Hey Fellow Wildflowers, I hope You all are doing great.
It’s 2 am, I’m tossing and turning in bed, after being patient for good 15 minutes, I grab my phone and start scrolling through Instagram, I feel this will help me sleep faster, you know it, I know it, it isn’t happening, it’s a trap! That is exactly when I realize, I need a social media detox! Did you ever encounter a similar situation?
I was away from social media and my Blog for a week. I’m writing this blog on the 100th day of the lock-down period. Lock-down & quarantine are really heavy words, last time I heard the word quarantine was in finding dory, not kidding, not in my wildest dreams I imagined sitting at home for such a long period, isolating myself from the outside world. Definitely Not complaining, I very well understand we all are safe at home.
Last few days have been emotionally exhausting, I thought why not distance myself from social media, just like we’re supposed to maintain 6 feet distance from people at public places.
I won’t lie, I didn’t completely discard social media applications from my mobile phone, My aim was to restrict my screen time.
If current situation of Covid-19 didn’t exist, I would have left for a solo trip, ifs and buts aside, as practically none of this is possible, I decided to step back from my chaotic routine on my 6.41-inch screen, to look at life from a different perspective, sometimes all we have to do is look at the bigger picture, and make necessary changes.
As much as I love social media, I have concluded that I need to set boundaries. I checked my screen time a week back and it exceeded 10 hrs a day, shocking right? Well most of us are at home due to the lock-down except people who are part of the essential service sector and no matter how many times we decide to do something productive we end up scrolling through social media applications on our mobile phones. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter you name it, in these recent days traveling for me meant hopping between these three apps, and if my eyes have some energy left, that energy is dedicated to Netflix.
I made a promise to myself to restrict Netflix time to just 1 hour every day, and the gods are on my side, I haven’t broken my promise yet(Grinning), plus I’m watching only Comedy/Drama series, no horror or thrillers for me at least for next few months.
Just a few days back I read a blog that said the best way to do a social media detox is by deactivating all social media applications, well I want to agree on this one but I won’t, the 18-year-old me had this tendency, every time I wanted a break I would immediately deactivate my apps, now I try to look at the bigger picture, social media, Netflix have their own pro’s and con’s, deactivating is not the solution, to have control over yourself is of utmost importance.
So, I started Setting boundaries, also having a practical approach towards this subject helped. Rushing things or making hasty decisions is barely fruitful. I started slow and steady, my screen time of 10 hrs has been reduced to 5 over 15 days’ time period (phone calls, social media, blogging and everything included), every goal is achievable if we work hard and smart enough but also when we set realistic goals.
There are days when I feel like completely disconnecting and it’s okay to do so, as too much of anything is not good. I believe to inculcate healthy habits we need to let go of the old ones, replacing my screen time with something fun further helped me reach my goal. Now I plan my day and add 5 things to each day that don’t require me to use my screen.
Also, the most important thing I would like to suggest is, it is necessary to set your screen time according to your job profile, I have to be on social media for my blog work so I have decided to allow myself 5 hours of screen time daily (Everything included, even phone calls). I feel 5 hours are more than enough. There is a life beyond memes (Don’t get me wrong I love memes), think about it, is it okay to give 50% or more of our time to these screens?
There is a positive side to social media, people who aren’t physically there with you are available online but think of the ones sitting right next to you are slowly drifting apart. An hour of Instagram becomes two and 2 hours of Whats App becomes 5.
Stay connected, be active on social platforms but at the same time have a life outside social media, A life that is good for you and your mental well-being, A life that you forgot exists, Remember a different life before Whats App, Instagram existed, keep those forgotten dreams and goals alive. And let me know if I’m the only one who uses social media for long hours. And like me, if you have restricted your phone usage, let me know your schedule that doesn’t involve being constantly glued to your screen.
Steadily i have made certain changes in my lifestyle and added fun activities to my routine, you can try them out and let me know if i can add anything else,
5 SIMPLE CHANGES I’M ADDING TO MY DAILY ROUTINE TO RESTRICT MY SCREEN-TIME,
1. READING FOR AN HOUR EVERYDAY –
Reading social media captions cannot be counted, I take any book, magazine, newspaper, and read for an hour, learn something new, the idea is to try something that doesn’t require me to use my phone. Anything interesting, funny, informative, i don’t force myself neither should you, such changes should happen because we really want to add quality to our life. Remember days before WIFI and 4G? We had a life then, now we’re just caged in our phones. A cage very small, 6.41 inch to be precise. I’m trying to read something interesting every day, currently, I’ve got my hands on Vex King’s Good Vibes, Good Life. Do suggest something from your collection as well.
MINIMUM 20 MINUTES OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY 5 TIMES A WEEK-
2. Quiet the mind and the soul will speak. ~Buddha
I am so done with mobile phone games, adding a simple exercise regime to our daily routine helps us all stay fit both physically and mentally. keep your phone aside, or take a walk for 20minutes every day, I’m not able to go outside due to lock-down, so I’m doing fun indoor exercises like Jumping jacks, planks, squats, push-ups, skipping, You may try this or anything else you love doing. Exercise not only helps you lose weight and maintain a healthy body but it also helps improve mental well-being and mood. How about no screen for 20-30 minutes every day to take care of your overall well-being?
NOTE: I am not a Doctor, fitness expert or wellness coach, Consult your Doctor or fitness professional before trying the above exercises at home.
3. MAINTAIN A JOURNAL-
Do you journal your daily thoughts and moods? I’m Using a 2020 planner for setting weekly, monthly goals, but a simple journal to express what I feel and, learn every day. I don’t necessarily write big paragraphs, sometimes just a few sentences, you can add a weekly gratitude column and write what you’re grateful for. A few years back I had the habit of writing in my phones note pad, thankfully i got rid of it, call me old school, as convenient as you feel phones are, i feel writing on a paper and maintaining a journal is more apt way to do it, i learnt this in my creative writing school, always write your notes on a physical paper and write the final product on laptop.(it was for writing stories, but I’m also applying the same rule for writing a journal, do try it and let me know the outcome.)
4. LEARN HOW TO COOK-
Everybody should know how to cook, there are no gender roles when it comes to cooking, we all eat, don’t we? so we all must know the basics of cooking a simple meal. Lock-down was a golden opportunity for me. Okay, I firmly agree lock-down isn’t a competition. I’m just speaking for myself, you may feel differently and it’s absolutely okay. Within 3 months time period, I have mastered cleaning my home, utensils and almost mastered cooking delicious meals, I will say 100% the day I learn how to make everything I crave. And I crave every Damn cuisine in this whole wide world, so the process of going from 50 to 100 is going to be a long one. I learned to Prep my meals in advance, now i cook them with love, and have ditched the habit of eating while scrolling social media. Eat your meals with gratitude. Stop the habit of rushing things, phone in one hand, and food in another is the worst thing you can do to yourself.
5.SELF-LOVE AND PAMPERING-
Try including 1-hour session of self-love every day, self-love for every individual is different. for me it’s face mask on a Sunday, reading a book on Monday, soaking my feet in Epsom salt on Tuesday, eating a cake I baked myself on a Wednesday, drinking only warm water on Thursday, cheat meal on a Friday, No calls after 6 pm on a Saturday, reading a book with hot frothy coffee again on a Sunday and so on, I don’t always stick to the same schedule, my schedule keeps on rotating, I add and subtract a few things as I like. The above 4 points apart from Self love should be your daily habits, yes they too are part of self-love and care, but add an extra hour to simply do something you love or to do absolutely nothing.( On some days doing nothing is as much self-love and care as doing anything else, it’s okay.)
Social Media isn’t toxic the amount of time we spend on it is quite questionable though. Ask yourself is it necessary? Is it healthy? yes, certain habits can be unhealthy too. Learn to set boundaries, decide what is important and what is plain lack of discipline. There is a life beyond our screens and we just need to realize is sooner. There is a life offline as important as your online life.
Do let me know if you have restricted your screen time as well, also, what necessary changes you have made in your lifestyle after restricting your screen-time. Until next time, have a beautiful week ahead. Take care.