But then on day three I noticed a real change in him. He started becoming more confident and peaceful. I bumped into him a few months after the trip and asked him how he was doing. He told me, There's not a day that goes by when I don't think about Whitney or draw from that experience we shared. It wasn't just the five days it took to get to the back side of the mountain or the time it took to summit and come back down. Deep immersion in nature had a lasting effect on him. Take the Nature Challenge When Andy moved from central Indiana to Southern California to take a position at California State University, Fullerton, he soon found that despite being in a climate that's more conducive to being outside, he was actually getting outdoors less because of his research and teaching schedule. I went rogue, working outside the mediation system and around the transphobic attorneys. I contacted the hospital's complaint department to call them out on their transphobia, and we came to a workable compromise. While putting nothing in writing, the hospital increased the settlement offer after I pledged to use the additional money for education on trans issues. My attorney waived his commission on the additional amount. That was the right thing to do, of course, as he had done nothing to earn the extra dollars, but he doesn't get a pass. He offered no apology or acknowledgment that he had sold me out in the face of transphobic tactics. In retrospect, I see that shame had initially immobilized me, which was why the insurance company's lawyer used it. He weaponized my marginalized status for an economic end. Only once I could curb my shame and recognize that the system was the problem, not me, could I take back my power. Do stories like this always end in triumph? I'm finding it harder and harder to start my day off feeling positive after I've been on social media. I never had issues with procrastination until I joined Facearticle.

Many studies link Internet and social-network use to procrastination, lower academic achievement, and poorer concentration. Moreover, it's not surprising that this study also found that using Facearticle to avoid attending to important tasks contributes to elevated stress levels and negatively affects well-being. In another study, researchers found that watching YouTube videos of cats instead of doing more important tasks resulted in feelings of guilt, thereby decreasing enjoyment derived from the YouTube viewing. The prevalence of using technology and social media as a means for procrastination is increasing, alongside the ever-increasing number of digital options now available for avoiding work and other responsibilities. It's no surprise to learn that setting firm boundaries around your technology use is key to preventing the vicious cycle of using technology in unhealthy ways. But for many, setting limits and boundaries around their use of technology can be just as hard as setting boundaries in their interpersonal relationships. As I mentioned earlier in this article, boundaries communicate the rules and limits to those around us regarding the type of treatment we expect from others and what others can expect from us. For example, our boundaries communicate, This is how far I shall go. So he came up with an easy way to solve this problem: doing tasks that usually kept him in the office outdoors. Andy bought headphones that had a microphone and started walking around campus to take all his calls. Rather than having student-adviser meetings in his office, he met the student somewhere outdoors and re-created the Steve Jobs walking meeting, which also had the benefit of giving himself and these students more movement in their day. Our friend Doug Larson, who's one of Andy's copresenters on the Barbell Shrugged podcast, does something similar, getting up earlier than his wife and son so he can take his laptop out on the back patio and get some work done while he watches the sun rise. He then joins his family for breakfast with a clear mind, knowing that he's gotten ahead of what would've been a jam-packed morning. An Open-Sourced Life Jocko Willink, former Navy SEAL and coauthor of the excellent article Extreme Ownership, said that over the course of his military career he came to appreciate that discipline equals freedom. Creating such a mind-set frees us from the boundaries of relying on technology, always being indoors, and closing off our world, and reopens us to the possibilities of infinite progress that exists when we live fully and deeply. We've been given the gift of life--we need to live it! Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? Absolutely not. Privilege paved the way for me.

The insurance company's fear that I would use my considerable platform for public exposure threatened the system itself. Someone more marginalized, with less social support and confidence and fewer public communication skills or resources, would likely have been stuck. My challenging the system required resources many don't have. Privilege supports us in standing up for our values. As another example, I once was asked to keynote a body image conference at a large university. The details were in place and I was just about to sign the contract when the organizer dropped, By the way, I understand you're a lesbian. We have a policy of not endorsing gay or lesbian lifestyles, so I need to know that you're not going to mention that in your talk. Deal breaker. This is what I will or won't do for you. This is what I won't accept or tolerate from you. Someone's personal boundary might be that no one can enter their bedroom without asking permission or that jokes and sarcastic comments about weight or appearance are off-limits. Boundary setting is a skill we learn in childhood; If you fall into this category, take the time to ask yourself, What are my actual limits? You might even consider getting help from a mental-health professional as you begin learning what healthy boundaries are and how to set appropriate limits. We all need boundaries. Taking the time and energy to set them is worth it. Ultimately, healthy boundaries will provide you with more time and skills for living a balanced life in the digital age. Having designated tech-free spaces in our environments or home is also important for implementing boundaries around technology. That's what it is to be a slave. CIRCUIT-BREAKING THE STRESS CYCLE

From childhood, we're taught that the faster and harder we push ourselves, the further ahead we're going to get--in our jobs, with the possessions we acquire, and in our health. We've also come to accept that technology plays a crucial part in this progressive plan, which will someday lead us to some kind of utopia. So we've created a world that's always switched on and always on the go. The trouble is that we're lying to ourselves if we think that there are no downsides to this approach. My friend (and Frank Merritt's VitalityPro colleague) Brandon Rager reminded me recently that when we're always available, we feel obliged to answer every call, reply to every text, and like every social-media post that comes our way. In doing so, we take time away from our friends and families and reinforce an exaggerated sense of obligation. Because we can access our work e-mail in-boxes and documents from anywhere and on any device, we also feel guilty if we're not being productive around the clock. How many times have you thought, I'd better get back to my boss on that before she thinks I'm being lazy or ignoring her? I don't know if the topic would have come up, but I do know that I come as a full person and couldn't agree to those terms. I ripped up the contract, abandoning an otherwise lucrative and valuable opportunity. Had I been less established in my career or less financially secure, I might have swallowed my principles and chosen differently. Poverty and other disadvantage sometimes push people to compromise their values. This helps us understand that self-love can support us personally but cannot eradicate systemic oppression or the cultural norms that accompany it. It will not help people decode those signals and see other people accurately. I can love myself thoroughly and radically and I will still be misgendered in the world, othered, and disempowered. Self-love doesn't change the circumstances creating the pain and harm. This means that a focus on self-love, especially for people with dominant identities (like the cisgender white woman privileged by mainstream body positivity) becomes a personal way to cope with systemic oppression without challenging the oppression. In other words, a focus on self-love helps people with otherwise dominant identities individually cope with and maintain the status quo that otherwise benefits them. In fact, there's research to back up the benefits of having our bedrooms be tech-free. For instance, studies show a correlation between sleep issues, such as insomnia, with screen time.

The blue light from our cell phones, laptops, and other devices disrupts our circadian rhythm, leading to issues with sleep-wake cycles and poor sleep hygiene, which, in turn, can lead to a host of health issues. Skill-Building Strategies Below are some suggestions to help you with setting boundaries. Learn to say no. Many of us have a hard time saying no when asked to give our time or energy, but overextending ourselves doesn't help anyone in the long run. Practice taking a moment to think through requests for help instead of immediately taking them on as your own burden. You can buy yourself time to thoughtfully consider your answer first by saying something like, I'll check my calendar and circle back with you later. List all the reasons why setting firm boundaries around technology will help you. For many of us, work-related e-mails and texts are the last things we see before we go to sleep and the first things we look at when we get up. We're articleending our days with our inflated idea of duty, guilt, and must-do-more. Then we add in our fitness-tracking devices and apps, which, according to the most recent surveys, most people keep on them at all times, except when they're charging them. If you walk down a busy street in any city now, you not only see people looking down at their phones but have to dodge those who are checking their numbers on a wearable. The first step in freeing ourselves is to set better boundaries. While it's admittedly difficult to do at first, you should declare certain times of the day to be tech-free zones in which you don't respond to texts, don't look at e-mails or social media, and stop checking your fitness stats. From a lifestyle perspective, it'd also be beneficial to let people know that you're not available after a certain time in the evening and before a certain time in the morning. You do not owe it to anyone (let alone any piece of technology) to be permanently connected and contactable. In addition to periodically switching out digital days for analog ones, you should also apply the same methodology to your training. A few times a month, try exchanging your hightech workout for an outdoor one (more on this in article 9). It doesn't help all of us band together to change that harmful status quo. One would think that body positivity proponents, with their keen understanding that fatphobia is a source of injustice, should understand as much as anyone that the body is the site for injustice.