MGU 197 | Social Trust

The pandemic has made many of us a bunch of skeptics, particularly on the institutions that seemingly hold us during these trying times. Now, social trust is deteriorating, and more and more people are holding back from a lot of things they used to do. In this episode, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen dive deep into the erosion of social trust that is happening during this pandemic. They look back to history and try to find parallels that could offer a glimpse of what life will look like post-pandemic. On the growing level of distrust, Jason and Whitney figure out how this will affect other aspects of our lives—from the governing bodies down to dating our behaviors. They then tap into the mental health issues that are becoming even more felt in this time and offer some solutions that have helped them overcome sleep deprivation, anxiety, and more. 

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Erosion Of Social Trust

One of the many subjects that fascinates both myself and Whitney on this show is the impact of certain factors on human society as a whole. We dive deep into subjects around social media, the impact of influencer culture, and how the pandemic has affected our mental health. One of the things that I’ve been diving deeper into, Whitney, is researching this subject of the erosion of social trust, not only in the US but across the world.

This has been something that more and more papers have been coming out on and interestingly, there have been some juxtapositions of what’s happening with the erosion of social trust in our pandemic in 2021. Contrasting that with certain sociological factors that were happening during the Spanish flu, which was 1918 to 1920 and that ushered in, of course, as we know, the roaring ‘20s. There’s been all this conjecture and interesting theorization about what a post-pandemic world is going to look like.

Some people say it’s going to be a mirror image as history tends to repeat itself and there are a lot of historians that believe we, as humans, operate in cycles of history. That aside, I’m not necessarily talking about predicting per se what a post-pandemic world is going to look like. The thing that interests me though is all of the factors that are going into the erosion of social trust and the stratification of people in different classes, races, and economic brackets, and what’s contributing to that.

We’ve mentioned this author before. He’s one of my favorite modern authors and I love his work, Mark Manson. I get his weekly newsletter. Truth be told, at the beginning of 2021, I unsubscribed to probably 70 different newsletters. I did a complete roto-rooting colonic of my inbox and it felt great. I was like, “Let me get the shit out of my inbox,” but one of the people I kept was Mark Manson. I like his writing style. He’s blunt and irreverent. He talks in a similar way that I talk. He feels conversational.

He’s been talking a lot about some of the studies that have come up around this erosion of social trust. One of the things that he talks about in this that I want to throw at you that I find super interesting is how when we are in a high death count. He talked about this in the Spanish flu. As the proportion of global deaths increased 100 years ago with the Spanish flu, the social trust in things like government, medicine, science, religion, and one another decreased.

As the deaths increased, social trust decreased, and there are a lot of side effects when it comes to this deterioration of social trust. One of the interesting ones, I suppose, is how a lack of trust in government science, etc., can decrease people’s ability to delay gratification, which is a fascinating thing. In terms of delaying gratification, it’s people being responsible with their money, saving for the future, not doing impulse purchasing and not spending their money on things that don’t matter.

In looking back in history at the roaring ‘20s, what did we see? We saw massive spending, the decline of prohibition, and people spending a lot of money on partying, opulence, alcohol, and God knows what else. It’s an interesting thing to think about as we’re all cooped up and people are becoming stressed, anxious and there are a lot of mental health issues. When “the world opens back up,” I wonder if we are going to see a mirror image of what happened over 100 years ago where people are going to go absolutely apeshit.

When the festivals open back up, concerts open back up, and people go to the movies again, I’m super curious, Whitney, to look at history as a barometer to see how people are going to not only spend their money but how crazy things are going to get. People have been cooped up for a while and I’m sure they’re going nuts. I’m going a little bit crazy. I miss all those things too. I’m super curious, the way people are being mindful around their finances, social interactions and health. I wonder if all that’s going to fly out the window and how people are going to respond to this. Have you thought about this at all? When you think about “the world opening back up,” do you think people are going to go absolutely crazy after being pent up for this long?

MGU 197 | Social Trust

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

It’s interesting because I went to the dentist for the first time in a while. Definitely, since COVID happened, I finally felt like I was comfortable to go and start seeing doctors again. I’m slowly booking doctor’s appointments for a general checkup, care, and all that. I noticed a couple of things on my way to the dentist, the feeling of driving towards an area I haven’t been to in almost a year. In fact, this dentist is across the street from a big mall in Los Angeles and I remember going there last March 2020, right before the lockdown happened.

It was in that weird period of time in early March where we knew that COVID was starting to spread, but nobody was that concerned about it or if we were, it was like a light concern, and the city wasn’t being restrictive at all. It was like, “We should probably sanitize, wash our hands, and be careful.” I don’t think we are wearing masks, which is such a weird time to look back on. Anyways, that mall represents the last time that I had an outing like that.

Driving towards that mall, I was reflecting on life before COVID. Going to the dentist felt like a luxurious experience and I also felt grateful for this particular dentist because of COVID. I was thinking, “There are many things I used to do before COVID that I didn’t even think about that might have exposed me to germs or whatever that probably got me sick.” When you think about how many people would be in a waiting room and you’re not super cautious about how close you are to people.

The whole experience was pleasant at the dentist now compared to what it had been like in the past. I feel like things have gotten a lot more efficient. My first thought here is that we could be more efficient and mindful because of COVID and maybe even reducing our chances of getting sick. A lot of people have experienced in 2020 that they don’t get colds and flus as often or if at all. That’s probably because we’re standing 6 feet apart, wearing masks, washing our hands, sanitizing, and all of those things.

All these surfaces we used to touch amongst each other, many actions have changed, for me, at least. It isn’t universal. Not everybody abides by those rules. To counter what you’re saying, Jason, there are a lot of great things that are happening that hopefully will continue. I remember before COVID, you would see these people, commonly Asian people, would wear masks in public and you might think that they are weird for doing so.

I hope now it’s socially acceptable. Maybe it won’t be enforced, but if it’s socially acceptable and common for people to be wearing masks out in public, on airplanes, or whatever, having the option and not feeling weird about it like I might have before COVID is awesome. I probably will continue to wear my masks in certain settings like that simply because I’m grateful that I haven’t been sick, even with the common cold or flu.

The other thing is that I can’t speak for other people because my overall experience with COVID has been pleasant and it hasn’t changed that much for me. I identify as an introvert so I tend to spend a lot of time in solitude and I get drained in social settings, so I don’t miss them as much as a lot of people do. I feel satisfied and nourished by online interaction for the most part. I feel like it’s nice to have more excuses not to socialize as much and when I do socialize, it’s incredibly intentional.

Intention that is becoming more and more important to me in my life is being clear on why I’m doing something and how I’m doing it. This reminds me of some things I’ve been reading in the book Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport, which is such a phenomenal read, honestly. It’s a crucial book for people that want to think more about their use of technology, especially social media. The section I was reading of that book was about how we aren’t super intentional about our social interactions in general.

As the deaths increased, social trust decreased. Click To Tweet

In COVID, once collectively in the US and other parts of the world, we start to feel safer about interacting with each other, it will likely for many of us be a trickle. Not necessarily a full blast of flipping on a light switch and suddenly everything’s back to normal. We’re going through these different phases. It was a big term that we used in 2020 when COVID first happened, but it might be even more prominent. I’m curious to see what will happen with some in-person events.

I have one scheduled for July 2021. I’m still open-minded to the fact that it might not even happen. Who knows? We have our event in September 2021, which also still feels like, “Is this going to happen?” I’m planning for both of them. I’m cautiously optimistic, I suppose. My experience at those events will be different and as a result, more intentional. I can’t speak for everyone because personally, I’m not going to rush back into things as soon as I’m allowed to again or as soon as I feel a general sense of safety.

I want to wait for some things to occur like I’m waiting and observing what’s happening with the vaccines. I feel a little cautious about vaccines in general, but since it’s brand new, I want to wait and see how people I know are reacting to them, how’s the experience been, and what are the studies and research. Same thing with events for the most part. Going back to your original question though, Jason, and the overall part of it, I’m sure some people are going to be super excited to go back to what we remember as normal.

I already see it happening. There are plenty of people out and about. There are plenty of people in outdoor restaurants and patios doing various things. I’ve seen people continue doing that as much as they possibly could in 2020. You’re absolutely right. There probably will be a lot of people yearning for that or maybe over socializing as a result of this. The part that I’m most curious about that I want to know your thoughts on, Jason, is what dating is going to be like after things open up more?

I don’t have much awareness on this, but I see a lot on TikTok how people talk about dating so much in using the apps, and the whole experience of dating during this time. I feel like there might be a lot of men, especially, that are so eager to hook up again. They’re raring to go. As soon as it’s socially acceptable to go to bars and hook up with girls and other guys or whatever their preference there, we’re going to see a lot like this. Maybe even a Summer of Love, Jason.

I laugh at this because I’ve had several friends of mine that are women say that they’re already getting bombarded in their DMs from thirsty dudes who are already climbing the walls. There’s a mutual friend of ours who I was having an exchange with and she’s like, “It’s already started. I have to be a gatekeeper in my DMs because these guys are already going ballistic.” To your point, dating, romance, and courtship is going to be fascinating as hell because people are very desperate and hungry for touch and interaction.

There are people I know that have been, for the most part, weathering this pandemic in 2020. Some people I know have been on their own. They’ve been flying Han Solo. They didn’t have a Chewbacca during this period. It’s going to be absolutely interesting to see people trying to manage, I suppose, the desperation and some of the moves people are going to be making in the dating world. It goes back to the idea of social distrust, which is the topic I wanted to lead with because there are going to be a lot of people who are probably going to be extremely cautious and distrustful.

In my dating history, I’ve been mindful to, for instance, discuss STDs, be tested, and talk to whoever I’m sleeping with or my potential partner about STDs. I’m curious if COVID is going to morph into an offshoot of that conversation like, “When was your last PCR test? When did that happen? Can you show me the results?” I wonder if that’s going to become part and parcel of the umbrella STD conversation of health and safety, first of all, and what level of trust or distrust that’s going to engender in the dating world?

The other offshoot of this, and you mentioned mask wearing, Whitney, and even with the vaccines, whether we’re talking about the three that are available. If you look at say, the CDC or any of the other governmental health bodies, they’re saying that the vaccine does not make you completely immune to the Coronavirus. They’re saying you still need to wear a mask. What I’m seeing in terms of the breakdown of social distrust, not just with the government, we see a lot of this with certain people who are saying there’s a cabal of elites who want to microchip us through this vaccine program and they stand to make billions of dollars. There’s that level of distrust.

There’s the distrust in the CDC, the WHO, and the governing bodies saying their research is changing every few months, so we can’t trust them because they keep changing their minds, which to the point they do. They have conflicted themselves many times in 2020. The third part that is even more concerning is the distrust amongst groups of human beings. What I see when you were talking about masks, for instance, Whitney, is there’s a lot of mask shaming on both sides that I see. There are people who are shaming people for choosing to wear masks and there are people who are shaming people for choosing not to wear masks.

I saw this firsthand on one of the few flights that I took. Truth be told, I did take a flight in the middle of the pandemic in 2020. I went to Denver for a work trip with a mutual friend of ours and there was a gentleman on the flight who took off his mask mid-flight and refused to put it back on. I saw an interesting interaction between fellow passengers who were looking over like, “Do I say something? Do I go up to him?” They were asking the stewardess to come over and have a conversation. I witnessed because he was only about three rows ahead of me. One of the stewardesses is asking, and then demanding that he put his mask back on which he refused. They were debating on whether or not to land the plane.

They didn’t, but it was interesting to see him saying, “This is my fundamental human right not to wear a mask.” He was aggressive about it, and then everyone on the flight is giving him the evil eye. People are shooting laser death beams out of their eyes at him and to be honest, myself included. I was like, “What are you doing? What are you trying to prove here?” He said, “You can’t take my freedom away.” They didn’t land the plane FYI. They continued on. He, for half the flight, refused to wear a mask.

MGU 197 | Social Trust

Social Trust: We can think that we’re doing everything possible to be safe in our lives physically, mentally, and emotionally, and then somebody else can come in and completely throw us off.

 

You could see both sides of this. A person is saying, “You guys are idiots. You’re robots. You’re zombies for listening to the experts and being sheep.” There’s that side of the shaming of the non-mask wearers. The people who do wear masks like me on that flight were like, “Are you out of your mind?” I was shaming him for choosing not to wear masks, to be honest. Part of this social breakdown is we don’t know what to trust. Do we trust the CDC or the WHO? Do we trust Fauci? Do we trust our government? Do we trust the scientists? Do we trust the data that keeps changing?

It’s very difficult and part of the fiber here is that people are clinging to any sense of certainty that they can. Whether that’s the truthers, anti-vaxxers, and “conspiracy theorists” or whether that’s people who haven’t left their house much in a year who are double wrapping their masks and have the hand sanitizer at all times, there’s certainly a gray area. The thing that concerns me is how are we as human beings, once we have more in-person interactions that we’re not used to now, treat one another in real-time?

When we’re not doing it through a camera or a podcast or through social media, how are we going to engage each other face-to-face, whether one person chooses to wear a mask and one person doesn’t? I’m curious how we as humans are going to start to learn to trust and accept one another as the pandemic starts to erode. That’s my big question. The distrust of government, science, and a financial system will continue. That’s not going anywhere. How are we going to treat one another? That’s my biggest curiosity. Are we going to be vile and short and be aggressive toward one another, or are we going to honor people’s choices and not shame them for it? I don’t know.

It is an issue. Shame in general is a big issue in our culture. We do that because of times when we feel threatened, our belief systems, safety, and health are threatened, or whatever it is. We grasp for a sense of control or stability, or our ego is rearing its ugly head, so it feels easiest or a coping mechanism that we might choose is to shame somebody. Certainly in that situation, this is one of the reasons that I’ve chosen to do driving instead of flying.

In fact, for the events that I mentioned, I intend to drive to both of them. I’m open to possibly flying, but for me, there are many variables when it comes to being on an airplane with a bunch of people. Not knowing everybody enough or having the dynamic where I can let them know why wearing a mask is important to me and they can let me know why it’s not important to them. We can have a civil discussion. In general, air travel is so rushed and everybody’s trying to be efficient and get where they need to go that a lot of those variables are at play that makes me feel uncomfortable.

I had anxiety about flying before COVID anyways and it took me years to come up with a whole system and flow that made it a lot more comfortable for me. Even though driving certainly has its risks, but personally, it feels a little bit more comfortable. It’s interesting thinking about risks in general because I have been planning a few road trips, which I don’t even think I’ve mentioned to you. Here’s the news. I might be driving up to Oregon with one of my friends, which I’m excited about.

We’ll be driving in separate cars. We have this whole caravan situation that we’ve been working on. I love taking road trips, but it’s funny how as I’m reflecting on that, your chance of getting in a car accident is high relative to other forms of travel. We’ve got COVID but we’ve also got looming safety issues in many different facets of our life. It’s always interesting to reflect on it and reflect on all the different things that can happen, and how other people impact us literally and figuratively.

We can think that we’re doing everything possible to be safe in our lives physically, mentally, and emotionally, and then somebody else can come in and completely throw us off. This feels like a good time to mention our sponsor. By the way, we always try to find organic ways to weave in products that we mention on the show. This has been my tendency. Every time we have an episode, I use it as an opportunity to take my daily dose of Rellies and I wanted to mention their Calm formula because this is something I’ve been taking over every single day as part of my bedtime routine.

How many of us are dealing with daily anxiety that it has become so normal to us, we forget it's even there? Click To Tweet

Another thing we could pivot into after we talk about Rellies, is how many of us are dealing with daily anxiety that has become so normal to us that we forget it’s even there. Going back to my dentist, I had a good checkup that my dentist said I was in good shape, but he did say it’s possible that I’ve been clenching my jaw. He couldn’t confirm, but he brought it up and I thought, “I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m grinding my teeth and clenching my jaw throughout the day without even realizing it, or at night.” This is another reason I become passionate about being intentional and aware because we might be dealing with more stress in our body than we even recognize. The more that we can tune into ourselves and support ourselves, the better. Products like terpenes are a wonderful thing to add in. I’ll hand it over to you, Jason, because I would love to know how Calm has been affecting you.

First of all, I need to say that I don’t have my bottle with me. I devoured it, A) because it tastes amazing and B) because I’ve had insomnia like Burning Man insomnia. Like staying up for nights and doing a lot of drugs and partying. I’m not saying I’ve been doing drugs and partying. I’m saying like insomnia has been like, for me, at times, Burning Man-esque. I’ve mentioned this in previous episodes, but I have experimented with a lot of different things for my insomnia.

Interestingly, you bring up anxiety, Whitney, and using things like Rellies, terpenes, and natural products to help with it because I was taking sleeping pills for a while. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about this on the show or even publicly on social media. Not that I’ve been afraid to talk about it, but people probably look at us as harbingers of natural solutions, which we are. I was at a point where my sleep was so bad. I was meditating before bed, taking baths, and doing all the things and I just could not sleep, so I started taking Unisom sleeping pills.

I didn’t go to the level of Ambien or anything like that, but I was downing sleeping pills. Was I sleeping? Yeah. Was I waking up feeling like Sloth from The Goonies? Yeah. I slept but I felt like crap the next morning, so that wasn’t a solution. I had to go back and reformulate my approach to how am I going to get good sleep. When Ryan, our buddy, one of the Co-Owners Rellies was like, “I’m going to deliver you these products,” I was like, “I’m going to integrate this.”

Rellies, the Calm formula, also like you, Whitney, is part of my evening routine until I ran out of it and I need to get more. I’ve been doing the terpenes, CBN, CBD, THC, and magnesium. That’s my lineup. I take a hot shower before bed, which has also helped. I have been sleeping and I realized, Whit, that I’ve been in sleep debt. We joke about me being grumpy and as one of your close friends and business partners, you put up with my grumpiness a lot, and I am.

One of the reasons I’ve been grumpy is because I haven’t been fucking sleeping. For me, I feel like Rellies is a Godsend. It’s something that I’ve been incorporating into my sleep hygiene routine. My sleep hygiene is finally back on track and I feel like not only am I able to handle daily stress when I sleep better, but I’m a more joyful person. When I don’t sleep, I’m a bear to deal with and it’s hard to feel good when you have 4 or 5 nights in a row where you don’t sleep that well.

Rellies Calm is amazing. We absolutely love it. For you, dear reader, we have a special little offer we want to give to you. You can go to this URL. It’s Podcast.Wellevatr.com/rellies. When you go there, it will take you to a custom landing page and you can use the coupon code 20WELLIES. You’ll save 20% on your order of their Calm, Joy & Focus, and they came out, Whitney, which I haven’t tried yet with shots. We need to get our hands on some of the shots from Ryan and Jacob because we’ve always got to test these products. Whether you’re going to take the tinctures, dear reader, or you’re going to try out their shiggy shots, 20% off with the code 20WELLIES. Do I feel daily anxiety? Yes, but I’m finding that when I sleep well and consistently, I don’t feel less crushed by the daily stress.

I’m realizing that if I look back on my probably entire 20s and 30s, I don’t think I cared about sleep. I did, but I didn’t in the sense that I kept pushing myself, working late nights, and being on screens at midnight. In my 40s, I suddenly realized I’ve got to take sleep more seriously and it helps when I do. I’m wondering, do you have anything interesting in your sleep hygiene routine other than Rellies that I don’t? You’re apparently surprising me with stuff like you’re going on a road trip I didn’t know about. Any interesting drugs or things you’re taking? Anything else I should know, Whitney? Anything else you want to tell me?

I have been taking magnesium. We’ve talked about that in other episodes because we take BiOptimizers. I love taking magnesium in bed for two reasons. One, it relaxes the muscles, and two, it helps you poop the next day, so I’ve been regular. Thanks to that routine.

I might add magnesium, which also gives you world-class Olympic erections.

Which is not useful for my body, but thanks for letting us know that. You’ve mentioned it before. I feel like you love to drop that in and you love to share all sorts of unique tips about your sex life. Thank you, Jason. The TMI you wanted to chime in on that too. I use essential oils before bed as well. My little routine is to take my Rellies, magnesium, essential oils, and then I lock up my phone in a safe, which I feel like I’ve mentioned but I’ll reiterate again.

MGU 197 | Social Trust

Social Trust: Be intentional and aware because we might be dealing with more stress in our body than we even recognize. The more that we can tune into ourselves and support ourselves, the better.

 

Fortunately, my sleepwalking has been a lot better, but it was intense at the beginning of January or most of January of 2021. For most of February and at least the second half of February, I have not had any major sleepwalking instances. Putting my phone to bed and locking it up has been huge, and that also ties back into one of the reasons I’ve been reading Digital Minimalism, which is reevaluating my whole relationship to my phone.

I challenge myself in the mornings. Let’s not talk about nighttime routines, but for morning routines, I have had a tendency for a long time to use my phone first thing in the morning. My phone is my alarm clock technically, so is my iPad. Once I started locking up my iPhone, the alarm still goes off, and it’s annoying every day because I have to get out of bed, unlock my phone from the safe, take it out, and turn off the alarm. It’s a good way to get out of bed, so that’s why I do it.

As a secondary alarm, I also use my iPad. My iPad does not have cellular service. It just connects to Wi-Fi. Every night I turn off the Wi-Fi, so I have to manually turn it on in the morning. All my devices go on Do Not Disturb so the alarms will work regardless of that connection. I have three alarm sets just in case, but I have been changing up a lot of my sleep habits. I usually sleep with more light than I used to. I used to use the blackout shades a lot, but I’ve been experimenting with the natural light, helping me wake up in the morning.

It’s because I’ve been waking up at the same time every morning, I just naturally wake up on time, which is awesome. I’m waking up earlier than I usually do. I’ve talked on the show before about my favorite time. If I didn’t have an alarm and didn’t have a schedule, my body would naturally wake up around 10:30 AM, but based on my schedule, I wake up at 8:45 AM. It’s because I’ve been in the habit of that and also because I have the blinds up, then the light comes in and starts to wake me up a little bit before that.

I wake up before my alarms go off, and then my alarms in my queue that I need to start moving. What’s interesting is I’m practicing not using my phone for as long as possible or any device. It’s challenging for me, Jason. I’m curious whether we talk about this now or in future episodes in more depth. I’m still trying to figure out the best way for me to ease in the day without devices because when I wake up in the morning and I have the stimulation of a device, my brain gets alert super-fast.

I’ve noticed since I haven’t been using my phone first thing, it’s almost like withdrawal. I’m used to having access to a device or allowing myself to have access to the device first thing in the morning. My brain got used to that stimulation. Now that I won’t let myself use my phone or my iPad first thing in the morning, I’ll sit there after hearing my alarm go off and I’ll just be lying in bed wondering what to do with myself.

It’s like, “I’m going to get up. I’m going to brush my teeth and use the bathroom,” and then I generally give myself a little bit of time and drink some water. I’ll take a yoga class. That’s the first thing I do every single morning. I’ve been working out almost every single day for 20 to 30 minutes in the morning, which has been awesome. There’s a gap of time before I do yoga where I want to use a device and it’s such a fascinating thing to observe within myself.

That inspired me to read Digital Minimalism because I was trying to figure out what exactly was going on in my brain and my body. I’m like, “Is it okay for me to use a device?” As a questioner, I need to have a reason why or why not to do something, so I’m trying to gather a lot of research on it. I’ll end this point by saying that instead of using my iPad or my iPhone, I do often use my computer. It’s like, “How long can I delay going to my computer?”

I haven’t quite mentally figured out whether the computer is a bad thing. Even though it’s still a screen, it’s a little bit different because I have more control over text messages and social media. We’ve been so conditioned to look at our notifications and alerts on our devices. Our computers can certainly have those same notifications and applications on them, but they’re a little bit of a different relationship for me. I crave going to my computer to not just check messages but to check emails.

Speaking of a sense of anxiety, I often wake up worried that something happened overnight that I need to address ASAP. If something happens with a friend or family member, I should check my messages to make sure, is there an important business email? Is there an opportunity? Is there something urgent with any of my clients? I want to check my messages to relieve my anxiety. That’s something I’m starting to re-examine in my life and I have to be intentional with setting up some more boundaries so that I can cue people in my life personally and professionally to reach out to me if there’s an emergency. I set those boundaries where I’m not going to check my devices until later in the morning because otherwise, I carry around that anxiety of like, “Am I missing something? Is there going to be something important that I’m ignoring because I’m taking care of myself in the morning offline?”

Once the devices are on, the floodgates are open. Click To Tweet

I can relate to that anxiety 100%. I’ve realized though that I don’t know if it’s counterintuitive, but when I’ve opened my phone immediately upon awakening, I’ve noticed a corollary that I feel more anxiety as a result of doing that versus training myself to not turn on my phone until I’m done taking care of myself in the morning. That’s been challenging at times of I’m going to wake up. I’m going to go to the restroom, splash cold water on my face, do my meditation for 20 to 30 minutes depending on the complexity of my day, feed the animals, feed myself, and then the phone turns on.

I’ve had a few messages from people like, “Why didn’t you text me back? Why didn’t you call me back?” Not in an emergency, I’ve had to not only train myself but by proxy, train other people to realize that I’m not going to respond to probably 11:00 AM. It’s not a rule for me, but it seems like that’s when I turn my phone on. I also walk Bella. I’ll do my whole morning routine, then I’ll turn my phone on.

I’ve noticed that this has decreased my anxiety. It’s also allowed me to train people, “I’m probably not going to get back to you until after 11:00 AM when the phone is on.” Does this mean that I might, on occasion, respond slowly to an opportunity? Yeah. Does it mean at times that may be certain people will get irritated that I’m not getting back to them before noon on a given day? Yeah. Am I willing to live with that trade-off? Absofuckinglutely. Here’s the thing. Whatever I can do to manage my anxiety, stress, depression, and suicidal ideation, I’m going to do it and I’m not going to apologize for it.

If people are irritated or they are curmudgeonly toward me because I haven’t responded to them in the timeframe that they want me to, it’s probably because I’m taking care of myself honestly. I’m not just fucking around. I posted something on Instagram about things that I’m done apologizing for. One of the things on the list was explaining to people why I’m taking care of myself. That was one of the things where it was like, “I don’t feel the need to explain to people. If they ask, I’ll tell them. I don’t need to explain my protocols for taking care of my mind and my body.”

My thing was I’ve had to train myself to not turn the phone on until I’m done taking care of myself. You hear that you’ve got to fill your cup first, put the oxygen mask on yourself first. I know much like you, once the phone goes on and once the computer goes on, I’m in it for the day. “Once they’re on, I’m in it. I’m working on our stuff for Wellevatr and This Might Get Uncomfortable. I’m working on my own brand stuff, whatever client stuff comes in, messages from my mom, my girlfriend calling me,” or whatever it is. Once the devices are on, the floodgates are open.

Another thing to your point is I’ve turned all of my notifications off. I have DND on my computer permanently. It’s always on. For all of my apps on my phone, I have shut off notifications for every single one because I do not want to have that interrupt. Especially if I’m doing deep work and I’m writing or we’re recording, the last thing I want is to get interrupted by some digital attention-grabbing mechanism of like, “Jason, pay attention to this.” No. I want to pay attention to what I’m paying attention to in the moment.

The other thing I wanted to offer up too, Whitney, is since we’re talking about stress relief and sleep anxiety, we released a blog post. If you, dear reader, have not checked out our blog, we have almost 60 blog posts up there now talking about mental health, emotional wellness, resilience, social interactions, and sleep. We have many different subject matters. The one we released is called What to Eat For Better Sleep.

We shared some of our favorite foods, supplements, and nutrients that we take or we’ve experimented with to help assist in a deeper, more restful sleep and things that will help you unwind from the day. We mostly focus on food, nutrients, and supplements, but we do talk about blue light blocking glasses. We’re big fans of Swanwick. We’ve been using them for years. As Whitney mentioned about using blackout shades, for years, I’ve been using a grounding blanket and experimenting with grounding technology, which mimics the same biorhythms and charges as if you were standing on bare Earth. All that’s in the blog post. Go check out the blog. It’s Wellevatr.com/blog, where you can check out What to Eat For Better Sleep and all of our previous posts.

Speaking of social trust and social interactions, I’m going to a grand opening of a tattoo parlor. Tattoo parlors are opened back up officially and one of my girlfriend, Laura’s best friends in the world who I have not met yet, just opened her parlor. It’s going to be a small socially distance gathering. There are going to be vegan cupcakes there. Tattoos and vegan cupcakes signed me up. It will be interesting because I haven’t been to any gathering of any kind in a long time. It’s going to be interesting to see how people interact with one another and catch the flow of people’s demeanor. It’s going to be fascinating. I’m sure we’ll have more to say about that in an upcoming episode.

For you, dear reader, if you enjoyed what you’ve read here, we always love your feedback on these subjects. We’re also on social media. We love getting DMs and love it when you give us feedback on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc. We’ll also be posting clips to our Instagram, so you can see what we’re doing, what our houses look like, how my cats are shredding the cat tree, or whatever. Check it out and let us know what you think. We love you. We appreciate you and thank you for getting uncomfortable with us. We’ll see you soon.

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