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Social Media Detox for Improved Mental Health

How long do you use your phone every day? The time could be anywhere between 2-6 hours or more. Do you know how this usage of phones and social media, in general, impacts your mental and physical health?

You might not be aware of the reasons, but you might notice that you feel sad after scrolling through Instagram or you feel angry by some news that you just read. This keeps happening day after day and impacts your body and mind. 

What is the solution?

Have a social media detox!

What is a social media detox?

Social media detox is a conscious effort to take a break from social media use for some time. During a social media detox, individuals can either delete social media apps from their phones, deactivate their accounts, or simply limit and track the time spent on social media platforms.

 The goal of a social media detox is to disconnect from the constant noise of notifications, updates, and information that can often contribute to feelings of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. This will help you take a break from social media and adjust your focus on what matters most to you in daily life. Ask yourself - “Am I spending my time on the things that matter to me?”. This will help you analyse your own behaviour and make the necessary changes. 

During a social media detox, you can engage in other activities like spending time in nature, practising mindfulness, reading, or spending quality time with friends. (yes, you can stop giving the excuse of “Oh I don’t have time”). 

The duration of a social media detox can vary depending on personal preferences, but it typically lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Why take a social media detox?

There are various benefits of a social media detox. A few of them are as follows -

Increased productivity

Social media can be a major distraction, and taking a break can allow for increased focus on work and other important tasks. 

You might have been in a situation where you are working but you notice an email that you just received or any other notification pops up on your feed. After being distracted from work, it takes around 20-25 minutes to regain focus. If there is a constant distraction, the focus is even lower and so is the productivity.

Taking a social media break can improve your focus and as a result, your productivity.

Reduction in anxiety and stress

Many times, the social media feed causes people to experience stress about their future, their body, the way they look, etc. Social media can create a sense of pressure to present a perfect life, leading to feelings of inadequacy. By disconnecting from social media, individuals may experience an improvement in self-acceptance.

Taking a break from social media can give us the space and time to reflect on our relationship with technology and how it impacts our mental health and well-being. This increased self-awareness can help us make better choices about our social media use in the future.

Increase in feelings of belonging and connection

Social media can sometimes create an illusion of connection without the depth and intimacy of real relationships. This also contributes to feelings of isolation. Taking a break from social media will help you to spend quality time with your loved ones and foster deeper social connections. This will help you nurture your relationships with your friends and family members in a meaningful way. You will end up feeling satisfied and experiencing a sense of connection.

Better sleep and greater energy levels

The blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with the body's natural sleep-wake cycle, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. By reducing social media use and screen time before bed, you can experience better quality sleep.

Improved sleep can also lead to increased energy levels during the day. Getting a good night's sleep can help individuals feel more alert and focused, which can lead to increased productivity and motivation.

It's important to note that a social media detox may not be easy for everyone, and it may be necessary to implement other healthy habits to fully experience the benefits. However, taking a break from social media can be a valuable tool in prioritising mental health and overall well-being.