Stressed about your phone? Here's how to deal with 'charge anxiety'

Virgin Radio

26 Oct 2022, 16:17

a phone with a dead battery screen plugged into a laptop to charge

Credit: Getty

In this modern day and age we're all used to being surgically attached to our phones.

It can lead to stress when your battery level is dropping lower.

Some 57% of people worry their phone will run out of battery on a night out.

It's referred to as "charge anxiety", the fear of running out of battery and it's apparently very common.

Kate Brockhurst, a digital wellbeing coach, told Metro: "The anxiety felt around running out of battery is very understandable, as our phones give us a sense of security on many levels; from being contactable by family, friends and work, to knowing where to get to (maps) to checking the time."

"Our reliance on our mobile devices, particularly when out and about, is huge – and not having it can make us feel unsafe and anxious."

Smriti Joshi is the lead psychologist at Wysa: "Low battery could cause a pause in this sense of connection, bring up fear of missing out on something important, or missing a call or message from work or loved ones in crisis."

"We seem to have forgotten that there was life and a sense of connectedness and communication exchanges, even when phones were not there".

Experts say that the key to not stressing about your battery is to practice going out without your phone.

Kate recommends doing this in places that are safe and you know well.

She says: "Taking a walk around the block, or local park, regularly (a few times a week ideally), or popping to the local shops, without your phone – on purpose – shows you that you are OK and still safe without it."

She advises: "Start with 10 minutes and work up to at least 30 minutes, everyday."

"Use this time to be mindful of your surroundings, connect with yourself, using your breath to anchor you in the moment. This will help you feel relaxed and calm."

If you're the sort of person who checks their phone every thirty seconds, Smriti says we need to break that habit.

She says: "We’ve all been in situations where we keep checking our phone for an update from someone, yet nothing changes for hours."

Another top fear is not knowing the important numbers we need due to our modern-day habit of storing them in our phones.

Gone are the days of memorising every phone number, so it can be stressful to run out of charge and feel like you don't know who to contact.

Smriti suggests: "It can help to carry any important phone numbers on you in an old-school format so that, if you do run out of power, you can still reach people in an emergency,"

"This way there will always be a way to get in touch, even if it means asking a stranger if you can make an emergency call from their phone."