Social Media Detox Tips + Why You Should Unplug

In all honesty – I’ve been feeling physically crappy lately. I’ve been feeling low energy, high stress, and all around a little…off my game. I’m a huge advocate of mental health and am actually doing cognitive behavioral therapy to better connect with myself and learn about stress management (I have a whole YouTube video about my experience you can watch!). ​​​​​​Through the process I’ve come upon some serious social media detox tips.

Mid chat with my therapist, she brought up a great point…

I spend way too much time in front of screens – specifically on social media.

Honestly – she’s not wrong. My screen time often averages upwards of seven hours a day. In my defense, social media is my job. But 7+ hours of screen time daily isn’t sustainable, and it certainly isn’t healthy.

Even if your screen time lands at way less than my horrifying number – a social media detox could be for you. Not that you should need much convincing, but let’s dig into why everyone should give themselves a break from social media.

3 reasons to do a social media detox.

It’s impossible to feel “grounded” when you’re always plugged in.

I’ve learned a lot about “grounding” in counseling and it makes so much sense. Truly a mind blowing stress relieving technique that I wish I had learned much sooner.

I’ll drop a link to a more scientific and professional description here for you, but the long story short is that “grounding” helps to reorient you into the present moment (vs finding yourself “stuck in your head” with anxious thoughts).

My counselor recommended pausing in a moment of stress and start vocally calling out what is physically around – like your bed, pictures on the wall, or even that your pet is with you. This “grounding” technique helps to remind yourself that whatever the stressors you have causing your mind to stir – you are physically safe and in a calm environment.

Ultimately it’s near impossible to practice “grounding” when you’re metaphorically plugged in all the time. It’s impossible to be present in your room if mentally you’re locked into Twitter scrolling through scary and often depressing news. Giving yourself some social media detox time allows you to better ground in the present moment.

Social media is a time suck.

No argument here, am I right? Social media is entertainment and has zero contribution to any form of productivity.

Social media is literally my job and I often find myself getting sucked into hours of cat TikToks.

Waste. Of. Time.

Social media encourages unfair comparison.

Social media, Instagram specifically, is a breeding ground for unfair comparison. You think you’re doing good, until you see someone else doing even better.

I’m not as skinny as her. She has way more money than me. Wow look at her amazing vacation. I wish my life looked like that.

Instagram fuels comparison and hides so much reality – even the most perfect Instagram post has a backstory and no one’s life is as perfect as it seems on social media. But here we are – comparing away.

social media detox tips for 2020

Try these social media detox tips to relieve anxiety.

Set screen time app limits on your phone.

Can’t seem to put the phone down? Apple offers the ability to manually set screen time limits per day, blocking off apps if 1) it’s outside your selected hours or 2) you’ve gone over your daily allotted time limit.

Screen time limits are a huge help when it comes to detoxing from social media. By utilizing the screen time function, I was able to cut my daily average screen time from the horrifying seven hours down to a much more palatable four to five.

For iPhone users, go through the following steps to find your screen time limits and set as you see fit!

★ Click into Settings

★ Click into “Screen Time”

★ Set your down time hours in the “Down Time” section

★ Control your time limits for specific apps in the “App Limits” section

Charge your phone in another room overnight.

Many of us have replaced our old school alarm clocks (did anyone else have the iHome and love it???) with our phones.

Horrible move.

Using your phone as your alarm clock encourages checking your phone first thing in the morning – setting an unhealthy, tech fueled tone to the day.

I ordered this specific light based alarm clock for our room so that we can stop relying on our phones as our alarms. Rather than rousing you with a blaring noise, this light therapy alarm clock simulates a sun rise, slowly and gently waking you up to start your day.

The goal is no phones in the bedroom.

Turn off ALL notifications.

Between email, calendar invites, Instagram, and various apps – the average smartphone user gets 46 push notifications per day. That’s 46 potential disruptions, distractions, and opportunities to get riled up about something on social media.

Do yourself a favor and turn off all your app push notifications. I have all my necessary, emergency related notifications set for ON (like texts, phone calls, etc) – but I seriously do not need an update with every Instagram like or comment and definitely do not need to know this week’s Postmates discount code. My wallet and mental health are thanking me.

social-media-detox-tips

Silence or unfollow those that don’t serve you.

I am very liberal with the “silence” feature on Instagram. I highly encouraging unfollowing any accounts on social media that don’t make you feel good – especially influencers. But sometimes unfollowing someone isn’t, how shall we say it…politically correct? Like maybe that toxic aunt that can’t stop spewing nonsense on her Instagram Stories.

Stories has an amazing “silence” function – simply place your finger on the user’s story icon, hold down, and a menu will appear giving you the option to silence their Stories.

If I find myself in a constant comparison game with someone or if I’m finding that I’m not getting positive value and good feelings from their content – I unfollow or silence. It’s not personal – it’s healthy.

Find an offline hobby – not a side hustle.

We live in a culture that celebrates grinding and hustling – so much so that I often wonder if we’ve lost the art of the hobby.

One of the best ways to disconnect from social media is to find an offline hobby. Maybe it’s taking morning walks, painting, reading, sewing, or cooking – the possibilities are endless. Find a hobby you love just for the fun of doing it.

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Social media detox tips 2020
social media detox tips 2020

Got social media detox tips to share? Drop ’em in the comments below!

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