How do you wind down to get to sleep instead of social media surfing?
Last night I came home from a lindy hop dance and started winding down to go to bed. It was a pretty good dance – I enjoyed a lot of the music, danced a bit, chatted with some friends. A fairly typical dance night for me.
Still, when I got home I began feeling a general sense of dissatisfaction and unease. Nothing major, but enough that I couldn’t get to sleep.
So I did what I always do — I got on social media.
I jumped onto YouTube and hoped that one of my favorite channels had a new video up. I checked my Facebook feed, Instagram feed, Reddit subreddit communities. I would make the rounds of all these, and then circle back in 20 minutes to see if anything new had been posted. This went on for probably two hours before I was able to get to sleep.
This is nothing new for me. Back in the old days, I would get home from class or work and turn on the TV and watch whatever was on, even if it was just reruns of a show I had already seen. I would get trapped into a cycle of watching endless episodes of “Barney Miller,” “Taxi” or “Night Court” until I feel asleep in front of the TV.
Same feelings, different channels.
I realized that I was trying to fill some void I was feeling inside of me with these small bites of entertainment. And no amount of YouTube videos, memes, or Reddit threads was every going to fill that. But they would distract me enough until I got too tired to stay awake. It’s not something I’m proud of. I’m sure millions of other people do the same.
But it makes me wonder what would it be like if I actually had a more constructive outlet for those vague feelings of disatisfaction and unease I get typically late at night. And it makes me concerned how much I have to fill up every available moment with social media-ing, and what that is doing for my overall psyche and focus on the things that matter.
So what do you do when you experience these feelings to calm you down and help you get to sleep?