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  • Luna

From Black and White to Full Color: Live Better Vol. 1

Plum blossoms, cherry blossoms, wisteria, tulips, and canola flowers.

After a long winter, the season full of colors has finally begun.

Sadness and pain won’t disappear as winter does, but the new colors may enrich our lives little by little.

In this series of articles, I’d like to present three tips to help you reflect on your life and find something better in the process of mental recovery.

Also for those of you who are physically and mentally healthy, I hope this will be an opportunity to heal from the daily fatigue and move forward with lighter steps.

Well, let's start with the first key, “Living Slowly.”

In this day and age where connections with others can be made through the internet even at home, it must be pretty difficult not to compare yourself to others.

When you check Instagram stories, everyone’s doing this and that. Maybe sometimes, when you compare your life to others, you feel that yours isn’t as exciting as others' and even wonder, “What the heck am I doing?”

I used to open Instagram before going to sleep and right after waking up. I didn't like to think about things at bedtime, so I found it comfortable to just scroll through the screen. I would also check my phone as soon as I woke up because it felt like social media content would stimulate my brain and wake me up easier.

However, one day I noticed that I hadn’t been able to rest my mind and body because I was connected to the outside world 24/7. I was always following others and chasing trends, feeling like I was just being carried along in a fast-flowing river, doing nothing.

So, I decided to stay on the shore for a while.

I thought that it’d be exhausting to stay in the social “whirlpool” day and night.

I wanted to stay connected with my friends, of course, so instead of going on a complete “digital detox,” I limited my screen time on social media.

“Then, what's there to do away from the screen?” I'm sure some of you wondered.

Indeed, I often found that there was nothing else to do at first; I think I tapped the "Ignore Limit For Today" button about five times (haha).

Social media is addictive, so when I first started to distance myself from it, I found myself constantly thinking about my phone's presence and feeling a bit restless.

But gradually, I started to have more time to relax and to pay more attention to what I did, what I ate, and my mental state. I became able to take better care of myself.

When I was using social media often, I’d choose products based on others’ senses upon buying cosmetics or clothes, thinking, “That girl looked so pretty in this, so I’ll use this too.”

Now, I choose products based on whether I feel happy with them or what the best option for me is. This makes me feel that the things I own are more precious, valuable, and important than before. It also helped me construct my sense of value.

Since I stopped looking at the screen while eating, I don’t overeat as much as before. I also started paying more attention to the flavor, so now I’m enjoying trying more delicious food or cooking meals every day.

30 minutes before bedtime, I put my phone away. I listen to music, meditate, light candles, and burn essential oils to relax and find peace of mind.

Of course, lifestyles vary from person to person. For those who feel easily stressed or unable to rest, trying to create time and space for relaxation could help. Eventually, you’ll come to appreciate everything and every event, and you may feel that every day is a different and wonderful day.

I’d like to give color to the world that used to be black and white and paint my own life on my canvas. What kind of art is on your canvas now, and how would you like to paint on it?

Written by Luna

Translated by Kyoko Itagaki

Edited by Emiru Okada

Graphics by Ren Ono

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