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The Benefits of a Break From Social Media

At the end of the day, most of us will scroll through Instagram feeds, Twitter feeds or TikTok for you pages to catch up on everything we missed during the work day. Soon, this becomes a habit that we don’t realize takes us away from the present moment and we become glued to our screens which damages our eyes, mental health and physical health.

So what’s the cure? Take a break!

Taking a break from social media can be helpful for becoming more present in our lives, re-aligning our priorities and values, dialing in on our emotions and relationships and taking care of our health. So now that we’ve gone over the negative impacts of social media, let’s talk about why you should consider a social media hiatus.

Break the habit

Ultimately it takes 21 days (at least) to break a habit. We know that not everyone can manage three weeks away from social media, but even a week can make a lead to big improvements.

You’ll notice you suddenly have extra time during the day, are more engaged in conversations with friends, family and co-workers, and that your stress is greatly reduced.

Sometimes people just get caught up in habits for so long that they forget that it’s possible to survive without certain things, such as social media, cigarettes or that extra shot of espresso in their morning skinny vanilla latte.

Breaking a habit is definitely not one of the easiest things in the world (hence addictions) but it is do-able. Some of our tips for breaking the habit of social media are:

  • Before bed, put your phone somewhere away from your bed. This way you’ll not only spend less time on social media before you sleep, but you’ll be more likely to wake up to your alarm in the morning and get a deeper sleep.

  • Encourage a habit of not spending the first hour of each day on your phone. Use a traditional alarm clock (not on your phone) and put your phone on silent mode until that hour is up or after you’ve had breakfast or worked out. You’ll be surprised how much your stress decreases after a few weeks of this.

  • Instead of scrolling through your feed during your lunch breaks, spend your time engaging with co-workers, or if you work at home, go on a walk, do some cleaning, cook a meal for yourself, or play with a pet.

So long headaches and neck pain

You’ll notice that a lot of office workers and professionals struggle with headaches, migraines and neck pain. This is often from high-levels of stress and staring at screens for a majority of the day.

Sometimes massages and exercise can help alleviate this pain, but in the long run people will still struggle with lasting repercussions. These can include shoulder or back pain, gut or liver problems due to overuse of medications, and eye-sight issues due to the blue light emitted from screens.

Some ways you can counteract this pain due from looking at screens are:

  • Instead of reading news updates or liking your friends’ latest posts on Instagram, focus on your surroundings on your way home. Notice new businesses opening up, new people along your normal route, and possible stops for weekend brunches or dinners with friends.

  • Put the phone done and practice some yoga poses or stretches in your free time or during your breaks. Even five minutes of stretching each day can significantly improve your health and wellbeing.

  • Invest in a standing desk or walking meetings. You’re less likely to scroll through social media if you’re standing at your desk because your body is more energized and honestly, it’s more comfortable to sit and scroll for hours than it is to stand. Walking meetings are a great way to promote physical activity in your business or workplace by hosting meetings with clients, co-workers or business partners on walks. This way you’re not staring at screens for virtual meetings and you’re also getting those steps in!

You before social media

Can you honestly remember what life was like before social media? Most people recount the days before computers, back when TVs still had large boxes on the back of them. But are you able to remember what hobbies or what you did to fill those extra minutes or hours in your day when you didn’t have social media to distract you?

You’ll notice that social media is one of the main distractions in our lives as we carry on through our days. It prevents us from having to interact with people on bus rides, entertains us during boring rides home or to work, and allows us to feel some sort of social connection without having to actually engage in physical conversation with someone.

Some of our top tips for dialing into the “old you” before social media impeded your life are:

  • Reflect on past hobbies or activities you took part in. Did you play a sport? Were you super into gardening or cooking? Try revisiting some of those old passions and see if your perspective has changed.

  • Connect with your family and friends. These are typically the people that know you best and can suggest options for activities or hobbies that you can take up, without having to dive into something new totally on your own. Sometimes just knowing that you’re starting something alongside a friend or that you have the support of your family can be the motivation we need to make a change.

  • Consider other factors such as your health, your priorities and your social climate. Are you trying to lose weight but find you never have time? Instead of taking the bus home, you can try walking for a part of the way home after work or to work. Not only will you be getting some exercise in, but it’s a lot harder to text and walk than it is to just walk.


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