Written by: Jessica Baldachin
Two days ago, I woke up early so I would have time to go for a long walk through one of my favourite Toronto ravines, Mudd Creek Ravine. I put on my comfiest shoes, grabbed my iced coffee and a snack for later, put on some sunscreen and went out the door. However, five minutes into my walk I realized that my favourite self-care routine was about to take a bit of a new turn.
My favourite way to destress and practice mindfulness is walking to pop or rap music. Why? No clue, I wish I could tell you. Maybe it has something to do with getting lost in the rhythm and singing along to lyrics I usually can't relate to. Whatever it is, it always seems to take my mind away from whatever is stressing me out. However, two days ago, I wasn't able to.
When I was a few minutes into my walk, I realized that the Rogers network was down. In other words, unless I was on wifi, my phone became merely just a watch and a camera. I couldn't text, call, listen to music, check social media or use my phone for anything that needed an internet connection.
At first I was frustrated. I was having a stressful morning and I wanted to mindlessly walk and listen to some music. I thought about turning back and going home but I knew I wanted to get some fresh air and I was already outside. For this reason, I decided to turn off my phone, and just push myself to go on a short walk.
My short walk ended up being an hour long. Let me tell you why.
For the first time, I was able to trace my thoughts. Without the distractions of notifications, finding songs play and texting people back, I was able to really think about why I was feeling anxious. Normally, I would distract my thoughts which would make me feel better in the short-term. However, without any phone distractions, I was able to check-in with my body and listen to what it really needed.
I walked around my neighbourhood and thought about all of the things that I have control over and what things I do not have control over. I don't have control over other people's decisions but I have control over how I react to them. I don't have control over the current state of the world but I have control over what I do with my time. And finally, I don't have control over how people perceive me but I have control over how I present myself to others.
I find it very easy to get overwhelmed, especially being stuck inside all day (#stayalamaison). While I normally would try and distract myself, I found that taking a moment to disconnect with my phone and connect with nature and my inner feelings helped sooth my worries.
For this reason I say, thank you Rogers.