For quite some time I've wanted to become less reliant on my iPhone, and I was confident I would be just fine without a phone. That being said, I wasn't willing to give my phone up voluntarily for a little personal challenge, so the Universe decided to kill my iPhone X: it fell out of my pocket and the whole thing smashed and bent to the point where I was fascinated by how poorly the new iPhones are built. I also learned something.
1. I rediscovered ancient forms of communication.
That's right. It turns out I don't even need an iPhone to call, text, or FaceTime people. I can just do that from my MacBook or iPad. I might not be able to reach people who don't have iPhones, but that's alright with me. I don't know that many people anyways, and certainly even fewer people without iPhones, if any at all.
2. Without my phone, I all of a sudden had all this extra time on my hands.
I was literally sitting there staring into the wall wondering what the hell to do. I mean, there's only so much Alexa can do to keep you entertained, and I'm not the kind of person who can watch TV for more than 30 minutes without getting bored. So with the 'Screen Time'-feature I realized I spent an astonishing 6+ hours a day playing mobile games.
I found a quick solution: I started playing The Sims, Sim City, and Grand Theft Auto on my MacBook again. This way time flew, and before I knew it, I finally had my replacement phone.
3. New habits.
Getting around town without a phone is nearly impossible. I don't have a working wristwatch - I thought those were decorative. I don't care for an Apple Watch (what a stupid thing), and I don't feel like opening up my laptop on the train to see what time it is. So I just kind of tried to cope without knowing what time it was, and also without GPS, and without the ability to reach anybody outside of a free WiFi zone (anywhere in L.A.) - I was kind of clueless, but happily so.
I could feel my anxiety and blood pressure go down a little bit. It's nice to not be reachable.
And now that I have my phone back, I try to limit the time I spend using it as much as possible. I mean, I'm on my laptop right now, and I know that I can blog directly from my phone, it's probably easier too, but I just really like a good old keyboard with the 'Do Not Disturb'-function turned on, because fuck notifications (they're mostly reminders I ignore for infinity).
Earlier today, after a four hour long meeting in Santa Monica, I went to Eataly at the new Westfield in Century City for a business meeting / cocktails with lovely Louise from Hollywood Hot - we brought our own hot sauce. I like how my hand looks so huge that it actually has its own stainless steel stand.
Life is so full of surprises. Both good and bad. But how do you deal with the bad, without losing your cool?
When I wake up in the morning, I sometimes think to myself "well, what's next?", and then the phone rings... You know how this goes.
This summer we have lost family members, friends, and pets, a sad and tough process for anyone to experience. Up until this summer I didn't really have much experience dealing with this sort of thing, but I've learned a thing or two while this has been going on.
First of all, I think it's important to set aside enough time to grieve, and process the loss. Light a candle, light some sage, pray, talk to someone you trust, or do whatever it is that you do to get in touch with your spiritual side. However, there's not always enough time in the day to sit down and process.
Life and work still happens while you're processing the loss of a loved one, or another traumatic event, and that's where proper and timely communication comes in handy. I had to delay a few important work-related tasks while this was all going on, but luckily I was met with understanding, and was given the time I needed in order to move on.
I know that it is not always that simple. Sometimes you just can't put life on hold, even though you feel like you need to. The stakes might be too high. You don't want to fail that class, or lose your job, because you are going through something stressful.
So what do you do? There's actually an app for that. I think I would dare to say that it can help you master life, while actually dealing with your trauma at the same time.
I've used the app 'Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety' for almost a year now, and it lets me log my feelings, my general mood, and I can also track health habits, like sleep and caffeine intake. When I open the app and log my general mood, I also get the option to do a 'daily exercise', like a five minute guided meditation, a journal entry, or browsing through inspiring and uplifting quotes to add to my hope board.
I usually spend anywhere from 1 minute to 10 minutes on this app daily. My favorite feature is how customizable everything is, especially the tracking of health habits. It has given me great insight in my own health habits, and also motivated me to make changes where needed.
Another feature I like, is that the app lets you send detailed reports to your health professional. I have not used this feature, but I have spoken to others who have. You simply choose what information you want to share with your health care provider, locate your health care provider on a list, or simply put in their email address. Your doctor or therapist might already be accessible on the app, and can work with you through the tools available.
Pacifica has truly reduced both my stress and anxiety, gradually over time, and I hope it might help you when you're dealing with a stressful situation.
It's available on the App Store and Google Play.
FYI, I decided to purchase a lifetime subscription of the full version of the app, but the app is amazing without the premium features, so you won't have to spend a cent trying it out. If you want to try the full access version, their pricing is $8.99/month, $53.99/year, $199.99/lifetime.
Please note that I am not a health care professional, and I would advise you to consult a doctor before making any decisions regarding your health.
I am not affiliated with Pacifica, Apple, Google, or any other company or brand name mentioned in this article, and have not received any financial incentives for publishing it. I am simply sharing my personal experience with this product.
I'm Lars, born and raised in Norway, living the dream in California.