Finding Tranquility in Our Urban Lives

What really causes our daily stress?

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When we wake up unprompted,  feeling refreshed, we have slept enough. – Thrive, Arianna Huffington

With the busy life that we all have, how many times can you really say that you had a good night sleep? Or when was the last time you had a good sleep? C’mon, think and try to answer my questions 🙂

If your response is a firm “every night,” “always,” or “most of the time” then, I congratulate you my friend! Just continue whatever it is that you are doing.

But to most of us who are on the other side of the fence or still trying to remember, well, do not be so hard on yourself. We are standing on the same ground. But have you considered figuring out the real cause/s of your lack of sleep? It is true that this is stress-related, but what causes our daily stress?

Image courtesy of nicholasferguson.org/

Image courtesy of nicholasferguson.org/

Girl in pajamas writing on forums

Photo courtesy of braingreatest.xyz

An average person’s day with a smart phone and internet connection may be described in the following scenes: (Let us use Jane as an example)

  • Jane wakes up in the morning; the first thing that she grabs, will be her smartphone to check if there are any messages, emails, or social media updates (Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites)
  • Then, Jane prepares for work; turns on the tv or mp3; prepares coffee or most of the time, her breakfast will be bought along the way.
  • Jane commutes to her workplace; puts on her earphones and listens to some songs while browsing her mobile phone; Hopefully, there are no heavy traffic on her way, otherwise she will have something to post on her Facebook or Twitter, on how much hassle it is to be late for work. 🙂
  • She arrives at her workplace, opens the computer and starts working. Occasional web browsing will then occur.
  • Lunch break comes and Jane will just grab a sandwich because she will have a “working lunch” as she needs to complete the report before the day ends.
  • While she is rushing on her reports, emails are also coming in and some are expected to be answered ASAP;  Add the phone calls and mobile calls that she receives as the day goes on.
  • The clock shouts 5 PM! but she is not yet done and she may be staying for the next hour or 2.
  • Finally, she can go home and because she is so tired, she will drop by to the nearest restaurant to grab her dinner.
  • Jane arrives home, switches the TV and watch while eating her take-home dinner.  But while watching, she is also browsing her smartphone.
  • There are times when she receives work-related phone calls and she may need to open her laptop to have things done.
  • Jane then prepares for sleeping but just before she shuts her tired eyes, she will engage in last few browsing and promises herself that it will not be longer than 5 minutes. And what do you know? After more than an hour, she is still browsing, watching YouTube videos or reading an e-book and it is way past her bedtime.

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photo courtesy of seventeen.com

Sounds familiar? 🙂

In this age of technology advancement, everyone is vulnerable to stress. In my example, did you notice how Jane is so attached to her work schedule and gadgets that she forgets to stop and smell the flowers? Jane is us and we are Jane.

While work eats more than 75% of our entire day, we are hooked with our phones, tablets, consoles, laptops and computers at the same time. Our day is either work-work-work or phone- e-mail-phone. If only we can ask to have a day with more than 24 hours, right?

While work eats more than 75% of our entire day, we are hooked with our phones, tablets, consoles, laptops and computers at the same time.

In my previous post (Status: OFFLINE), I mentioned about “digital detox” and I strongly believe that each of us should sign up for that; at least once a month. This detox helps us refocus and reconnect with the people around us. My travels in Europe made me realize things like how refreshing it was to see how most Europeans talk to each other (in the Metro; while eating or having coffee).

When they read, they are are holding an actual book and turning the pages of a real newspaper. They sit on a bench, at a park and enjoy the view or watch the people walk without any headphones on. They are not very fond of the latest gadgets, I guess.

Unfortunately, if you live in a very modern city, people will always be busy with their phones texting, talking, watching videos or movies.  Less talk and lesser engagement.

 you are not indispensable…

So what am I trying to say here? There is life beyond our work schedule and gadgets so stop robbing some personal time from yourself.

Disconnect from the technology once in a while and reconnect with your environment.

Sleep early.

Grab a real book and read it in a park, a cafe or in your bedroom.

Try getting some fresh ingredients, fewer preservatives, and canned stuff; cook a good meal, and better if you share it with your family and friends.

Talk and laugh with people and lastly, instead of having a last minute browsing session, why don’t you end your day of hard work with a glass of wine and some good ol’ music?

Image courtesy of fybooksandwine

Image courtesy of fybooksandwine

Like what my mother used to tell me when I was younger and working so hard to the point of losing my weekends and holidays for the sake of my job, “work is never-ending, but if you get sick, they can always get someone to replace you and you are not indispensable“. I remember how I used to get mad at her and for a time, I did not listen to her words of wisdom. But now, all I can say to my mother is, “I cannot agree more.

So to you, my dear reader, may you take some time off this weekend, have a good sleep and reconnect.  🙂

Finding Tranquility in our Urban Lives

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots: Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.

– Anne Frank

xoxo berryduchess

26 comments on “Finding Tranquility in Our Urban Lives”

  1. Your piece is a shining example showing us how we cause our own stress and it’s up to us to de-stress. We have our first day of sunshine in about two weeks – and I’ve now scheduled myself a lunch away from my desk – just me and the sun.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. Right now I am carrying around a big Philippa Gregory book. Yep, a real book and laid in bed reading it for a good hour last night. It was wonderful:) And this weekend, I will be away from the internet celebrating my son’s 17th birthday. There will be paintballs flying and a camera snapping.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spot on… Love the Anne Frank quote at the end. There is plenty of amazing stuff surrounding us but we are too busy to see it… or taking pictures of it and posting it. Not really looking at it any longer because we are too keen to share it with everyone else…

    Liked by 1 person

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