In the midst of a stressful moment or after a long day, nothing puts me on edge like the ping of a text message or the ring of a phone call.

It makes my skin crawl; it makes me want to pull my hair out.

Sometimes I just want to go off the grid. No cell phone or email — just let me be!

Sadly, that’s not a realistic option. My professors and internship supervisor use email to communicate with me. My fiance and I use texts to keep in touch throughout the day. My mom and I use Snapchat, Facebook and phone calls to stay connected now that I no longer live at home. Without my cell phone, my school, personal and social life would be much less accessible and maybe even impossible to have.

What’s the solution?

Well, when it gets to be the late evening, I like to shut things down for the day. After dinner, I typically power down my laptop and shut my textbooks, saving homework for the next day, but my phone stays on. Professors keep emailing and friends and family keep texting. So from now on, I’ll be powering down my cell phone between 7 and 8 p.m. during the week.

No more emails about class the next day or about upcoming assignments. No more strings of text messages about a recent crisis in someone’s life. No more pings, dings and rings causing my mind to whir right before bed.

With my type-A personality, it’s difficult to shut my mind off and get to sleep, but I’m hoping that an early power-down will make it easier.

So if you hit up my cell phone past 7 p.m., don’t expect a response until the morning. And five days a week I’m up at 5 a.m. to exercise, so maybe you should consider powering down as well unless you don’t mind a ping, ding or ring that early.

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