We’ve all been guilty of it: the mindless scroll we get sucked into doing on social media. How much time do we waste reading status updates, watching Instagram videos, or scrolling through Twitter feeds? How often do we fill our lives with people we don’t even know—celebrities and social media influencers, alike—and potentially fuel jealousy of the seemingly glamorous lives they live?
Many of us are addicted to social media, but there are numerous things you could be doing with your time instead—things that will make you feel better and make your life a bit fuller. If you feel your life has become overrun with social media, you may want to consider doing a social media detox. If you feel like you have control of your usage and can just cut back, try these activities instead.
You don’t have to be training for a marathon or working up a sweat at your nearest boot camp class to reap the benefits of exercise. Instead of sitting down and strengthening those thumb muscles, get up and take a walk around the block. Do some yoga and maybe practice a new pose your friend posted about on Instagram. Moving just a little bit more each day will help your body feel better and make your mind clearer, and hopefully, it will become a daily habit you will want to continue.
2. Tackle Your Home To-Do List
Yes, chores can be boring and who doesn’t want to procrastinate from getting them done? How many of you have household lists you need to complete that have sat there, without getting checked off week after week, month after month? Commit to checking at least one item off that list a week. Whether it’s decluttering your kitchen drawers, painting that bathroom you’ve always wanted to update, or getting your major appliances serviced to ensure they’re operating efficiently, make it a goal to accomplish one of these things every week.
3. Read a Book
We can be so used to short bursts of information, a status update, a blog, and even a 150-character tweet. When was the last time you read a book? Look at your nightstand—do you have a book that you’ve been meaning to read for months? Downloaded something to your Kindle that’s been sitting there unread? Take that time that you would be scrolling before bed and start reading that book.
4. Plan a Face-to-Face Visit with a Friend
No, not a FaceTime visit. Plan time with your friend where you can meet in-person to sit down and catch up. Sure, sending a quick text is a nice way to let someone know you’re thinking of them. But taking the time to have lunch, dinner, or just coffee with a friend can be a nice way to decompress and set those phones aside. You may learn more about your friend and important things going on in their lives, such as who they’re dating or how their marriage is going—things that don’t always translate well over text.
5. Go Out and Enjoy Nature
Do you find yourself thinking, “My friend posted this amazing picture from their hike the other week. I sure would like to go there someday.” Get up and get out there! Start small with exploring the city and surrounding area you live in. Plan a trip to the ocean or the mountains and really soak in the beauty around you. You may be surprised how calm and peaceful you feel.
There are many ways you can be spending the time you’ve saved by cutting back on your social media. This isn’t to say that all social media is bad. It’s a great tool for businesses, a way to get news out faster than ever before, and a tool to keep in contact with family and friends near and far. Just be sure you don’t let your online life replace the everyday life going on around you.