As you know, next week is the digital detox in which you are challenged to spend from a few hours, up to the whole week away from the constant refreshing of social media. This may seem like an overwhelming or almost impossible task, especially because of the tendency to reach for our phones in any spare moment. However, as this fab article explains: https://thewirralgirl.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/i-did-the-unthinkable-i-deleted-all-my-social-media/ , there are so many benefits that arise in spending time away from social media.
After all, studies have shown that we spend an average of 4 hours a day on our phones! I’m sure you agree that some of that time could be put to better use. To make the process of spending some time without the influence of social media easier, here are some ideas as to what to do instead – hopefully incorporating them will have benefits for your physical and/or mental health.
Read a book
If you’re anything like me, you have an ever growing shelf of books that you’ll ‘get round to reading soon’. Why not spend 30 minutes before bed reading instead of scrolling through Instagram; it has been shown that reading reduces stress levels by 68% making it the perfect way to wind down. Need some inspiration? Here are a few of my favourite books that I’ve read recently:
Do some sport or exercise
I know- I can hear the groans from here. But there’s no better way to clear your head than going for a run, doing some yoga or even just going for a short walk- not to mention the endorphins released to improve your mood. Give it a go, I can guarantee you’ll feel better afterwards.
Spend time with your family
In our hectic lives, sometimes we don’t spend as much time as we’d like with our parents and siblings. Even just asking how their day went can sometimes be forgotten. Why not spend an evening watching a film together, or even cracking out the board games? On a similar note, try and catch up with friends or relatives that you haven’t seen in a while- maybe a grandparent who lives far away or a friend who you’ve lost contact with.
Get some work done
This is an obvious one, but social media is one of the biggest tools for procrastination. If you turn off your phone or put it on airplane mode for a few hours, you will be able to get your homework done much more efficiently and free up lots of time for the evening. Go write that essay you’ve been dreading or complete that maths paper you’ve been putting off!
Work on your hobbies
Did you used to love drawing but haven’t gotten round to it recently? Have an idea for an amazing short story in your head that you’ve never had time to write? Is the guitar that you swore you’d learn to play gathering dust in the corner? This is the perfect opportunity to get back into hobbies and passions that may have slipped down your priority list.
I hope this article has inspired you to at least reduce the time you spend on social media. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the occasional use of social media to share memories and connect with friends. However, the problem is when it prevents us from making memories in the moment and connecting with those around us. Try and have a go at some of these better uses of your time, and let me know how it goes- Good luck!
By Hannah Grier
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