Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Top 10 ways to switch off from social media | The Small Desk

As with most of the population I often find myself endlessly scrolling through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, lusting and wishing after other people's lives. Every time I put my phone down after doing this I feel a deep sense of regret for spending that time not living my own life. I'm trying to switch off more from social and live more in the moment; I've been testing out a few different hobbies that I thought would be helpful to share with you.

I'm on holiday from work at the moment, having a staycation and I realise how much easier it is to switch off from mindless scrolling and post your own content when you're not working! So, my tips for switching off from social media are not going to be ones that will involve taking a week off going to a silent retreat, but smaller things that can fit around your everyday life, cost you very little money and are very simple.

I'm sure everyone already does one or more of these things its more about reminding you that these are the easiest ways to switch off and live in the moment.

1. Read a book
I've been a little stuck in a rut recently with reading. I think the fast pace nature of video content is somewhat to blame and I'm finding books a bit slow. I need to read something that is quite fast paced to get me back into it. I get really addicted to reading when I read Jon Ronson books – he's one of my all time favourite writers and I would highly recommend The Psychopath Test and So You've Been Publicly Shamed.

2. Go for a walk
This is much easier for me now as I walk part of the way to work and I live in the countryside. But even if it's just your local park or a walk around your local area – it is the perfect way to clear your head.

3. Tidy your house
Now this one may seem a bit crazy but sometimes having a clear out and a tidy up can actually be really therapeutic. It is the movement of cleaning and tidying and working up a sweat that can leave you feeling like you can justify a bit more social media scrolling!

4. Meal plan your week with cook books
Again this may sound like a chore but it gets your creative juices flowing. Push yourself to create at least one new dish you've not made before and it will get you thinking about how you will present it on Instagram...

5. Listen to a podcast
Lately I've been listening to the new podcast from the creators of Serial. It's called S-Town and tells the story of John B. Macklemore who lives in Alabama and restores clocks for a living. The podcast was created all because John B. wrote to the producers asking them to investigate a murder... It is completely addictive and totally absorbing.

6. Be social IRL
Shocker... go out and socialise! Be that with your home friends, work mates, neighbours or family. Real life face-to-face conversation beats any social media interactions!

7. Paint
The other day I went to Paperchase and bought some felt tip pens and a blank notepad. I'm not proud of my drawings and some are just shapes and doodles but I do find it enjoyable. Everyone can draw even if it is just stick men!

8. Write
Even though this sounds so simple it can be a real stumbling block for a lot of people. People will say but what should I write!? The easiest thing I find to write is just my stream of consciousness. I will write in pen in a notepad what I've done that day, how I'm feeling or just random thoughts. It's a good way to express yourself in a space where no-one will judge you as no-one will read it – unlike social media!

9. Listen to music
Even if you don't have a music subscription service or any CDs you can still listen to thousands of songs for free through YouTube. You can spend hours drifting off listening to the lyrics of your favourite songs.

10. Write a letter
Finally, when was the last time you wrote a letter? Write a letter to someone who might be lonely or isn't going through a great time. It will force you to think about your writing and at the same time give back. You could even decorate the envelope with pretty stickers and drawings.

I hope this has been of some help – how do you switch off from social media?


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