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how I'm choosing to live my best life

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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Self-Care Using Modern Technology?!

Modern technology
Photo courtesy of Erica Steeves on Unsplash

I'm going to be 100% honest, although I do try to avoid using my phone, tablet, or laptop too much within the first hour or two of waking up in the morning, and an hour or so before bed, I'm still on them pretty much all day. I'll admit it, I'm a little too attached to my electronic devices and I should probably cut back my use a little more; especially as I can't fathom going very long without them. Although I do have quite a few activities that I enjoy that require no Wi-Fi, mostly for when the internet is down or I need a very short break from it, some of them actually still involve a screen! A lot of the things that I enjoy the most, make me the happiest, and that even relax me the most involve some sort of electronic device with a screen; whether it's my phone, tablet, laptop, or the TV. So although it's never a bad idea to put the phone down or to log off and enjoy the fresh air, a little "me time" spent using your tech in a positive way isn't a horrible thing either. 

We all know that the digital world can easily become negative, stressful, and just plain toxic, as it exposes you even more to the negativity in the world, but there is also a positive side to the digital world as well; I've already discussed both the best and worst ways social media has impacted my life before. It's also way too easy to become sedentary when you're too connected to your digital devices as well, one of my worst mood-killing habits. I could go on and on about the negatives about living in this digital world; even as a tech lover, I'm not oblivious to the negative effects it can have, but I also see the positive side to it as well. So how can one go about using their digital devices in a positive way, and even use them for self-care? I have quite a few ideas.

Self-care with modern technology

Browse around on a stress-free or low-stress website or app

Browsing on phone
Photo courtesy of Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

Social media and the internet, in general, can be very stressful; and full of toxicity and negative shit that can totally ruin your day, or at least put you in a bad mood. Whether it's the seemingly non-stop bombardment of politics, the constant onslaught of awful news, the typical petty internet drama, or whatever else, I could go on and on; there's a lot of negative crap on the internet we could find ourselves getting a little too wrapped up in and that we don't need to be exposed to all the time. At the very least I like to avoid looking at anything too stressful, upsetting, or anything that would wind me up within the first hour or two after waking up in the morning, and within an hour or two before bed; as well as when I'm already stressed out, upset, or just not in the best mood. One can easily argue that the best way to avoid stumbling upon anything that'll get your mind wound up is to just unplug completely, and even turn the TV off; I can't really argue with that, at all. But what if doing something on your phone, tablet, or computer, also provides you with a little stress relief, and even fills you with positivity; provided you're looking in the right place?

Although I can't speak for everyone, I do personally find that some social media sites and apps are more stressful than others; and then some are actually super low-stress or even stress-free! Although this completely depends on you and what you may have on your personal feed since all social media websites and apps can have potentially upsetting content, due to the fact that anyone can post to them. There are, however, a few websites and apps that I actually find to be mostly stress-free and mainly positive overall. Some of my personal favorite websites to go to when I want to wind down, or find a little positivity or light-hearted content on, are interest and photo-based social media apps like Pinterest and WeHeartIt, Fandom Wikis for my favorite TV shows and games, and interest or hobby-based blogs and websites. I also love websites and apps that allow you to get creative like URSTYLE; which can also be an amazing tool for fashion and beauty bloggers! 

Fill your feed with positivity and things that make you happy

Web browsing
Photo courtesy of Freshh Connection on Unsplash

I absolutely love to search for fun and positive things that I enjoy, and I love to see things that put me in a good mood on my feed! Who doesn't want to see cute, funny, motivating, inspiring, or other fun and positive content that they enjoy?! I particularly love Pinterest and WeHeartIt because it's so easy to fill your entire feed with the stuff that you actually want to see by following the right people, boards, or topics, and you can quickly search for cute photos on these sites as well; but you can easily find positive content on just about any social media site, or on the internet in general, if you look for it! Here are just a few fun, lighthearted, and positive things you can search for and add to your feed...

Positive things to look at on the internet

Again these are just a few suggestions for things you could search for and add to your feed; there is so much positive and uplifting content out there!

Watch positive videos on YouTube

Photo courtesy of Mc Jefferson Agloro on Unsplash

Although there are plenty of TV and Netflix shows I love, I honestly spend way more time watching YouTube videos than anything else. There is just so much on YouTube that you simply won't see on TV, or even find on Netflix; I just love watching content produced by my favorite creators, both big and small. I also love that you can find just about anything on YouTube as well, whether you want to watch cute videos of puppies and kittens, Let's Plays of your favorite games, makeup tutorials, product reviews, or whatever else; there's a good chance it's on YouTube. You can even find stuff related to your favorite TV shows, movies, celebs, and everything else on YouTube; but come on, we been knew about all of this.

One of my favorite ways to relax is to truly sit down, get comfortable, and find some good YouTube videos to watch; and to just focus on them like I would on my favorite TV show, rather than trying to multitask too much. I particularly enjoy doing this around lunchtime, but I also love watching a YouTube video while drinking my morning tea, or while I'm getting ready for bed. Regardless of the time of day though, I always love looking through my subscriptions and watching the latest videos from the people I'm subscribed to, and I find it to be a great way to wind down. I also love rewatching old videos or watching anything new that looks fun and interesting that I come across! 

Read blog posts about the things that you enjoy

Relaxing by the computer
Photo courtesy of Freshh Connection on Unsplash

Reading is an amazing way to wind down and take your mind off of everything else; it's also a great way to either let your imagination run wild or to find inspiration and motivation, depending on what you're reading. One of my favorite things to do when I need some quiet time is to grab a good book to enjoy while either sitting in a comfortable chair or lying in bed. I will be honest for a second and say that I highly prefer reading an actual book over reading off of a screen, but I don't always have a physical book that I'm interested in reading or haven't already read many times before near me; this is where digital content starts to come in. And once again, there is a lot of stuff you can find on the internet that you won't find at the book store. I personally love reading self-published stories on websites like Wattpad, as there are so many stories you can find on there; whether you're looking for fan-fiction or something completely new! But another thing I totally get is that, sometimes, you may not want to read a full novel, and you'd prefer to just read something relatively quick.

Although I may seem a little biased here, there is truly something special about sitting down with a hot beverage and reading some blog posts. Whether I'm looking for knowledge on a specific topic, looking for another perspective on something, or another way to do something (or how to do it in general), something I can relate to, something quick and fun read, or whatever else, I just love the content that I can find through reading blog posts. Let's also not forget that there are blogs out there for just about everything you can think of, and it isn't too hard to find them; especially if you look for them through Pinterest, or through the writing community on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media site or app! Seriously though, there is so much amazing content that can be found through reading blogs; and you may even just discover a new hobby you never knew you'd enjoy through reading blogs!

Follow along with a tutorial, DIY, recipe, or other instructional blog post or video that sparks your interest

Painting nails
Photo courtesy of Element5 Digital on Unsplash

I absolutely love watching hair and makeup videos on YouTube, as well as cooking videos and all sorts of DIYs. I also love finding and pinning all sorts of DIYs and recipes on Pinterest; as well as other great lifehacks and amazing content. But how often do I actually try out the things I find on YouTube or on Pinterest; beyond just watching the video or clicking through a saved pin to read the blog post? Honestly, not very often, at all; but I don't think that's all that uncommon. Especially as many DIYs and recipes require quite a bit of planning, and you may also need to buy the supplies or ingredients for them, or they may just be a bit time-consuming. But with that being said, even if you may need to plan it out a bit, if you find a recipe you really want to try or a DIY you think you'd really enjoy, or anything else you think looks like fun, why not try it out? 

If you don't want to buy anything, there are plenty of DIYs out there where you could easily use items you may already have at home, and recipes that use ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen. When it comes to hair, makeup, or nail tutorials, you could always improvise with products you already have as well; or maybe just put your own spin on it if you don't have anything that similar! Also remember, you're doing this for fun and as a way to relax, it doesn't need to look exactly like the photo, or like the end result in the video. If cooking, drawing, or doing any sort of DIY work isn't your thing (or you're just not feeling like it at the moment), you could always try a workout video that looks exciting to you, or perhaps a yoga or stretching sequence you found on Pinterest; or perhaps a guided meditation if you're not up to working out. I could go on and on because, seriously, there are so many great things on the internet to try out. So why not give some of the ones that truly catch your attention a try? It could be a great way to take your mind off everything else for a little while, try something a little new (or maybe very new), and even treat yourself a little bit. 

Look for relaxing content such as guided meditations or ASMR videos

Headphones and laptop in bed
Photo courtesy of Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

Getting my mind completely wound up on something is pretty easy, and regardless of whether I'm getting wound up on something positive or negative, it can be nearly impossible for me to wind down on my own. I don't even want to know how much sleep I've lost over being worried and stressed over something, or how many times I couldn't focus on anything because I was upset over something I had absolutely no control over. On the flip side of that, I've also been up all night many times because I was so excited about something that I couldn't fall asleep; I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve every time something even somewhat exciting comes up for me. Let's be real though, who doesn't get too excited to sleep when something they're really looking forward to is coming up? But the thing is, if I can't get any sleep, the only thing keeping me awake the next day would be the adrenaline rush from my excitement; so then there's a chance I may tire out right in the middle of everything as the initial excitement fades. And if I'm being kept up by my thoughts because I'm restless over something negative or stressful? There's no way I'll be doing anything productive the next day if I can't find some way to rest; this is when a bunch of bad habits can begin to form, starting a cycle that can last for days or even weeks.

So what can one do when their mind won't shut off and let them get some rest, or actually get anything productive done? I've said before that whole idea of sitting completely still in silence and saying "ohm" to meditate is not my thing; I need something to do or to focus on, but I'm not going to argue that taking the time to consciously do nothing or to do very little is beneficial. This is where guided meditation and ASMR videos come in for me; I can't even begin to explain how helpful both of these types of content are in helping me unwind and relax. I absolutely love guided meditation practices as they practically force me to sit still and sit up with proper posture or to lay flat on my back (rather than in whatever contortionist pose I tend to sleep in) and to try to lay still without fidgeting or twitching too much; even if just for a few minutes. The big thing though is that, regardless of whether I'm sitting in Sukhasana or laying in Shavasana, the focus is on conscious breathing, and trying to focus on the breath through a variety of conscious breathing techniques. However, sometimes I'm not particularly feeling up to sitting or lying still and focusing on my breath, or I still need a little extra something to relax after finishing a guided meditation; so this is where I thank the universe for ASMR videos.

I actually listen to ASMR a lot throughout the day, as the right ASMR video can actually be great background noise for when you need to focus. But, as you may know, if you've heard of ASMR and/or watch it regularly, it's usually intended for sleep and relaxation; so if you must use your phone in bed when you can't sleep, I highly suggest watching or listening to some ASMR videos and try to really focus on the video, whether on the visuals of it, the sounds, or both.

Play a relaxing video/computer game or a game that relieves your stress

Video games
Photo courtesy of Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

Playing video games is supposed to be fun; right?! So although many may beg to differ, I truly believe that playing a video or computer game can be a form of self-care; although some games may also be a source of frustration. Seriously, how many times do I have to redo this part of the game before I finally beat it?! Ugh! But that being said, when I become focused on whatever goal the game has set for me, or the goal I set for myself (or my Sim) in the game, I'm so focused on it I actually forget about whatever is stressing me out IRL for a little while. Personally, I prefer games like The Sims where I can just let my imagination run wild, without having to focus on one specific goal; at least when it comes to playing a game for self-care purposes. But everyone has their own preferences, and different ways they may like to relieve their stress through gaming; so while I'm relaxed by getting creative in The Sims, others may find it more beneficial to blow off some steam in a more action-packed game, and then some others may prefer nothing more than a quick mobile game. Then for some, it just depends on their mood what game will help them relieve some of their stress or wind down.

Just remember to take a few breaks from the game every now and then, especially if you start to get frustrated; and try not to stay up all night playing. 

Although I definitely can't argue against unplugging from time to time, or that unplugging is a great form of self-care, there are definitely ways that you can turn screentime into self-care time; as long as you're using your devices positively. I do, however, still suggest trying to avoid using your phone, laptop, or computer too much within an hour of waking up and an hour before bed; or at the very least, avoiding potentially stressful content and apps during these times. And if you can't help but be on your devices at night, or you're always reaching for your phone in bed, try enabling dark mode on every app that has it available, if you don't have it enabled already; on the iPhone you can enable dark mode for your whole phone and many apps will adapt to it! Many devices these days also come with a built-in "night mode" or blue light filter to help cancel out some of the blue light that comes from the screen, if your device doesn't have this, you may still be able to find an app for it; which can be amazing if you really enjoy watching ASMR at night, but want to cancel out some of the blue light from your phone screen.

What are some of your favorite ways to unwind using your digital devices; or do you prefer to avoid technology outside of using it for school or work when you can? What kind of content makes you happy to view? Also, do you prefer light mode or dark mode?! I personally love light mode during the day, but I prefer using dark mode at night!
Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
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