If you've ever thought about spending less time on social media but find yourself creeping back to the phone and tapping the app that sucks your time, joy, and/or peace of mind, we have some alternatives and ideas to help you think of things that you can do that are not reaching for your phone.
We are currently in the middle of the second annual Social Media Reset at Best Today®. During the month of July we log off of social media along with members of the Best Today® Community and audience to start the second half of the year with a deeper focus on the people, places and things that matter most.
This reset is a way to actively push back against the hurried and rushed pace of the world that is aided, in part, by excessive (and unintentional) social media consumption. Regardless of how you use your phone or social media, a break away from it can do you so much good.
So let's talk about some of the alternatives you can choose instead of social media consumption and engagement whenever you're ready to take a break away, or even to use in your day to day to minimize your use of social media (or whatever it is that eats away at your time and distracts you from living with intention each day).
1. Do the things you said you would. It's a simple one. You know that long list of stuff you said you don't have time for. Making one step toward doing those things is a great alternative to picking up your phone to consume social media. For instance, a phone call to find out the hours of operation for the place you want to drop off donations and then scheduling a time. Putting the bag of donations in your car. Taking the donations to the place. Any small step to do the things you said you would is a great place to start.
2. Read a book. The library is one of the best resources that we have available to us and it is FREE! So many books at your fingertips. How would your nervous system respond to more time reading a book versus scrolling on social media each day?
3. Write a book. You have something to say or share with an audience? Start putting pen to paper and write that book!
4. Take a nap. Drool on the pillow is better than dry eye from the constant strolling!
5. Journal. May I recommend the Anytime Today® Journal? Write out your feelings. Are you using social media to numb a pain or avoid a reality. Try writing out what you're feeling, thinking, or experiencing instead of picking up your phone or logging into social media.
6. Go for a walk. Your cardiovascular (and overall) health will thank you. This doesn't mean you have to find the closest walking trail. Wherever you are, get up and walk.
7. Call a friend. Remember those things that we used to pick up and dial a few numbers and talk to a person on the other end? The telephone. Those fancy smartphones still do this! How would a 3 minute call to let someone know you're thinking about them change your day and theirs? Call a friend and be social in real life versus being faux or quasi social on an app.
8. Call a parent or grandparent. If you're one of those people who still have the fortune to be able to call a parent or grandparent, do it. Just to say "hello" or "thank you" or "how are you?" So much better than social. And if you've never had either, replace it with a family member whom you love deeply. Give them all of the love and presence while they're still here to receive it.
9. Write a letter to a friend. How much nicer would it be to write a letter to real life friend, rather than looking at a stranger on the internet. Let's bring back the joy of writing and receiving snail mail. Short on time? A postcard will do!
10. Clean out a cabinet or drawer. 10 minutes in a junk drawer could be therapeutic and a far more intentional use of your time than picking up your phone!
11. Take a pile of things to be donated. You've had that pile sitting in your car, garage or home long enough. Take it to be donated and skip the social media scroll.
12. Make a playlist. I have a playlist for many moods--chill vibes, worship, praise, running, morning, evening, and the list goes on. Feeling some kinda way and about to pick up social media? Make a playlist instead that can be a help to you. And then enjoy it!
13. Clean your fridge or freezer out. As you can see, there are likely many short term projects that you can start or complete in your home which is all the more reason to put your phone away when you enter into your home. And who doesn't love looking at a cleaned out fridge or freezer?
14. Inventory your pantry and/or clean it out. Perform a kitchen sweep and take inventory of what you have so that you can use it. It'll save you some money on your next grocery trip!
15. Bake something. And then eat it or share it with a neighbor or friend (or even an enemy). Baking doesn't require seven ingredients anymore, break and bake cookies can be delicious. My personal favorite thing to do is bake chocolate chip cookies and put a scoop of vanilla in the middle of two for an ice cream sandwich!
16. Clean out your closet. Little closet, big closet, any size, clean it out. Start with getting rid of the things you don't wear or that no longer fit. If you really want to keep things tidy, here's a link to Clean One Room.
17. Stretch. Oh, you need this one. We all do. Stand up and put those arms in the air and stretch left to right. Take some time to stretch wherever you are. You don't even have to sit down to stretch. If you stretched instead of reaching for your phone consistently for one week, your body would feel recognizably better!
18. Drink water. A drinking game that is good for your health. Instead of reaching for your phone reach for a bottle of water and drink up!
19. Do food prep for a meal. Chop some romaine lettuce for your salads or any small step to get ahead on an upcoming meal.
20. Paint. We're all creatives. If we give less weight to the inner critic we would all enjoy the creative nature that we have. Paint something, big or small.
21. Color. Did you know they make adult coloring books? Not that it's needed. But pick up those crayons or color pencils and color!
22. Do a puzzle. Crossword or jigsaw, a puzzle is a great alternative to getting on social media. May I suggest fighting the urge to do the puzzle just to share it on social. It's okay to keep some things just for your enjoyment.
23. Listen to music and close your eyes. Feel the words and just breathe. One song can replace picking up the phone for social media.
24. Knit. If you know how, knit. If you don't, consider giving it a try!
25. Sew something. Have a sewing machine that has gotten dusty? Sew something!
26. Learn something new. There are so many books and even free classes in your community. Learn something new! A new language, how to change a tire, how to tie a tie, how to fold a fitted sheet, how to ride a bike, the options are endless!
27. Sign up for a free lesson at a local gym or pilates venue. Most places in your city offer a free introductory class. This is a great way to see what's out there and if you enjoy it!
28. Treat someone to lunch who can learn from you. Lunch doesn't have to be expensive, people want presence and time.
29. Treat someone to lunch from whom you can learn. See above! And honestly, we can all learn from each other so these two can be interchangeable.
30. Jump rope. Keep a jump rope tucked away and get up and jump jump next time you want to scroll on social!
31. Take a music class. I bet there are music classes offered in your city or a nearby city that you could find and become engaged in that would take less time than your collective time spent on social media!
32. Dance. Get up and move!
33. Meet someone new. Social media hasn't made us more social in the meaning of cultivating meaningful relationships. What if you took the time to meet someone new? At work, at your gym, a new neighbor, the person sitting at the table next to you at the coffee shop?
34. Light a candle and close your eyes and take in the scent. My favorite scent is from a local candle maker and just smelling it does something for me. The scent is calming and it makes me feel like I'm at a open and luxurious spa even as I sit here at my desk typing these words. Light a candle! And if you're somewhere where you can't, they make these great candle lamps that don't burn your candle, or just bring the candle nearby, the best candles share their scent without being burned!
35. Find a local nonprofit in your city that does work you care about and volunteer. There is likely a nonprofit in your city that does meaningful work that can use your head, heart and/or hands. Collectively you could volunteer and still not outdo the time you spend on social media in a week or month. Make the swap!
36. Sit and be comfortable with being and not doing anything. This is my favorite because it requires nothing except you. Be still. And let that feeling become more familiar. Doing this fights against the pace of culture to keep moving, keep doing, and the message that rest is lazy. Your body needs stillness and not just when you're asleep.
My hope is that this list sparked some ideas for you or that you read something that excites you! To join us in the July social media reset go to besttoday.co/reset. If you're reading this outside of July, know that you can choose a reset at anytime of the year.
The gift of the social media reset is awareness of social media's role in your life. Do you notice how often you reach for it? When do you find yourself reaching for it? How do you feel when you're not consuming daily? Who did you miss not seeing on social media, if anyone? Can you decrease who you follow?