I gave up social media for a month — here’s how it improved my mental health.

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Before I embarked on the digital detox journey a month ago, I was constantly swiping, scrolling, and posting on various social media platforms. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat – you name it, I was on it. It was like a reflex action. Wake up, check Facebook. Have a meal, post it on Instagram. Watch a movie, tweet about it. It was all fun and games until it started to take a significant toll on my mental health.

I could feel anxiety creeping in every time I looked at my phone, anticipating the hundreds of notifications that awaited me. The constant pressure of presenting a perfect life online had me feeling drained and disconnected from reality. Everyone else seemed to be having the time of their lives while I was stuck in a rut.

Deciding to quit cold turkey was not easy. It felt like cutting off an arm. It’s surprising how attached we become to these virtual platforms that are so deeply ingrained in our daily lives.

But I went ahead with it anyway, determined to create some much-needed mental space. Little did I know that this decision would not only change my daily habits but also greatly improve my mental health.

What did I learn from this experience? How did my life change without social media? And more importantly, how did it help my mental health? Here’s what happened when I decided to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with myself for an entire month.

My journey through a month without social media

The first few days were the hardest. The habit of reaching out for my phone every few minutes was hard to break. But I was determined and started by deleting all the social media apps from my phone.

I quickly realized that I had a lot of free time on my hands. Time that I had been mindlessly wasting scrolling through endless feeds and stories. So, I decided to use this newfound time to do things that I had been putting off for a while.

I started reading more, going out for walks, practicing mindfulness, and even picked up painting. I also began spending more quality time with my family, something that I hadn’t realized I was missing out on.

In the initial days, there was a constant urge to check my phone, but as days turned into weeks, the urge subsided. I noticed a significant change in my mood. I was less anxious, more focused, happier, and felt a sense of calm that I hadn’t experienced in a long time.

By the end of the month, I felt rejuvenated, like I had hit the reset button on my life. The change in my mental health was profound and it made me question why we are so obsessed with being ‘connected’ all the time.

Challenging the ‘always connected’ narrative

We live in a world where being ‘always connected’ is considered the norm. Social media is often seen as a lifeline, a way to stay in touch with friends, keep up with current events, and even establish our personal brand. But my journey showed me that it’s not an absolute necessity.

During my social media detox, I realized that constantly checking updates and notifications was more of a compulsion than a need. It was like an itch that needed scratching, and once I stopped, the itch went away.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying social media is bad. It has its benefits and can be a great tool if used wisely. But it’s not indispensable. Life goes on even without it.

I found that being disconnected from social media didn’t make me feel isolated. On the contrary, it made me more aware of my surroundings and the people in my life. It allowed me to reconnect with myself and others on a deeper level.

What’s more, it significantly improved my mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. This experience completely changed my perspective about the perceived necessity of social media.

How to successfully navigate a social media detox

Navigating a social media detox was not an easy task, but it certainly was a rewarding one. If you’re looking to do the same, here are some strategies that worked for me.

First, remove the temptation. I found deleting all social media apps from my phone to be the most effective way to avoid mindless scrolling. It may seem drastic, but it’s a necessary step.

Next, find replacements for the time you’d usually spend on social media. Pick up a hobby, start a new book, or simply go for a walk. Engage in activities that you enjoy and help you relax.

Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s normal to feel the urge to check your phone every now and then. When that happens, remind yourself why you started this journey in the first place.

Remember, the goal is not to completely eliminate social media from your life, but to create a healthier relationship with it. Start small and gradually increase your offline time. You’ll be surprised at how liberating it feels.

A broader perspective: taking responsibility and breaking free from societal expectations

This experience of a social media detox has taught me much more than just the importance of disconnecting. It has also made me realize the power of taking responsibility and the importance of breaking free from societal expectations.

We live in a world where being ‘always connected’ is considered normal, almost necessary. But it’s important to remember that these are societal expectations, not our own. We need to question them and make conscious choices about what truly serves us and our well-being.

  • Acknowledge your current dissatisfaction or struggles. For me, it was the anxiety and stress caused by social media.
  • Avoid blind positivity; face the reality of your situation. I admitted to myself that social media was affecting my mental health.
  • Understand external influences and societal conditioning. I realized that the pressure to be ‘always connected’ was a societal expectation, not a personal necessity.
  • Pursue personal ambitions and desires, not externally imposed ones. I chose to prioritize my mental health over staying updated on social media.
  • Seek self-empowerment by breaking free from societal expectations. I took the bold step to disconnect from social media, despite it being against the norm.

By taking responsibility for my situation, I felt empowered. I moved from being a passive consumer of social media to an active participant in my life. This experience has been transformative in reshaping my reality.

I encourage you to take a step back as well, question societal myths and expectations, embrace your journey of self-exploration, and align your life with your true nature. Remember, it’s all about creating a healthier relationship with yourself and the world around you.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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