Do you ever suspect that your phone is causing you more stress than it should?
Four out of five adults say they constantly check their email, texts and social media, according to a new report by the American Psychological Association (APA)*.
Most of us are probably somewhere in the middle – not glued to our phones but reliant upon them. And for good reason!
Thanks a ton to Republic Wireless for sponsoring this post! All opinions are completely my own. Make sure to check out Republic for a great deal on a phone for teens.
I love the fact that I can listen to podcasts on the go, quickly reply to customer emails while my kids are playing at the park, and find answers that make me look smart when my kids ask things like “How many chickens are there in the world?” (19 billion in case you’re wondering).
But sometimes it can all be too much.
If you don’t set it up intentionally, your phone can start to stress you out.
Here are 4 ways phones can cause stress and the simple fixes you can make right now.
1. Interruptions cause stress!
Those notifications! We love them but they are disruptive!
If your phone dings every two minutes or you get those little notifications for every new email or Instagram like, you’re allowing unnecessary stress into your life.
And the answer isn’t to train yourself to ignore those notifications – nope! That’s practically an impossible feat.
The solution is much, much simpler.
Turn off as many notifications as possible.
This means emails, social media apps, and maybe even texts.
I promise you, after about 10 minutes, you’ll probably not even notice that they’re gone.
And when YOU want to check in on your accounts, all those updates will be waiting for you.
The only notifications I allow on my phone are texts and phone calls. The rest are non-critical and can wait for ME to decide to check them and not vice versa.
Action step #1: Take 2 minutes right now and turn off notifications. (If you don’t know how to do this, ask Google for instructions specific to your phone.)
Result: Notice how you feel when you’re phone hasn’t dinged after 10 minutes. I’ll bet you feel a lot less rushed and more calm.
2. A cluttered “desktop” or home screen causes stress and invites procrastination.
Glance at the time on your phone and all those lovely apps will suck you in faster than a tween catching a glimpse of a Kidz Bop video! Squirrel!
Eliminate those temptations by organizing your home screen.
Drag all but your most essential apps into folders. It’ll be easier to find the apps you DO need regularly and the others will be waiting for YOU to decide it’s a good time to scroll and browse.
My home screen has just 6 icons: phone, camera, texts, a to-do list manager and my budgeting app. The rest are tucked away where they don’t cause mischief (and stress or procrastination!)
Action step #2: Drag all but the most essential apps into a folder or two. Bonus points if you move that folder to a different screen.
Result: Notice how easy it is now to stay focused when you do access your phone.
3. Using social media on the go is a double-edged sword.
I know it’s fun to check Facebook while you’re in the grocery line but it may be causing you more stress than you realize. Make a decision now to turn off access to mobile data for all but the most critical apps.
Did you just die a little inside?
It’ll be worth it, I promise. You can always turn it back on if you find that you still want it later.
Action Step #3: Turn off mobile data for some or all of your apps.
Result: Try it for a week and see if you get used to it. Do you feel less stressed?
4. Your phone bill itself may be unnecessarily expensive! Talk about stress!
I did an informal survey of my friends and the average household bill was $142 for just over 2 phones! Talk about stress!
Friends, have I got a treat for you!
Our last bill was $58 with taxes for 3 lines (it’ll be about $70 now that my oldest has added data but he’s covering the difference).
We’ve had phones from Republic Wireless going on 4 years now and I’m a bit of an evangelist for them.
My older kids have phones for emergencies and the mom-factor (I need to know where you are at all times!). My 13 year old got a phone for Christmas and he’s on the most afforable plan. This is perfect for him and gives me peace of mind when he’s not at home.
I get it – Republic’s one downside is that you can’t use your iPhone with them. But if you do the math, you might decide that it’s not worth $1000 a year extra. I just got a gorgeous new Samsung Galaxy S7 and it’s every bit as wonderful as any iPhone I’ve seen. I’m just sayin’ 🙂
And certainly, for kids and teens, a $99 Android phone has plenty of functionality.
One other thing that trips people up is the WIFI calling.
How does that work anyway?
Simple – Republic has technology that allows your phone to use WIFI when available to make calls. It saves them a ton on data (and you as well!). And if there’s no WIFI available or if the signal isn’t strong, it automatically switches to cell service.
In my town, we have several dead zones that get no cell reception at all (one being the elementary school). Republic actually solves that problem for me because I can connect to WIFI at the school and make calls when everyone else has no service.
This is 60% less than my informal survey of friends! What could you do with an extra $84 a month ($1008 a year!)?
How do you keep your phone from stressing you out?
Do you use any of these tips? Or are you a Republic Wireless customer?
Thanks again to Republic Wireless for sponsoring this post! Republic is my #1 choice for affordable and excellent phone service. Learn all about their phones and incredibly affordable plans here.