For my husband and I's fourth wedding anniversary, I booked a weekend getaway for us. I found this incredible cabin in the Columbia River Gorge. The cabin was super cute, fully equipped with electricity, a kitchenette, and a nice bathroom. When I say cabin, I don't mean your typical camping cabin. It was more of a tiny home in the middle of the forest. The cabin had an infinity tub outside that was filled with natural mineral water from the hot springs. There was also an outdoor shower and a steam shower inside. It was honestly the perfect private spa-like getaway!
While we were there, we did not have a TV. Instead, I had a new book and just the company of each other. I also deleted all social media from my phone and kept all notifications on "Do Not Disturb" the entire time. I wanted to disconnect and recharge while I was there completely.
It was as magical as it sounds.
Sitting in the infinity tub, looking out at the forest and feeling the fresh air, I felt all my stress and anxiety from everyday life completely melt away. I thought, "how can I keep this feeling going in my everyday life?"
First, I wondered what about this moment made me feel so relaxed. Obviously, the incredible view and calming tub played a huge part in this, but no matter how much I wanted it, I couldn't take that home with me. So then I started to think about the feeling I had… I was relaxed and at ease. It felt like the noise of the world had melted away.
And that's when it hit me… the noise.
I needed to cut out the noise in my life that made it hard to put what was actually important to be at the forefront. I decided that I would continue to keep social media off of my phone and also cut out TV for a week.
One of the things I knew I needed to work on was my morning route. I have recently taken a new position at my job, which has changed my work schedule. I now work at 8 am every day, and while I love being a morning person, I was used to being at work by 11 am and having all the time I needed in the morning for my morning routine. I was no longer making my morning routine a priority. A big part of that was because I wasn't making it to bed early enough to wake up early. And can you guess the biggest culprit as to why I was staying up too late? You guessed it… watching TV!!
For the next week, I came home from work, made dinner (or reheated meal prep), ate it while enjoying the company of my husband, cleaned the kitchen, completed my nightly routine, and went to bed early!! I would go to bed and read a couple of chapters of my book until I was tired and then go to sleep. The next morning I would wake up early feeling well rested and refreshed, with plenty of time for my morning routine!
While there is science behind the blue light of the TV interrupting your natural sleep cycle and keeping you awake, I also think that it was just a huge distraction. It was too easy to watch "one more episode" or "just want to see what happens next."
This week of no TV made me realize how much time I was wasting on it! I do not necessarily plan on cutting TV out of my life forever, but I do plan on limiting my time and setting boundaries around it. Especially considering how much time I waste watching TV that isn't even of much interest to me, but I am watching it because "there is nothing on."
Taking this time to really consider what is important to me and what is just noise has made a big difference in my stress and anxiety. If you are feeling this too, I invite you to think about what is making noise in your life and distracting you from what is really important. Try cutting it out or limiting it for a week to see what life is like without it. I have a feeling you will have similar findings to mine.