We have the power to unlock the secret to childhood creativity and it is SO simple. Learn how to step away from the world, how to reinvigorate your mind, and how to find you again.
Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of Motivate Me!
It’s Me! Time here on Motivate Me! and we are working on coming back from flat.
Before we start, let’s get into the right headspace. Let’s engage in the idea that this is time where YOU are the priority. Let’s take two slow, deep breaths to get us centered. Just follow me.
Today’s focus is: Unplug to Recharge
Listen, it’s no secret that in today’s society many people are trying to mimic the highlight reel they see of the lives others share on social media. And, it’s no secret that we pick up our phones twice as much as we think we do. The NY Post estimates that we pick our phones up eighty times a day, which is every twelve minutes. I’ve seen other reports that say that number is even higher.
For the record, I’m a cell-phone, Internet, social media, people-loving person myself who really enjoys staying connected with friends and family online. And I’m curious and I love to watch all different kinds of videos: true crimes, inspirational, historical, etc.… all the things. I get “sucked down rabbit holes” all the time, as they say.
If you’re not familiar, getting “sucked down a rabbit hole” looks like this: You think to yourself, “Oh, Billie Eilish has a new song out!” So you search YouTube, play the new song, then play three of her other videos, then watch videos about her life. Then you decide to search for footage about her and her brother recording their first album in their bedroom, which leads you to search to see if her brother has an album of his own. Yep, he does! So you flip through all his songs on the app Spotify. Then you go to Billie’s Instagram to see how her new album is being received and get sucked into reading pages of comments by her once adoring fans who are bashing her because they think she’s doing something called “queer-baiting” – because she titled one of her posts, “I like girls.” Now her fans think she’s just baiting a specific fan group in order to build her base.
On one hand, all this searching and watching was interesting and entertaining, it was also informative because “queer baiting” is new to me. On the other hand, I lost an hour of my life, and I walked away feeling horrible. I couldn’t stop reading the posts, one after the other, bashing Billie. And I thought, “Wow, fans! Where’s your loyalty?” Shouldn’t fans show support until they at least know what they’re bashing? Isn’t Billie allowed to be human? I understand what they’re upset at, but they’re making assumptions and they’re judging – judging harshly – and I’m not about it. It honestly made me super sad, it’s still resonating with me. Like, I hope Billie Eilish is OK right now.
I hope people who’ve been through this reach out to her. In the rabbit hole, I did see that she’s become friends with Justin Bieber, so maybe him or Pink or Gaga or Britney or Lindsay or anyone else who’s been put on the pedestal to be ripped down is giving her perspective.
I had a whole conversation about it with my husband because this is one of the ways celebrities end up in rehabs. Billie Eilish has a strong support system, I just hope it’s enough to get her through this, because she’s 19-years-old and that’s a crazy place to be in all of this.
Anyway, do you see how invested we can get when we get sucked down the rabbit hole? How much energy we put into things that have nothing to do with us, things we have no control over?
Now, I’m not saying to never explore random things and people online. Sometimes we do this as a family, and we learn new things about people, their life, their craft. I just found out some pretty interesting things about Louis Armstrong’s life! I’m just saying that sometimes we need to unplug from it all to recharge who we are, to evolve in our own right.
So, what does it mean to “unplug to recharge”? Here’s my definition:
To “unplug” yourself means to step away from the world at large and let your mind be still.
And to “recharge” yourself means to refresh and reinvigorate your state of mind.
So, what kinds of things is it important to unplug from and for how long do we need to do this?
In general, I recommend finding space and time away from the things on this following list, and doing this for at least thirty minutes once a week (much longer, if you can).
You will need to say NO to:
– telephone calls
– social media
– video games (all games)
– music (optional)
The only reason I suggest avoiding music is because we’re constantly being stimulated by something, and nothing manipulates our emotions more than music. What would you think about and what would you do if you were surrounded by total silence? If you were sitting in a room and everything was just off? Just still?
Something would happen. If you didn’t fall asleep, your mind would probably become restless and very quickly you would start thinking about things, like, maybe I should paint these walls or make a pillow? Or where is that book I’ve been wanting to read? Or I should try that new chicken recipe for dinner tonight.
Or maybe your mind starts envisioning story lines or begins to hear new melodies or starts to plan a surprise for someone you love.
You may have experienced this when we were forced to quarantine if you weren’t busying yourself with distractions, like binge-watching television, scrolling through social media eight hours a day, drinking all that wine. I’m not here to judge. I had days doing all these things, that’s how I know what you need to get yourself back on track. That’s how I know that in order to recharge, we must unplug.
Here is the only thing you are not allowed to do during unplugged time – and it will be your first go-to! – when you have these delicious, creative ideas, you CANNOT pick up your phone. When the ideas come, jot them down, jot down a few notes to look into later. Yes, on paper – not on your phone. You don’t have a phone right now, remember? Just keep gathering ideas. Draw out your idea, create steps, do all the things, but the longer you wait, the more you gather this information, the more developed it will be, because you are giving yourself space and stillness to delve deeper.
So often we use all of the things we are plugged into as distraction, it’s a form of escapism that is different than but similar to drugs, alcohol, excessive exercise, a shopping addiction, etc. All of these distractions take our minds off of things. But if our minds are distracted, how will we ever grow or change or create?
If you really want to give yourself this opportunity, if you really want to see what could stem from this kind of quiet time, try to manage these four additional distractions, too. These will take more planning.
The first one is: Work
– Work is the first of these. It’s very easy to throw ourselves into making other people successful. And very often, work can bleed into our personal lives and drain us. Even if you’re someone whose work is a passion, getting that thirty minutes to an hour of quiet time a week could enhance the work you are already doing. Work/Life Balance is vital to the recharging process, so it’s important to value this time and honor it.
The second one is: Chores
– Chores are an obvious responsibility we can’t get away from, but we can absolutely give ourselves an allotted amount of time a week to ignore what needs to be done.
The third one is: Pets
– Pets seem like a silly thing to bring up here, but have you ever finished all your running around, you pour yourself a nice cold drink, you sit on the couch, and Fido goes into a full-blown temper tantrum? Exactly. And if you’ve only allotted yourself thirty minutes to unplug, then taking the dog out and getting their treat, their dinner, their fresh water, and then getting your head back in the right headspace could cost you at least ten minutes of your thirty! So take my advice, take care of any needy pets before you start your time.
The final and fourth one is: Relationships
– Relationships is the most important and final point I’d like to bring up. And when I say relationships, I mean any and all that leave you with a sense of responsibility. Yourpartner, children, family, neighbors, friends… whoever could commandeer your quiet time, physically or mentally. Again, plan ahead to get the most out of this time, and remember that you are not required to respond to calls and texts on demand. Your work lunch break may be the best time for you, when you are padded by your work day? And, maybe you can utilize these relationships to help you achieve your goals; could someone in your life assist you in getting this quiet time?
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I am going to leave you with some truth talk from me to you: What happens when kids are home and bored? They begin to create. They make forts and draw and have talent shows and play teacher. Make it your mission to find time to get bored! Unplug, be idle, stop the multi-tasking. I know some pretty important people and they manage to unplug – because none of us are so important that the world will not go around if we dip out for an hour. So claim your time, it’s yours to take, and see what you can create with it!
Remember, you Motivate Me!