Happy Birthday, Ashley!
We live in a world where we are constantly inundated with information. While we still have paper formats like newspapers, magazines, and books, the majority of our information is gathered and distributed through our electronic devices – phones, tablets, computers, tv’s and radios. It is one of our core practices on Moondance trips that everyone unplugs and reconnects with each other, nature and most importantly themselves. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads and strengthens every day, it feelslike every time I get onto an electronic device, the panic has increased, and my anxiety increases as aresult.
As some of you know, on December 23rd , 2019 I became a new mom to a beautiful baby girl, Savannah Shay. Throughout the previous nine months, I was told time and time again that having a baby will change your world. Duh. I knew that. Confession time – now I ACTUALLY know that.
My husband and I are so lucky and blessed that our little girl is healthy and very happy. But as a brand-new mom who already suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, trying to keep a tiny little human who can’t communicate alive is a lot. I had already started taking a lot of precautions with my girl in December, before COVID-19 arrived in the States officially. I had a newborn baby in the middle of flu and RSV season. We already weren’t leaving the house outside of doctors’ appointments. We shared pictures and videos with friends and family instead of having visitors. We just had to wait out the season and we’d be in the clear.
I can do that. We can do that. During this time, amid late nights and exhaustion, an easy go to was to grab my phone and scroll. Scroll through Facebook and Instagram, news outlets, blogs; anything that was mindless and would pass the time. Then COVID-19 hit. And hit. And hit.
My 3 a.m. scrollings resulted in worry, anxiety and panic. My head was spinning with all the facts and confirmed cases. My already diminished amount of sleep was being cut down even more because my mind was racing with the what ifs. And then I got the best piece of advice (and a bit of a stern talking to) from the person who knows me the best – my mom. I’ve been so lucky to have her staying with us since Savannah was born to help us navigate this new world.
So, one night, around 2 a.m. as I’m telling her about the newest and grave facts and figures and working myself up into a world-class tizzy, she said the most mind blowing thing… “Ashley, you need to get off your phone”.
Wow. It’s so simple. Why didn’t I think of that?
I’ll tell you why. Because our world has convinced and conditioned us that we have to be up to date on all things, all the time. Because we live in a society where we are constantly connected and plugged in. Because it’s been so ingrained in us, that many times, the idea of unplugging, and disconnecting doesn’t even cross our mind as an option.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s important to be aware and know what’s going on in the world. But it’s okay to checking once or twice a day to get the latest updates, instead of being a slave to technology. You know what happens when we unplug and disconnect? We REconnect. We reconnect with ourfamilies. We reconnect with ourselves.
In my case, putting down my phone and turning off my tv has allowed me to get more creative with how I interact with my daughter. She’s only three months old, but she’s already becoming so observant. Unplugging from technology has allowed me to sing and dance with her in the kitchen. It’s allowed us to go for a walk through the neighborhood and feel the sun on our face and the breeze on our skin. We hear the birds chirping and dogs barking. It’s allowed me to watch her see things for the first time.
She loves bright colors and movement – she’s enamored by our ceiling fans and watching them spin. Unplugging has allowed me to watch my mom interact with her baby’s baby. Unplugging has let me soak up all of the good baby snuggles and smiles, and who wouldn’t want that?
You know what else unplugging has helped me do? Reconnect with myself. I’ve taken walks outside, I’ve read books, I’ve started knitting again. I’ve cooked more for my family (don’t worry, we eat very well as my husband used to be a chef). And I’ve relaxed. I’ve breathed.
So, in this time of uncertainty and fear, can I make a recommendation? Take some time and unplug. Go without the technology for a while. Spend time with your family and play a game. Get outside and do some physical activity. Curl up with a good book. Get back to routine that has you focused on what’s going on around you, and not what’s on your screen. You’ll be better for it, I promise.
– Ashley Kubit, Moondance HQ
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