Why Turning Off my Phone Changes my Week

By Emily Fletke

Photo by Janelle Pol

Photo by Janelle Pol

My life felt out of control.

My phone constantly dinged with text messages. I rarely took a moment to breathe as I ran all over Manhattan with appointments. Being overscheduled was killing me.

Here’s what helped me find peace:

SHUTTING OFF MY PHONE

“Uh, what?” you might be thinking. “Who actually gets to turn off their phones these days? And what if I miss that job opportunity I really need?”

We do everything on our phones — from depositing paychecks to calling an Uber to tracking our periods. These shiny little devices are handy and necessary. But unplugging every now and then can remind us to intentionally recharge with God, who is the true source of peace and the sustainer of life. Your iPhone can’t love you back, but God can. Putting my phone away reminds me that Siri doesn’t run my life, God does.

SURRENDERING MY SCHEDULE

Think of yourself handing over your planner and saying, “Okay God, how do you want to fill, or empty, my calendar this week?”

For us to become women who enjoy peace, we might have to cut out some things and do less. We have to get honest with ourselves about what we actually have capacity for.

We have to be aware that sometimes our overscheduling and anxiety can be rooted in not wanting to disappoint people or feel alone, and our needing to achieve.

When we know we are loved, seen, and known by God as we are, we don’t need to run ourselves to the point of exhaustion. We can stop letting the fear of disappointing people dictate our schedules, and we don’t need to use people or excessive activity to try and fix our loneliness.

I find comfort knowing God is able to give me real peace when I surrender my schedule to him.

SABBATH — TAKING ONE DAY A WEEK TO REST FROM MY WORK

Sabbath, or Shabbat, is a tradition God established with Moses and the Jewish people which required them to take one day a week to stop working and rest. Good idea, God! Because we definitely need it.

For me, the Sabbath can look like a commitment to not check work emails for a day, taking time to journal, exploring the city with my camera just for fun, going for a bike ride, getting gelato at L’Arte de Gelato — my current fave — and sitting in the sun.

Not only am I able to take on the coming week with more joy, clarity, and strength, but I’ve often received a brand new job opportunity unexpectedly after taking a day to rest. I’ve found taking a day off can be more productive than using that extra day to get ahead in my own strength.

Is there a day this week when you can set work aside and intentionally connect with God, phone-free?