How To Get The Answers You Need Without Pulling Out Your Phone

Laura Schwindt
2 min readMay 5, 2020

The lost art of downtime and how it’s destroying our self-awareness.

For my birthday this year, I told my family I wanted to go on a good old fashioned hike together.

We decided on a familiar hike we had done before and set a time to meet. Once we arrived we noticed a big metal gate with 3 thick chains padlocked together blocking the road to the trailhead.

Normally, one of us would have pulled up a map on our phone so we could re-route ourselves to an alternative option.

However, there was no cell service where we were and we had two options:

  1. Drive back to where we could get cell service and plan a new route.
  2. Put our phones away, trust our instinct, and forge our own path.

It seems we have become accustomed to pulling out our phones as soon as we have a question about something. “Siri, show me gas stations near me.” “Siri, what day is Mother’s Day in 2020?”

Although this is helpful when you quickly need the calculator or would like to check the weather, it can be a real detriment to finding answers to some of the deeper questions we should be asking ourselves.

It’s very common when we have a free moment to jump on our phone instead of just spending a little quality time with our thoughts and questions.

One of the best ways to ensure I get enough of this critical time is to create a ritual for it. I created a digital sunrise and a digital sunset and I keep my devices off-limits during these times.

Once the device is out of the picture, your heart and brain can take over! Now that you aren’t distracted with emails, notifications, or scrolling the feed you can pick one of many activities to get your juices flowing.

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Physical Activity
  • Walk Outside
  • Journaling
  • Prayer
  • Visualization
  • Sitting Quietly
  • Gardening

Putting the phone away can lead to many beautiful realizations. Taking time to go within and explore can open paths you may have not traveled on or paths you have forgotten about.

The day we went on the family hike, we decided to trust our instincts and found a new path that led us to our destination. It was a day I will never forget as we all explored new scenery and quality time creating a brand new experience together.

Next time you have a question, put your device away, get quiet, and see what answers you find!



Laura Schwindt

Woman Dentist Burnout Prevention Coach. Retired dentist, mother and vegan athlete. Dedicated to helping women create more life balance.