We all love spending hours scrolling down social media pages on our phones, correct? It is an easy way to distract our busy minds from reality, to connect with friends, and to keep informed of the latest news. But what most of us don’t realize is the side effects of social media on our mental health. So here are a few tips that can be helpful for a social media detox, check it out.
Mark my words: everyone should take, from time to time, a little social media break for a mental health detox. It is easy to affirm that most of us have our own profile pages on the most well-known social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, TikTok, Clubhouse, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and many, many others. And we tend to spend a great number of hours of our precious time scrolling on social media without even noticing it.
Nowadays in our society, we are constantly and continuously bombarded with an inexhaustible amount of information, which gets delivered to us at all times. As hyper-connected human beings, it is hard to live in the present moment and our minds seem to never fully turn off or rest. Some studies show that social media can have a series of effects and impacts on our mental health. Recent research shows that, among other symptoms, there is a strong link between the excessive usage of social media and increasing mental health issues such as low self-esteem, anxiety, exacerbated stress levels, depression, loneliness, eating disorders, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts, especially noticed in younger people but not exclusively.
Therefore, some changes in our online – and offline – habits are imperative as we must designate more time to focus on our mental well being. At first, changing those rooted habits can seem too hard to manage, but as soon as the results start to show up, a sense of reward and relief will make it worth it. A social media detox is just the perfect opportunity to slow things down and reconnect with your inner self, so here are the top 5 tips to have that much-needed social media break:
1. Establish a concrete amount of time to have a break from all social media platforms: either a week or a month, the decision is up to you and even if not for too long, being completely offline can be very useful to your mental health. It is much easier to stick to a goal when you determine defined beginning and end days.
2. Delete all social media apps from your phone: if you keep them there visible on your screen, it is more likely for you to click on them, even if unconsciously or as a force of routine. Your social media accounts won’t be affected and they will still be there after your period of break when you reinstall those apps.
3. Plan what to do with your “free” time: plan your day to replace the time you usually spend on social media with other activities such as reading, meditating, going for a walk, or exercising. Whenever you feel the urge to grab your phone and go on social media, redirect your attention to those pre planned activities. By doing so, you will keep your mind busy with something else, which helps avoid the eventual stress and anxiety of having “nothing” to do.
4. Leave your phone at home when going out with people: if you go out to meet friends or relatives, make sure to leave your phone at home so that you can truly enjoy the company of your loved ones – instead of being on your phone the whole time. When going out on your own, take your phone with you for safety reasons but try turning your internet off. Also, if you spend too much time commuting from home to work, remember to bring a book with you to help make the journey less boring.
5. Spend some time alone with yourself: take this time to know yourself better, to enjoy your own company and to do the things you like, whatever it is. Listen to your favorite song, take a long and relaxing bath, organize your closet, clean your home, start a new hobbie, or go back to a forgotten one. But mostly, try to implement this new habit of being on your own without feeling the need to actually do something. Just chill!
What are your thoughts on social media and mental health? Hope those tips are helpful and encourage you to disconnect a little. Plan your social media detox ahead and enjoy the wonders of this time off!
Published by HOLR Magazine.