Have you ever looked up from your device and wondered where the last hour (or two, or more) of your life went?
Wondered who spitefully replaced your spine with a series of inflexible sticks and how they managed it?
Felt sick from all the information and stimulation you’d taken in and despite all those ‘DIY’, ‘5 Easy Steps to Fabulous’ * articles, you still felt absolutely confused about where to begin or go from here?
Have you then, actually, just collapsed further, because it turns out, binge watching/scrolling may have it’s own health risks that just aren’t printed on the side of the packet.
I have been there my dears, This used to happen to me all.the.time.
(I mean, there’s a reason I quit my smartphone and smart devices)
It generally happened when I was extra sick, or in a flare. I felt like being in my body, close to the symptoms, feeling it all, was just intolerable. My iPhone was easy, distracting. It took me out body for a time and that gave me a break from pain I didn’t know how to handle or bear.
This is not another quit your iPhone or Facebook article** in fact, today I’d like to talk to you not about how to prevent the internet hangover (I have a great interview with the founder of Digital Detox, Brooke about conscious internet use here and self-care maven Mara Glatzel on finding true restoration and avoiding ‘junk food rest’ here.)
Instead, I want to talk about what to do once you realise that you got hooked in. Where do we go from the post-screen malaise?
For so many reasons, throughout our day, we can find ourselves constricted, disembodied and struggling with symptoms that perhaps, maybe, we don’t have to.
So how do we re-calibrate and re-set?
After those moments of mindfulness, when we come back to ourselves and realise we are not in a position we want to be in, what happens next?
I have been inspired by this interactive self-care guide (NSFW) and I have discovered the more pain I am in and the more under-resourced, dissociated and/or disembodied I am, the more likely I am to pursue more and more complex, new, likely expensive solutions/management strategies.
These are also increasingly likely to be things outside myself or my networks, involving people/products I am not familiar with and buy on impulse in increasing frustration, self-doubt and self-recrimination.
At this point, I have flipped into cure seeking (something we talk about navigating in The Phoenix Fire Academy) and I am not making conscious choices.
In this state, if I had the option between say:
A) Sitting up, supported by pillows, drinking some water and listening to a favourite audio book for 20 minutes
B) Signing up for a 40-week healing course that I can’t even finish reading the sales page for but just KNOW I need and am sure I can do.
(And look at all those people who used to be sick like me and are now totally cured with just 10 easy payments of $99.99.)
Guess which one I would choose? Just guess.
This is how, some years ago, I was stuck in bed one day and a delivery person called in the open window and asked where he should put the delivery…
“Hi, my carer is out and I’m sick in bed, I can’t get up. Can you leave it on the doorstep, please?”.
“I can’t love, it’s too big”.
“Uh, ok…that’s weird. What have I ordered recently? Um, can you leave it in the garden then, please?”
“Look love, it’s a delivery pallet, it’s come on a fork lift truck, I can’t get it near your house”
OMG exactly how big was that Goddess statue I cure-seeking-binge-bought on eBay!?!
To set your mind at rest, it was actually our wholesale food cooperative delivery that arrived on the wrong day. The goddess statue arrived and fitted in the palm of my hand. But I had to wait until my carer came home to discover this and spent hours lying in bed trying to work out how I was going to explain a 10-foot goddess statue blocking the road to the local council (apparition? visitation? notify the Vatican?).
But just think, if it had been that size, what a bargain, eh?
So, my attempts to cure myself with pagan idols*** aside what simple, accessible things can we do to re-set when we find ourselves stuck?
This isn’t something with a simple answer I can give you, but I can give you some ideas and a framework to support you in making your own tailored plan.
You might have noticed this is a theme in my teaching; in my ebook and audiobook Beyond the Boundaries, I guide you through creating your own Limits Liberation Plan for living a fulfilling life from bed/home.
And in my flagship programme, The Phoenix Fire Academy I support you in crafting a tailored Healing Blueprint for living well with health challenges now and going forward. That’s because I don’t believe in assuming what’s worked for me will work for you but I do believe in empowering and resourcing you to explore what’s right for you in a sustainable, conscious way.
So, I made a downloadable ebooklet for us to create self-care check-in plans. Let’s do our future selves a favour and make the plan now.
Check out the by-donation downloadable PDF below. It’s open pricing (so you decide what feels fair and possible to pay). I’d love it if you check it out and let me know what you think!
And feel free to share your self-care plan in the comments!
Creating Our Trailblazing Self-Care Check-In Catalog
* Not to do these articles an injustice, I have found them useful, written them myself but my point here is that there is often a web-time-warp we can get caught in, endlessly consuming information but too stuck/tired/disembodied to take action.
** although these can be very valuable and have their place, but right now I’m focusing on how we can take care of ourselves once we have been caught up. This is, I believe an important self-care activity along side prevention.
*** nothing against pagan idols, but speaking for a more balanced alternative to a healing plan. Although if faith is part of your healing/wellness practice, as it is mine, that can be wonderful if it’s right for you.