations of your goals, but you should also be stretching yourself. I will usually set my monthly goals to where I know I won’t accomplish them perfectly on purpose, so that I am always reaching. Does that make sense?
  4. Decide today is the day, because why not you? Why not today? You got this!

Tell me about your goals, and as always, please like and share this post if you enjoyed it.

When Goals Failed: Adjust the Process

When Goals Failed: Adjust the Process

What happens when you feel like your goals failed? It’s mid-February, and I bet those goals you made at the beginning of the year seem like distant a memory. I get it. We all start out with such good intentions, but life happens. I want to encourage you to think back to those goals. The goals that you were so excited to take action on. Instead of accepting defeat or getting discouraged, let’s adjust the process of reaching the goal.

Adjust Your Time Line

I can speak with authority on having to adjust the time line of reaching my goals instead of accepting that my goals failed. Everything inevitably takes longer than I think it should. Don’t look at changing your time line as a negative. Look at it as having better insight into what it’s going to take to accomplish your goal, and a healthy understanding on what you are capable of accomplishing on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Adjust Your Steps

Sometimes we need adjust the steps to meeting our initial goals by adjusting the steps to meet them. For example, you might have a goal to organize your home. Once you start this, you realize that you really need to focus on decluttering instead. In this circumstance you’re having to break your goal down into more specific steps. You realize that you can’t organize things the way you want to without decluttering first. In this example, we added steps to our process, but you might need to take some steps away. A couple of years ago, I wanted to improve my baking skills (anyone else get super inspired by The Great British Bake Off??). I thought that I couldn’t start practicing my baking until I had certain baking pans and other kitchen tools. It was freeing when I realized that I could cross off purchasing those things off my list and simply start with what I had. For some tips on goal setting, check out this post meant for busy moms just like you! If you are wanting to really dig in deep with your goal setting, I recommend the Powersheets Goal Planner.

Adjust Your Definition of Success

It’s easy to have a picture of what we think success looks like. The comparison trap can easily come into play here. Your success might not look like someone else’s. I think this is especially true if you have a fitness goal. We are often enticed to compare ourselves to others, when in reality our goals and our processes are so individualistic. I love the quotes from Lara Casey that say “little by little’ and “progress over perfection”. There is something so powerful when you take a step back and say, “I made progress! It might not look like what I thought it would, but I’m closer to my goal that I was.” That is worth celebrating!

It’s easy to make goals (you can read more about my 2021 goals here), but it can be hard to stick to them. It can be hard to persevere when you feel like your goals failed. But friend, I want to encourage you. I want to encourage you to adjust the process of your worthy goals for this year instead of accepting failure and tossing them out the window.