How often is it that we get that time to just stop, to put down technology, to turn off the phone, to just sit and think?
When was the last time you sat down without your phone or a piece of work or sat and watched a TV program.
I can’t remember the last time I did it, and I’ve forgotten how much I’ve enjoyed it.
Do you remember back to when you were a child and there were no electronic devices, when the days felt long and you would moan to your Mum you were bored? I miss those days!
I don’t think my children know the meaning of bored. We are either flat out going from activity to party or catching up with jobs at home. Most of their waking hours are spent pre-planned, weeks in advance.
Where we live, my children have a lot of access to outside space and trees and streams in which to play in. At this point in their young lives, they don’t know how lucky they are. In the UK recent research has shown that children are now spending only half as much time playing outdoors as their parents’ generation did (National Trust Survey), this is driven by the declining amount of outside space available to children in towns and cities as the demand for housing and office space grows. This is a worrying trend meaning that children are spending more and more time inside on technology.
Statistics talk about children being more stressed and having more mental health problems than ever before. With children spending up to 6 1/2 hours per day in front of a screen, is it surprising that 52% of school children felt less confident in their appearance or in how exciting their life was because of social media? (based on a survey, commissioned by Digital Awareness UK).
If this is how our children are feeling, then imagine what it is doing to us as adult? Do we, like our children need to learn to be bored and allow our minds to wander and just switch off? Do we need to put and end to the busy being busy?
Having talked a lot about how I struggle to write normally (obviously wine helps with this), I do think this has a lot to do with the fact that I have very little blank time, time where I just sit and think and don’t aimlessly scroll through other peoples lives or work.
Whilst there is a very simple answer to this all in just putting down the phone, ignoring the email or saying no to that party or get together, actually in this connected world, it’s not always that straight forward.
Now I am trying to factor in some blank time, some white space, some shut out the whole world for half and hour time. Just to see if it makes a difference to my week and my well-being.
After my blank time I feel instantly calmer, and hey, I’ve written a whole blog without the need for alcohol or anger. There must be something in this!
I challenge you to sit and be bored just for a short period of time, every week and then tell me what you achieved after it!