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Lifestyle Wellbeing

How do we stop doomscrolling and make social media a worthwhile experience?

The past year has felt like a weird and ironic mix of a dull haze of nothing, and time fleeting in a flash, and many have found themselves doomscrolling. Doomscrolling is choosing to dig through a selection of social media or news posts even though you are aware it is making you feel disheartened. Sound familiar?

It is a very natural response to the pandemic, constantly trying to understand where the next danger is coming from and how to act, but this can leave you with a sustained feeling of sadness for the rest of your day, or week…

The good news is, there are a selection of things you can do to stop yourself from doing this.

  1. Dig out the old alarm clock instead of using your phone to avoid mindlessly scrolling in the mornings! Check your phone quickly after you get dressed instead of allowing 15 mins whilst chilling out to scroll through.
  2. Abandon your phone when you go to the loo! In preparation, get a magazine/ little book and place it by the toilet so you don’t feel pressured to take your phone to the loo and end up doomscrolling.
  3. Break up with news alerts – this can be useful depending on your reasoning for receiving news alerts. For me, they are my method of avoiding doomscrolling, because they make me aware of the important statements, so I don’t feel instantly compelled to doomscroll to receive more information. For others, they can just be a constant reminder of how the pandemic is constantly shaping our lives, and for those, bid farewell to your news alerts!
  4. Put your phone out of sight, or in another room, or just turned off whilst you’re doing things that make you feel productive and positive.
  5. Replace your phone when you feel compelled to doomscroll during our endless days inside, with a book, or a tv programme/ film that you know you’ll be engrossed by.
  6. Social media can be a positive place. For me, Instagram is my kryptonite, so I’ve tried to follow more pages that have cheered me up during this time, for example: @celestebarber – Australian woman who does hilarious and realistic imitations of airbrushed photos of influencers/ famous people, @myeasytherapy – tips for self-care, provides alternatives for negative self-talk, how small daily activities are amazing successes, @wearefeelgoodclub – provides reminders how to boost your motivation and allowing yourself to have down days, @justgirlproject – provides tips for emotional regulation, as well as managing anxiety, how to recognise when you are burned out, @mobkitchen – for new recipe ideas to make your stomach smile, @facegym – facial exercises (some 30 minute ones on their IGTV) to keep you busy and have some fun in the evening, @i_weigh – how to value yourself and each other not on external characteristics but on personality, their value to your life, responsibilities, hobbies, strengths, passions.

     These brought some positivity into my friends lives:

  • We will get past this podcast with Sandi Toskvig – each episode, she talks about forgotten inspirational women
  • @the_happy_broadcast – positive news from around the world
  • @edithcartoonist – funny and painstakingly relatable illustrations
  • @megan_rose_lane – empowerment and mindset mentor with uplifting and motivating statements

Of course, some of the above are specifically catered towards particular genders, but they are just some examples. So please adapt them accordingly. Be mindful of the addictive nature of technology and 24/7 information can mean that this will all be part of a process, so be kind to yourself and give yourself time to gradually reduce your doomscrolling intake. Hope this helps and brings a little positivity your way!

Image: Content Pixie via unsplash