5 TIPS TO FIND MORE BALANCE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA AND REAL LIFE

For many, social media has become the primary way to connect. If you find yourself glued to your screen more than being present, put yourself back in check with these tips.


BY: COURTNEY FERREIRA, MS, RD, LDN

Have you ever taken a break from social media? During a recent trip, I took a social media break from Friday to Monday. Truthfully, with the way I use social, it was a detox.

It was hard, and much needed.

I deleted a few social media apps from my phone that I found myself gravitating to every time I picked up my phone, and quickly realized the following:

  • Picking up my phone and opening social apps is an unconscious habit. I found myself going through the motions without realizing what I was doing, only becoming conscious when I saw the apps weren’t there.
  • I am much more present when I’m not momentarily ‘escaping’ every five minutes. I don’t want to escape my own life after all.
  • As a society, we are on our phones a lot. I was much more aware of other people scrolling their phone when I wasn’t participating.
  • It was nice to not care or think about what other people were doing. Perhaps we can work on being addicted to our own lives, instead of the lives of others.
  • Social media creates a lack mindset that bleeds into other areas of life. Thoughts of wanting a life, job, following, and other metrics makes me feel like I lack in ways that I really don’t.
  • Finding balance is the ultimate struggle in our overly connected world.

There’s a constant struggle with social media where we want to stay connected with others, while not being consumed by it.  If you’re looking for ways to cut back and set boundaries with social media, here are a few ways to start.

1. Turn off notifications.

Those badges, and banners coax your brain to open the app right away and see what’s new. Turn them off so you can choose when to open it.

2. Unfollow people.

Unfollow anyone who makes you feel less than or inferior. Any account that elicits jealousy, comparison, annoyance, or negative feelings needs to go.

3. Do something else on your breaks.

Start bringing a book to work and reading on your lunch break instead of scrolling. Limit your time scrolling through your phone as you eat simultaneously.

4. Set time limits.

Find a way to tally or track the number of times you go on an app, and write down your approximate minutes spent on social media to increase your awareness before creating a schedule. For instance allow 10-15 min 3-4 times per day for posting, commenting, replying, interacting.

5. Consider your goals, priorities, and reasons.

Are you trying to learn? Find motivation or inspiration? Find fashion and beauty trends? New recipes? Keep up with friends? Promote a business or brand? Know your reason for being in the social media space. Write down your priorities for your life. It helps to remind you where your focus should really go.

Here’s to spending a less screen time, and creating more memories in real life.

Adapted from the original article.

Courtney Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian based in Baltimore, MD with a passion for helping individuals reach their health and wellness through flavorful whole foods and freedom from counting calories, fat, and minutes on a treadmill. For more insightful tips on living your healthiest life, visit Courtney at the RealFoodCourt.

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