How are you doing?

“We might have to, sometimes,be brave enough to switch the screens off in order to switch ourselves back on. To disconnect in order to connect.”
Matt Haig – Notes on an nervous planet

For a lot of people it seems normal to pay attention to other people first. To watch and read how things are going with all kinds of people, that you may or may not know, before you focus on yourself. And because of things like a smartphone and tablets, all this information is always within reach.

Do I have mail?
Have I already received an app message?
What is happening in the world?
What has everyone I know and don’t posted on Instagram and Twitter?
How many likes do I have?
What is everyone sharing on Facebook?
Where have others been on vacation?
Which series everyone is talking about?
Which celebrity said what?
What are they talking about on the news?
What events are happening everywhere?

By starting your day like this, and often continuing like this throughout the day, you barely have time left for yourself. You pay less attention to how you feel. And to what there is to see in your garden, your street, your neighborhood. And you have little room left to let everything sink in, to process things.

Your dreams of that night.
That weird gut feeling that lingers.
The impressive film you’ve seen.
That one remark that touched you..
What you need, deep down.
That good idea that you suddenly came up with.
The beautiful book you’ve read.
The people in your life that make you feel good.
Why you are “suddenly” feeling so tired.
That funny conversation you had in the supermarket.
That memory of the past that suddenly came up.

And if you do take a moment for yourself, there is also a tendency to immediately share your experiences online. Instead of first really feeling them, let them sink in, think about it for a moment, talk about it with a good friend.

Give yourself some space first. Before you slowly stuff yourself with the messages and experiences from other people.

(The book ‘Notes on a nervous planet’, written bij Matt Haig, is also about this topic. There are so many great sentences that I would like to share from it, but I restrain myself and only share a few.)

“We can’t live every life.
We can’t watch every film or read every book or visit every single place on this sweet earth. We need to find out what is good for us, and leave the rest. We don’t need another world. 
Everything we need is here, if we give up thinking we need everything.”
Matt Haig – Notes on a nervous planet

“To be comfortable with yourself, to know yourself, requires creating some inner space where you can find yourself, away from a world that often encourages you to lose yourself.”
Matt Haig – Notes on a nervous planet