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How To Survive A Social Media Break

In honor of May's Mental Health Awareness Month, I recently took a two week break from social media.


Social media detoxes are an annual exercise for me ever since I left my finance career to become a digital media entrepreneur, and I have discussed my challenges with digital overstimulation in the Instagram and My Mental Health series on this website.


The perfect opportunity for my online hiatus arose when I was needed to take care of a family member for a few weeks.


While I knew this time would be challenging, I have learned some key strategies through experience that will assist you through your social media break.



Here are the tips that helped me make my social media detox the most productive (and bearable):


  1. Be With People In Real Life. I was fortunate to be staying with my parents, enjoying home cooked meals and having my laundry done for me. While many of us do not have that luxury, having near constant companionship (perhaps a roommate or a pet) helps fight the loneliness that may increase your yearning for social media.

  2. Leave Your Phone In The Other Room. The urge to check your phone can be extremely powerful. A great approach to combat this compulsion is to leave your phone far away from reach. It was amazing how present I felt in the moment when my phone was NOT PRESENT.

  3. Delete Social Media Apps. I found my social media break so much easier when I didn't have all of my apps and notifications staring at me from my phone. It is much better to remove these for the duration of your detox and then re-install them when you are done.

  4. It's Ok To Use Your Phone, Just Not For Social Media. Words with Friends, Apple News, Texting, Talking, and Facetime-ing are all TOTALLY FINE and probably necessary. Because of these apps I still had the experience of being on my phone in the mornings and evenings without the endless scrolling.

  5. Use Your New Free Time for Yoga, Hiking, Meditation and Relaxation. Between Peloton yoga classes, walks with friends and reading books, I used up the hours in the day that I would have been on - or thinking about - my phone.


At the end of the two week period, I realized the following benefits:

  1. A State of Calm. Without social media's distractions, I was able to focus on and appreciate my life more. My overall attitude not only improved but also was more consistently positive over the detox.

  2. An Improvement in Health. With all of the extra time I spent exercising, I ended up losing weight and ramping up my conditioning.

  3. The Knowledge I Can Do Without Social Media (for a time). While I am now back on social media, I realize that I did not miss anything significant during my digital detox. Connecting with friends is always fun, and those who value you will understand when you need to take a online break.


Hopefully you can enjoy the significant benefits of a social media break soon as well.


If you enjoyed this article and want to read more about ways to improve your mental health, please check out my story about Living a Good Life.


Have a great start to your summer!


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