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Take a Social Media detox

Are you ready to take a break from social media??

Read on for 12 ways you can do it!

It is a fact that social media has become a part of modern life. Apps like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter help us stay connected with loved ones, keep updated with news, travel to beautiful destinations and see inspiring people.

You may find yourself, however, spending hours scrolling hours on end through various feeds that can leave you feeling anxious, drained, dissatisfied or even overwhelmed.

How do you know if it’s time for a detox?

Reflect on your habits and evaluate how social media makes you feel and how it impacts your life.

Does it negatively impact your mental wellness? What about your productivity and creativity? Does it take time away from the activities that make you happy? Eg. Spending quality time with those you love?

Now, disclaimer, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with social media or that it is bad. However, the important thing is to use it with purpose and intention. If whilst you are reflecting, you are able to identify negative effects that the apps have had on your life, then it is time for a social media break.

Need some ideas on how to do it? Here are 12 ideas that can help you disconnect a little and have a happier, healthier relationship with social media, starting today!

1. Delete apps

You can experiment by taking it off your phone for 12 hours, remember you can easily install it. Note the effects it has and what thoughts it provokes. Once the experiment is over, the idea of limiting yourself will feel much more doable.

2. Detox with a friend

No matter your objective, having someone to hold you accountable can make a huge difference. Find someone who is interested in detoxing with you and discuss how you plan on following through. Eg. Plan on leaving your phone home whilst you run errands one week. Once the week is over, check in with your friend and let them know how you did.

You are more likely to stick to your goals or feel less discouraged when you fall short, when you have someone to lean on.

3. Identify what apps you use the most

There are apps that can help you break down how much time you are spending on your device. Eg. if you are an Apple user, you know there is a built in feature in iPhones and iPads called "Screen Time". Instead of looking at your daily average, check out your list of “Most Used” apps and see how much time you are devoting to specific social media apps.

4. Talk to your friends and family

The people closest to you, know you better than you know yourself. Ask them what they’ve noticed about your relationship with your phone. You may discover some bad tendencies like checking your phone mid-conversation or texting at the dinner table. If you are a parent, it would be good to hear what your kids have to say about your phone habits, it is a real eye-opening and motivational moment.

5. Put a rubber band around your phone

This simple trick can help you stop mindlessly picking your device. As you reach for your phone, there is now a physical obstacle that snaps you out of autopilot for a second and encourages you to reflect on what you’re doing.

6. Redesign your lock screen

Create a wallpaper design that reminds you to question whether or not you picked up your phone with purpose. Ask yourself three (3) questions, What for? Why now? What else?

Sometimes we pick up our phone because we feel lonely or bored. The point of this exercise is to help you understand your habits, not to make you feel bad.

7. Think of your attention as a valuable resource

We need to get a lot better at being protective of our attention and be aware of the things that try to take it away from us. Just as we would be careful when it comes to money and spending it, just the stakes are higher because our time and attention are irreplaceable.

8. Give your phone a bedtime

Start a routine that after a certain hour, like 9.30 p.m. your phone goes to it’s charging station and is out of commission until the next day.

Tip: Move your charging station from your bedside to an area out of your arm’s reach. The less access you have to it, the less likely you are to explore social media until the wee hours of the morning. Your goal should be to remove your phone out of your bedroom entirely.

9. Get a real alarm clock

It’s good to stop using your phone as an alarm clock. The start of your day, should focus on intention - “What do I want to accomplish today?” and the end of the day should be on reflection - “How did today go? How can tomorrow be better?”

When your phone is in your hands the second you wake up, you will skip your moment of zen and go straight into scrolling.

10. Set time limits on your apps

Sometimes your social media use can hinder your productivity. Consider an app like Freedom on iOs and Android. You can set time blocks where Freedom can block social media apps and even enable a Lock Mode which won’t allow you to cancel the set time limits, no matter how much you beg

11. Create folders on your home screen

If your social media icons are front and center on your home screen, they become easier for you to click on them. When you put them in a separate folder, it creates one extra step for you to take to access them, this helps you cut down on mindless clicking.

12. Practice meditation or being still

Meditation not only helps you manage stress and sleep better, but it can also help you become more mindful when it comes to what you are doing, including using social media.

Sitting still is a skill to be alone and quiet. Sitting still allows for you to check in with yourself and experience the calm of the present moment. No devices, no distractions, no special chair or cushion, no need to buy anything. Just start with 5 minutes and be still.

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