Social media. It has both positives and negatives, like most everything else. I’ve met some of my favorite people through social media. And on the other hand, studies have shownusing social media less has a positive effect on your mental health. In this blog post, I plan to share some of my favorite alternatives to spending time on social media and my experience in realizing I needed them.
Listen to Podcasts
I listen to them on the way to work and when I get ready for the day. And, believe it or not, I learn something new almost every episode. Podcasts are a great way to understand another perspective and expose yourself to different kinds of people.
Now, I look forward to my commute and even my morning routine because podcasts are so mentally stimulating. In the past, I would scroll for way too long on social media before getting up or listen to the same songs over again in the car. So, podcasts have helped me spend my time more wisely.
Spend Time Outdoors
Sports and getting dirty aren’t my thing, but I still love being outside. Whether it’s to take a walk, read a book, or enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee. I’ve recently made more of an effort to spend time outside because it makes me happy.
Spending time outside also distracts me from scrolling through Facebook or Instagram (my two biggest vices.) Afterward, I feel refreshed when I’d usually feel drained or indifferent if I spent that time on my phone.
When I lived in Pittsburgh, I went to my favorite yoga studio ever. For anyone local, check out Urban Elements in the North Shore. I’m still trying new places in Cleveland, but haven’t found the one yet.
I’ve relied on yoga during some of the most stressful times. Even though I still consider myself a beginner, it doesn’t matter. Each class helps me be more present and relax. It also reminds me of what I’m capable of, which is pretty cool.
By doing yoga, you physically can’t be on your phone. So, it’s almost a fool-proof alternative to extra screen time.
Read a Book
My relationship with reading seems to come in phases. But, as I get older, I learn how much I love to tap into my creativity and imagination this way. A good book can take you to another place and time where you forget about your phone and the pressure associated with it.
Here are some of my favorites:
I’m about to finally dive into Girl Wash Your Face after having it recommended to me many times.
Explore Your Kitchen Skills
The number of Pinterest fails I’ve had in the kitchen is… shameful and hilarious. But, the more I practice the better and more comfortable I become. Cooking or baking for someone is one of my favorite ways of showing I care.
So, instead of creeping around on Insta, pick out a new recipe you’d like to try. You never know how good it could turn out. My coworkers and I have a Recipes slack channel where we share ideas.
Here are some of the best:
Play a Game
Game nights are the best. My friends and I prefer staying in to do this and most of us haven’t even reached 30 yet. No shame.
Playing games is a great way to use your mind and connect with others. Time flies when you’re having fun, and you can easily forget your phone.
Over the summer, Greg and I discovered our new favorite at a friend’s house called SpotIt. It’s under $20 and Prime Eligible. 😉
I hope this post inspires one person to explore these alternatives or alternatives of their own. Like I said, social media can be both a blessing and a curse, but we can control the effect it has on us.