Addiction to social media is rampant these days. When you’re trying to break a habit, sometimes you just have to force yourself to do something else. Here are some fun ideas!
1 | Go for a Walk
Getting outside is so good for your mind and body. It’s especially good for your eyes after staring at a screen for a long period of time. Go for a walk to clear out the cobwebs of your mind. Ideally, stay out for at least 20 minutes.
2 | Read a Book
Reading enriches your mind and soul. And audiobooks make reading incredibly easy these days. I love Audible, but most local libraries have free audiobooks you can download right onto your phone too.
3 | Call a Friend
Remember phone calls? Those used to be a thing! When you are trying to break an addiction or even just a highly ingrained habit, social support is vital. My sister is my go-to person whenever I need a little female-companionship. Sadly she is on the other side of the country, so our weekly phone calls are a lifeline.
4 | Join a Community Group
Join a group. No, not a Facebook group. A real-life, flesh and blood group. Nothing beats interaction and support from in real-life friendships. In fact, relationships online, especially with the status aspects of likes and shares, can actually make you feel more isolated.
I love my Bible study. We meet up weekly for discussions on how to live better lives, to share the troubles and joys in our lives, and, of course, crafts!
5 | Give Yourself a Pedicure
If you have the money, you can go out and get your nails done, but you can pamper yourself very well at home. I used to think I couldn’t do it myself because my nails used to always come out wonky, but it turns out I just needed practice. And it’s fun to play with colors and styles. I love experimenting with different soaking methods and yummy smelling oils. Plus, this is an active and creative exercise, rather than a passive one scrolling on social media.
6 | Take a Bath
Beat the social media itch with a soothing bath. It’s another way to pamper yourself while you are transitioning away from your screen time. I love using Epsom salt because it is a natural pain reliever for my sore shoulders, which are likely sore because of the forward neck position I am in while on my screens.
7 | Meditate
Studies now show that meditation can actually physically change your brain. Mindfulness meditation can shrink the size of your amygdala, where you feel big emotions, and increase the size of your prefrontal cortex, where you do your reasoning and problem-solving.
For me, it’s as important as daily exercise. I use the meditation app Headspace, and if I miss a day I feel it. My mind gets cluttered, and I just can’t relax.
8 | Sketch
You don’t have to be an artist to feel the benefits of doodling and sketching. It’s an exercise that encourages you to turn inward rather than the outward-focused nature of social media. Doing a little drawing is the perfect thing for an antsy brain wanting to click on social media apps.
9 | List Your Goals
Spend some time thinking about the big picture by writing down goals you want to accomplish one. Every once in a while I like to do a huge brain dump and just put everything I can think of that I want to do down on paper (or on a Trello board). Put down things for play and joy, not just accomplishments. For example, the last time I did this I discovered I want to try an aerial arts fitness class. Who knew?
10 | Collect Flowers To Press
Flower pressing is a lost art. Finding flowers to collect slows you down and helps you be more observant. You’ll find yourself looking at the world differently after you try it a few times. You will notice all the wildflowers on the side of the road and imagine how they would press. Find a tutorial here.
11 | Go To the Library
Do you know what people did before Google? They went to the library. If you are trying to cut back on social media, you will likely also want to cut back on screens, in general. Rather than Googling a topic, stop by the library and check out a few books on the subject. You might just be inspired.
12 | Take Photos
Take photos just for the fun of it, and don’t post them on social media. Preferably do this with a real camera, with film and everything. You can get them developed at most local drug stores. Waiting until the film develops will be an exercise in delayed gratification, which is the exact opposite of the instant dopamine hit you get from sharing photos on social media.
13 | Review Old Photos
Speaking of photos, why don’t you take some time to go through some old pictures? I love looking back at photos I never posted on social media. They are always imperfect. For example, the lighting is bad, the photo might be blurry, and it’s not the best angle. But the images are so much more evocative of the memory they are associated with.
14 | Make a Collage
Break out the scissors and glue and make a collage. I used to do this all the time in middle school and high school. I would cut out images from magazines and arrange them on a poster board for my wall. It’s a fun way to work with your hands and get your creative juices flowing.
15 | Have a Friend Over for Coffee
Having guests over can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s ok if you have dishes in the sink or your house isn’t perfect. Your friends won’t care, they will just be honored to be asked to come over. You won’t be tempted to look at your phone with a friend to keep you company.
16 | Exercise
Get moving! This is one of my favorite things to do when I can’t seem to put down my phone. I love free workout videos on YouTube, but sometimes my toddler and I just have a dance party in the living room.
17 | Stretch
Stretch it out. Being hunched over a phone scrolling social media isn’t just bad for your mind, it’s also bad for your body. We spend far too much time sitting with our shoulders slumped over. Do some yoga to help correct your posture.
18 | Lay in the Grass
Never underestimate the power of just being, especially outside. Place a cozy quilt in the grass, lay back, and just watch the clouds for a while.
19 | Play Board Games
I’m such a board game junkie, but when I’m distracted with the latest social media feed I just don’t think about it. Thankfully, even just a quick round of Uno will get your whole family laughing.
20 | Rearrange the Furniture
If all else fails, rearrange the furniture. It will give you a fresh space and keep you occupied for hours. More than just the furniture may get sorted out, especially considering social media is often a form of escape.