Almost a year ago today I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. I had gone through months of unexplained weight gain, hair loss, sluggishness, mental fog and an overall feeling of depression, so receiving a diagnosis was both relieving yet daunting. Adrenal fatigue, I learned, wasn’t something a prescription or doctor could fix. It’s a condition that, without treatment, has the potential to develop into something much more serious in the long run—namely, an autoimmune disease. Like other serious conditions, it requires long-term impactful changes and commitments to your diet, exercise, and mental well-being.
The first two I could handle—in fact, I had already planned on making these changes leading up to our summer wedding—but the last presented a barrier I had no clue how to get around. Both my day job and side hustle involve social media and always “being on.” Moreover, I catch up on the news by reading it on Twitter; I connect with friends around the world by sending them DMs on Instagram or WhatsApp; and I watch all of my shows now on YouTube, Netflix and Facebook Video. Between my two jobs and my personal life, the one thing they all have in common is that they all involve screen time. It comes as no surprise then to learn that I have not one connected personal device but five! Unfortunately that means five times more reasons to be stressed. Staying connected all the time is absolutely draining, and with zero separation between work and life (when it comes to being on and offline) the biggest thing that suffered, I realized, was my mental health.
There are so many studies and articles published recently about the negative effects and consequences social media has on our mental health—this particular article hit home for me—and I realized that to truly make a significant change on my mental well-being, I’d have to disconnect from the online and re-connect with the offline. This meant putting limitations on my screen time and setting a strict “no phone rule” before 8am as well as one hour before going to bed. I also started to meditate and focus on breathing first thing when I woke up, leaving my phone at home while I walked the dog throughout the day, and re-discovering hobbies that required absolutely no devices (like baking!).
Of course, my biggest fear was that without being connected I’d miss out—not on parties or events that others were attending, but on critical information, news, and updates that I’d need to do my job properly. This is when I discovered Pocket: Pocket is an app and web extension that allows you to save content to any device, tablet or computer, allowing you to read it anytime at your convenience whether it’s on your commute home, in two days time or even when you’re in airplane mode! Thanks to Pocket, how I consumed information, news, and articles changed literally overnight.
Pocket took the pressure off the immediacy of reading—previously, if I saw an article I wanted to read, I felt pressured to read it on the spot, otherwise I’d lose it in the chaos of the Facebook or Twitter newsfeed. Likewise, articles about the Instagram algorithm, a funny dog video, or the latest in advertising were constantly being sent to me and I’d file them away in my email Inbox never to be found again. Housing everything in Pocket is such a lifesaver, and with the use of Tags, I can now easily pull up political news and op-eds, recipes, industry updates, or entertainment gossip with just one tap.
Even the way I consume news each day has changed. I used to scroll frantically through my newsfeed every hour or so, quickly scanning headlines and bylines to assess if there was anything worth reading. Now I wake up without being in a panic, meditate and stretch, and then once I’ve eaten my breakfast, grab my phone and see what I’ve missed. I use a news aggregator, The Skimm, that seamlessly delivers a daily round up of news articles (both political and entertainment), industry updates, and entertaining facts and videos—taking the stress of newsfeed scrolling away. Anything that I can’t read immediately, I save to Pocket and when I’m on my lunch break or have a few moments of free time later on, I continue my reading. Pocket has revolutionized the way I consume information and has allowed me to become much more intentional and purposeful with my time, as opposed to previously frantic and distracted. I can now rest easy knowing everything I want to read is housed neatly and securely all in one app, leaving me with the time and energy for things I love: brunch with my friends, walking my dog or just simply being.
Pocket is a free web extension and app. But for $44.99 per year, you can upgrade to a Premium account and have an ad-free experience. You also get access to the Permanent Library, which keeps a personal backup of all the links and articles you’ve ever saved just in case the original page changes online. My favourite feature however is the Explore functionality: similar to Instagram, you can discover new articles based on your search terms and keywords. Check out all the amazing features associated with a Premium Pocket account.
So what are you waiting for? Do yourself a favour and download Pocket right now. Your mental health deserves it.
This post was sponsored by Pocket. All thoughts and opinions are my own.