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How to switch off from social media when you’re online 24/7

Now that so many of us are spending the majority of our time at home, we’re all relying on social media to stay in touch with the world, and this is resulting in us getting a bit too much screen time. 

Linked to increase risk of anxiety, depression and a feeling of loneliness, our Head of Agency Daniella, reveals her top tips to switch off from social media and stop us ‘doomscrolling’:

  • Gradually start to limit how much time you spend on social media each day

“The key to breaking a bad habit is making sure you create a gradual transition. Going cold turkey and jumping from spending hours on Twitter and Instagram to nothing probably won’t work in the long run. Instead, make a conscious decision to reduce your social media consumption by 30 minutes each day until you reach a comfortable amount of time online.” 

  • Physically remove your phone from your presence

“It may sound simple, but out of sight, out of mind is a real thing. We’re so used to having our devices as an extension of us and in arm’s reach that by simply removing our phone prevents us from mindlessly checking our socials. Try putting your phone in another room when you’re watching a film or when cooking and eating a meal and dedicate yourself to just one activity at a time. Most importantly make sure your phone is away an hour before bed – you may need to put it in another room or in a drawer to avoid temptation.”

  • Schedule in more meaningful interactions 

“While you may be overhauling your social media use, your friends and family may not, so it’s important to make sure you stay connected with them. Where it’s not possible to see your loved ones in real life, make sure you schedule a phone call. You don’t need social media to stay updated on their life – and you’ll probably leave the call much more fulfilled than just looking at their Instagram story. Better yet, take the time to write them a letter which will not only be a lovely surprise, but a keepsake.”

  • Keep your mind occupied with mindfulness before bedtime

“It’s so easy to sit in bed and lose hours watching the latest Tiktok trends before we actually go to sleep, but the last hour before bed is key to step away from all of your devices. While your phone is away, this is a great time to reflect with some meditation or a gentle form of exercise, such as yoga, to calm the mind and release any tension from the day, which will also help with a restful night’s sleep.”

  • If you’re used to having something to hand, keep them busy

“We mostly pick up our phone because we’re bored and resort to refreshing our social media pages to pass the time, so keep your hands occupied! Journaling has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and is as simple as picking up a pen and writing whatever comes to mind. It will help you process your thoughts and experiences of the day and give you a medium to articulate and understand your feelings.”

  • Turn your notifications off 

“If you’re struggling to remember when to turn off, try setting a time limit to the apps on your phone. Handy features like ‘screen time’ will give you the option to set app limits to certain – or all – of your apps, so you’ll know when it’s time to give the scrolling a rest. Turning off notifications from socials altogether is another easy way to stop getting distracted and unnecessarily picking up your phone.” 

  • Spend your time online wisely

“If limiting the amount of time you spend on social media is proving a bit of a struggle, then make sure what you are consuming is worthwhile. Go through your following list and take some time to evaluate which accounts have a positive impact on your life, and which aren’t so fulfilling. Unfollow any account that won’t benefit your mental health and fill your feed with what brings you joy – no matter what that may be.” 

 

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