De-Vise The Device. What?!?
We all have habits that either harm or help us. A vise is any habit that becomes a major barrier to achieving your goals. It could be THE obstacle that stands between you and your Best Life. Your Dream Life. Your Dharma. Could be screen time, or booze, yelling & blaming, news feeds, staying up too late or fill in the blank: ___ that is keeping you from optimum health & performance.
There is no doubt that screen time is a huge sucker of energy and time. It so easily keeps us from attaining even the simplest things we set out to do. Some vices have more or less power over us. It can depend on mood, history, circumstance and so much more.
Three Big Strategies To Turn Down The Vice: 1. Start with Identifying it and getting support. 2. Trade it for something else. 3. Lastly, protect yourself from it.
#1. Identify it + get support. Ask for help from people that love you, from friends, family and from professionals. You can say: “Hey I’m working on ABC can you help me with it by …( you choose). If, for example, when I arrive home later than usual, say 7 or 8 pm and I start snacking in the kitchen. I’m an early riser so I’m usually tired by this time. I’m eating, not because I’m hungry, and this snack turns into a 3 course meal faster than I can put my fork down. This in turn keeps my digestion feeling stuck the next day. In the morning everything is off. I like to wake up energized and refreshed. But when this happens my morning poop routine is sluggish. So this late night eating would be my vise. I’ve identified it. Next I ask the people in my house to help me out by not leaving food out or offering me any of their late night dinner.
#2. Trade it for something that is better for your body, the people around you, and the planet. The more reason this “something better” hits the brighter it will shine. Bigger bling =easier to spot among heavy clouds and storms of vise. In my evening food binge example an easy trade is warm tea with honey and creme. It’s a simple trade for a pretty small habit to break. There are as many options to trade as there are ideas you can come up with. There are more options for new great habits than there are vises.
#3. Guard. Gatekeep. Fight it like a warrior. You need fences-defenses. Create strong rules and boundaries to keep it from creeping in. For example: Don’t bring it in the house. Lock it away. Spend time with people when they are not doing the thing that you do not want to do because you know it is harming you. An example of guarding against late night snacking turned full course meal would be making sure I get the fuel I need during the day so that I am not ravenous. Paying attention to my food intake requires me to be steadfast and stealth.
Let’s consider another more common vice: my phone. Like eating, it , like Nikki Myers the creator of Y12SR taught me, is a Tiger you need to let out of the cage every day. The phone, however, is not so much of a primal need but a tool of the times. I do need to use it. But how and where do I draw the line when too much is just too much?
- Identify and seek support: I know that if I am unable to accomplish my day’s list of tasks, if my level of physical activity is less than my screen time, if I am unable to settle in to sleep at bedtime, I am probably stuck in the vice of it rather than the tool of it. Those are my personal identifiers. Yours will be unique to you. Getting support to keep my phone from becoming a vise is fairly easy because the people around me will call me out when they see me hunched in and tethered. About once a month I have to explicitly ask for help around this. Sometimes I just say:” hey take it away from me”. And I have an arrangement with 4 people who have agreed to literally pry it from my hands when I ask them to. Even when I’m saying out loud I need to turn this off- my body actually clings, all fingers and thumb wrapped tightly hanging on for dear life. That’s a seriously powerful vise.
- Trade it for something better: As a Yoga Health Coach we learn the daily habits of Ayurveda-the science of Robust Healthy Living. So many of these habits are great options to trade in to pull me out the stuck on the screen vise. One habit I’ve slowly developed a taste for is self- massage. In many ways it’s the opposite of screen time yet it has similarities. It’s oppositionional because self-massage requires taking time to slowly carefully pay attention to my body. Different from Screen time because it requires effort. Both have some instant gratification. Self-massage benefits sneak up on you and build over time-subtly. With repetition you start to crave the reward of self-healing those bones and muscles with your own hands.
- Guard. Gatekeep. Defend: I must face both the phone and the computer as formidable opponents. Always be on guard, aware of its power and might. Many times I fall short. If I’m strict with a time on and time off it helps me tremendously. I have to limit myself to what I can functionally accomplish within a time period. I set my guidelines ahead of time because once I’m in I have hard time gauging.
So best wishes to you in your dance / wrestling matches. You can weed out the ones that are infringing on the goals you are cultivating. It takes time, energy, and attention. Identify them, seek support (you deserve it), trade the vice for something that is better for you, your body, and those around you. Guard, Gatekeep and Defend your goals, hopes, dreams from the habits and actions that sway you away from the paths you most want to tread.
Turn Down The Vise, Go Outside, and Move Your body! I’ll catch you later. Best wishes, Sincerely, Danielle.