Today I thought I’d talk about what to do instead of social media. Most of us get caught up scrolling through our phones all too often, and a lot of the time that’s because we’re bored and don’t know what else to do. Social media has a habit of reeling us in, and all too often that quick 5-minute check of Instagram turns into a 2-hour dive down a rabbit hole.

 

Does this sound familiar?

 

Wake up. Reach for your phone. Spend 30 mins scrolling social media. Get annoyed with yourself for not starting your day more productively. Get up & dressed. Make breakfast. Scroll your phone while eating. Go about your day, checking your phone approximately every 10 minutes in case something new has happened. Throw your phone on the sofa because you’re so furious that you can’t stop looking at it. Watch a movie in the evening but don’t pay any attention to the movie because you’re checking social media and getting lost in pointless Tik Tok videos. Wonder what to do instead of social media tomorrow because you’re sick of spending all your time on it.

 

In 2020, the average user spent 144 minutes on social media EVERY SINGLE DAY. That’s 2 hours and 24 minutes. A lot of us feel like we don’t have time in our day, and use this as a reason why we can’t do the things we know would bring us joy, or start new hobbies that we’ve been wanting to start for years. 

 

Imagine what you could do with almost 2 and a half hours extra every day. As if that wasn’t bad enough, get ready for the really grim news. A study found that on average we spend 5 years and 4 months of our lives scrolling on social media.

 

These findings make me want to run over my phone continuously and then chuck it off the edge of the world. Unfortunately, the earth is round and I need my phone for work. BUT, even if those options aren’t practical, there are plenty of other things you can do instead of comparing your life to other people’s highlight reel online.

 

 

Why Spending Less Time On Social Media Is Beneficial

 

Social media is amazing at connecting us with like-minded people from all over the world, that we probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet otherwise. It can also be a great place to get inspiration and hear different perspectives from our own on various topics.

 

But, social media can also be pretty damaging, especially to our mental health, which is why we need to use it mindfully. Multiple studies have linked the use of social media with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. 

 

We all play the comparison game online at times, worrying that we’re not as high up in our career as this person, or worried that everyone is getting married except us. We envy people’s lives, appearances, relationships, and even though we know that people only upload their highlight reels online, it doesn’t stop us from comparing lives and wondering whether we’ve hit the milestones we should have by now.

 

Secret: Life doesn’t have age limits. We all do different things, at different times, with different people. Some people get married at 19, only to get divorced at 30, while others don’t have a single relationship until they’re 35, but spend 50 years with that person. No way is right, and no way is wrong, we are all different and we should celebrate our life’s journey for what it is: Our own, and that starts with putting your phone down and living life on your own terms.

 

How To Spend Less Time On Social Media

 

It’s all well and good wanting to spend less time on social media, but these apps are highly addictive, and not just by coincidence. 

 

When you log onto Instagram or whatever your favourite app is, dopamine signals in your brain increase. Dopamine is the ‘feel good’ hormone. When you experience dopamine using social media, your brain identifies this activity as a rewarding one that you ought to repeat. 

 

These feelings can be heightened if you post content yourself that gets good feedback, such as likes or comments.

 

Here are a few things you can do to help keep yourself off of social media:

 

  • Set time limits on your apps

 

For both iPhone and Android phones, you can access ‘screen time’ in your settings and set individual time limits for apps.

 

  • Don’t look at your phone first thing in the morning

 

How we start our day sets the tone for our day. Try spending 30 minutes reading, meditating, or stretching, or laying there thinking about what you’re grateful for instead. Likewise in the evening, try to set your phone aside at least an hour before bed, to ensure you get a great night’s sleep.

 

  • Delete apps from your home screen

 

You can delete an app from your home screen without deleting it from your phone. Just make sure you choose ‘remove’ instead of ‘uninstall’. Even though you can still access the app if you need to, if you can’t see it, it’s easier to ignore it.

 

  • Put your phone on airplane mode

 

If you’re struggling with notifications distracting you, airplane mode could be a good one to stop you from checking your phone every 5 minutes.

 

  • Leave home without your phone

 

In this day and age, leaving home without your phone can literally feel like you’ve left your arm at home. But, the more you do it, the less alien it will feel. Leaving your phone at home is especially great if you’re going for a nature walk and are wanting to unplug from the world.

 

100 Ideas of What to do Instead of Social Media

 

1.Bake a cake

This Carrot Cake recipe from Loving It Vegan is a winner every time.

 

2. Practice Mindfulness

 

3. Try a Zumba class

 

4. Listen to a podcast

 

5. Plant something

 

6. Declutter your closet

Try on everything in your closet and separate everything into 3 piles – keep, maybe, donate. Once you’ve purged all your clothes, you can reward yourself with a little shopping trip. Who said chores have to be dull.

 

7. Volunteer at a local animal sanctuary

 

8. Start a blog

 

9. Do a puzzle

 

10. Create a piece of art

You really don’t need to have an artistic flair here. Grab yourself a canvas and some paints and just enjoy the process. If it comes out looking like a child did it, you can always blame it on your niece or nephew!

 

 

11. Make a weekly meal plan

 

12. Clean out your car

 

13. Meditate

 

14. Meet a friend for lunch

 

15. Learn a magic trick

 

16. Create your own cocktail

 

17. Head to a botanical garden

 

18. Plan your next holiday

 

19. Make an early start on your Christmas shopping 

My mum does most of her Christmas shopping in January, so it’s never too early to start!

 

20. Read a book

 

21. Take yourself out for a coffee date

 

22. Go see a grandparent

 

23. Explore your local town

 

24. Make a to-do list for the week

It might not sound like a fun task, but your week will be so much more productive and less overwhelming

 

25. Learn calligraphy

 

26. Get an adult colouring book

 

27. Have a 1 person dance party to your favourite album

 

28. Declutter your sh*t drawer

Everyone’s got one!

 

29. Take a walk in the countryside

 

30. Go to a museum

 

31. Have a movie marathon

 

32. Build a fort

 

33. Make a tie-dye t-shirt

 

34. Gratitude journal

 

35. Start a series you’ve been wanting to watch

 

36. Look through your childhood photos

 

37. Create yearly goals for yourself

 

38. Go through your finances

If you’re saving for something, but are struggling to find the motivation, here’s something I did when saving to go travelling that really helped. I went through every single transaction made in the last year on my online banking and wrote down the expenses based on category, for example, bills, entertainment, shopping, and here’s a big one – extra, unnecessary food shops AFTER I’d already grocery shopped for the week. When I added up the totals, it shocked me into being smarter with my money and saving better.

 

39. Learn a language

Duolingo is a fantastic free tool for this.

 

40. Visit a national park

 

41. Do a watersport

If you’re new to watersports, paddle boarding is so much fun and pretty easy to pick up. It’s also great if you don’t live near the sea as you can do it on a river or lake.

 

42. Do some weeding in your garden

 

43. Create a new playlist

 

44. Make a time capsule

 

45. Cancel unused subscriptions

Still paying for an app you’re not using? Or do you have Netflix, Disney Plus, and Prime Video but only find yourself watching one? Save yourself the extra bucks and cancel those suckers.

 

46. Go geocaching

Geocaching is basically an outdoor scavenger hunt between strangers. You navigate GPS coordinates to find the geocache container someone has hidden. You then open it up, sign the logbook, and start looking for the next one. This activity would also be great with kids.

 

47. Go swimming

 

48. Play a game you loved as a kid

 

49. Start Couch to 5k

 

50. Delete apps you don’t use

 

51. Have a picnic

Even if it’s solo. Take your favourite book, find a pretty place, and spend your afternoon just hanging out.

 

52. Volunteer at a local food bank/ homeless shelter

 

53. Sort out your inbox

My current unread email count is over 3,000 (I know, shameful). Don’t be me, sort yours out before it gets that bad, and unsubscribe from all the marketing emails you never look at.

 

54. Deep clean your home

Yep, I mean getting down and gritty with those dusty skirting boards you’ve been avoiding, or the laundry cupboard that’s seen better days.

 

55. Practice your makeup skills

 

56. Do a DIY project

On Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, there are always free pieces of furniture. Grab one and set yourself the task of doing it up. You could even sell it on after for a profit.

 

57. Do a boot fair/ garage sale

 

58. Donate blood

 

59. Participate in a beach clean up (if you live near the ocean)

 

60. Plan a road trip

 

61. Make a product you normally buy from scratch

Jam is a great one, as is ketchup, mayonnaise, or curry pastes.

 

62. Call a loved one

 

63. Host a dinner party

 

64. Join a sports team

 

65. Meal prep

 

66. Have a nap

Naps get a bad rep, but is there anything that feels more luxurious than a mid-afternoon nap when you have nothing else you need to get done? I think not.

 

67. Organise your photos

 

68. Go to the cinema

 

69. Find things to sell around your home

Games consoles you don’t use anymore, old phones, kitchen gadgets that sounded like a good idea at the time, your kids outgrown clothes, the list goes on. Once you start looking for things to sell, you might find the urge takes over you and you become a ruthless declutterer (is that even a word?)

 

70. Redecorate a room

 

71. Go on a date

 

72. Wash your makeup brushes

 

73. Make your partner a handmade gift

Play to your strengths – if you’re great at cooking, some homemade chocolates will go down a treat. Good at gardening? What about building a planter with their favourite flowers or vegetables in? Brilliant at digital art? Create a personalised print for them. There are so many things you can make your partner just as a little token of how much you appreciate them.

 

74. Learn to sew

 

75. Do a face mask

 

76. Write a book

These days you can self-publish a book easily enough and sell it through Amazon. Everyone’s an expert at something, so write what you know.

 

77. Sunbathe

 

78. Do the thing you’ve been putting off

There’s always one task in the back of your mind that makes you groan. For me, it’s calling the dentist, what’s yours?

 

79. Create a bucket list

 

80. Play a board game

 

81. Reorganise your workspace

Tidy space, tidy mind as the saying goes.

 

82. Help a friend out

Whether that’s by babysitting for them, helping them decorate their bedroom, teaching them to cook, or just a bit of company.

 

83. Play with your pet

 

84. Go for a drive

 

85. Learn about a historical event/ person

 

86. Get a manicure

 

87. OR learn how to do a manicure yourself

 

88. Unfollow people

Ok, so technically this is on social media BUT it’s not aimlessly scrolling. Pop onto your Instagram just to have a good clear out or anything that doesn’t inspire or sit well with you, so that when you do check your social media apps again, you’ll only have content on there that really aligns with you.

 

89. Have a bubble bath

 

90. Check out a new band/artist

 

91. Play a card game

 

92. Take a free e-course

You don’t need to look hard for these, just Google whatever topic you’re interested in + free e-course. You usually have to sign up to the person’s email newsletter which is free but you get access to a completely free course.

 

93. Do that pile of ironing

 

94. Style your clothes in new ways

 

95. Read a magazine with your feet up

 

96. Get your hair cut

 

97. Create a vision board

 

98. Learn how to do a new hairstyle

 

99. Organise your computer files

 

100. Create a scrapbook

 

what to do instead of social media

 

Next time you’re wondering what to do instead of social media, whip out this list and do an activity that will bring you more joy than your phone will. I guarantee you’ll feel better when you do, as you’ll feel more in control of your own time. 

 

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