The Advice I Finally Took

Good morning brave friend!

Ok, so I finally took my own advice! This little strategy has been part of my self-care workshops for YEARS and yet it was only last week that I actually followed through and used it myself!

I finally removed the EMAIL icon from the home screen of my phone!!!

One of my anxious habits that comes out in full bloom in the evening is to repeatedly checking my email. It’s like a reflex at this point. My phone is near, I pick it up without thinking or being intentional, and I tap the little envelope. It was so out of hand that I would be tapping and checking almost every 15 minutes and it was RIDICULOUS!

I know how it happened, how I came to all this checking and clicking. As an education administrator during COVID I was on high alert at all times. Often, especially in the beginning, things unfolded so quickly and the need for response, decision and direction happened moment to moment. If I ever set my phone down and disconnected, I would return to urgent messages and panic would set in. It was a really awful time.

Now, even after the crisis has passed, and I am no longer in that role, I still feel a hazy, distant sense of panic when I don’t check in several times each hour. And well, let’s face it, the attachment to my phone and using it to distract and numb myself doesn’t stop at checking email. Those pesky social media buttons beckon on my home screen as well. Each night after I had officially put work away, I would spiral into tapping, checking, obsessing and then starting all over again. It needed to stop.

So, I did it. I took those icons off the home screen of my phone. I also decided to leave my phone on the charger, away from my ability to reflexively pick it up and tap. 

WOW was it hard!! I had no idea how tied I was to that down right obsessive behavior. I’ve talked about it forever, but really didn’t think it had that much of an impact on me. Boy oh boy was I wrong! As I sat without my phone anywhere near me I was fidgety and uncomfortable. So, I decided to find something for my hands (and mind) to do. 

It took awhile to find them, but I dug out my old knitting supplies I hadn’t used in over 10 years. Back then, there had been a big celebrity surge of knitting as a mindfulness practice and I had jumped all in… but like most fads, it passed. Digging out some needles and yarn, I sat down to listen to a mystery podcast. This combination of casing the yarn onto needles, and listening to fiction that entertained my brain was EXACTLY what I needed to connect inward and let the anxiety building inside go. It was magical.

And so we come to your Mindful Mini invitation, delete the icon that’s gripping you into anxiety and fill your brain and body with something nourishing. For me that meant letting go of the urgent sense of connection to work and email. I no longer need to stay constantly attached (and probably never did) to work. That attachment was keeping me anxious and overwhelmed. 

Where are you staying connected to a sense of anxiety that you need to let go of? What “responsibility” have you twisted into a false sense of obligation that now robs you of connection and joy? Where can you set a boundary with YOURSELF and let go of the illusion you need to be on call at all times? This can be with work, family, friends, your children and absolutely with YOURSELF!. I drew a line in the proverbial sand, cut ties with my false narrative and took action to be more connected to myself. It isn’t easy and it will take intentional effort to release the attachment… but dang has it been liberating! Let go and do the work to find your way back to YOU because you are SO WORTH IT!

Yours in heart,

Kelly Driscoll

About Kelly Lynn

Kelly Lynn Coaching & Consulting

I empower districts to transform culture and educators to transform their lives so they are connected, fulfilled and aligned with purpose. With over thirty years experience in education and education administration, I specialize in supporting Social Emotional Learning (SEL), balance and a culture of wellness. It is my MISSION to bring joy back to education!

Contact Kelly Lynn

Recent Posts

subscribe to my weekly mindful mini!

A quick — but effective — mindfulness exercise will be delivered directly to your inbox each week for FREE!

subscribe to my weekly mindful mini!

A quick — but effective — mindfulness exercise will be delivered directly to your inbox each week for FREE!