It’s not news that many, if not most, reach for our phones and other screens habitually — maybe even compulsively. We’ve also heard about studies that point to the coincidental rise of teenage anxiety and depression, and the introduction of the smartphone such as the work of Jean Twenge and others

What might be new for us are the findings highlighted in books like Anna Lemke‘s Dopamine Nation which identifies compulsive screen use with other activities that overstimulate dopamine production in our brains. This overproduction, according to the research, ironically leads to a dopamine deficit as our bodies work to return to a pre-stimulated homeostatic state. Brain research links this deficit to bouts of anxiety and depression. The podcast Hidden Brain interviewed Lembke over two episodes: The Paradox of Pleasure and The Path to Enough

In order to encourage the Valpo community to consider the mixed blessing that our digital devices play in our lives and to strengthen personal connections on campus, the Division of Calling & Spiritual Life invites you to use the 40-minute break in the daily class schedule to reset and refresh by putting down your phone, turning off your devices, and stepping away from your work. 

Join this campus-wide initiative toward increased wellness and community. 

In support of this initiative, the Chapel has designated the 2023 – 2024 Monday Morning Prayer speaker theme as “This Is How I Sabbath (Or Try To).” Show up to Monday Morning Prayer from 10:10 – 10:30 a.m. in the Chapel to hear faculty and staff reflections about how they make time for rest amidst busy schedules. Monday Morning Prayer will resume on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024.

Subscribe to the Calling and Spiritual Life Newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming Morning Prayer speakers and other Reset/Refresh events going on around campus.

To hear past speakers, visit our sermons page.

If you have a reflection you’d like to share, please email Pastor Jim.

Reset/Refresh: daily at 10 AM no devices, no to-dos. #ValpoResetRefresh