Feeling burned-out lately? Your media consumption could be to blame. Between social media, the 24-hour news cycle, and a virtually limitless amount of screen time, it’s no wonder Americans feel overstimulated.
Too Much of a Good Thing
According to a Nielsen report, most people spend almost eleven hours a day looking at a screen. This unprecedented level of consumption marks unknown territory for the human brain; recent research has shown media consumption is a predictor of mental health issues, hinting at a connection between our screen-time and our well-being. Breaking free of media fatigue can help you improve your well-being and achieve those bucket list items you’ve been putting off. Follow these tips to begin your digital detox.
1. Turn Off Social Media
Socializing is good for your mental health, but too much time spent on social media can have the opposite effect on your brain. In a study published in the Harvard Business Review, social media sources like Facebook were shown to negatively impact users’ self-reported physical and mental health, and previous studies have reported a disruption of sleep quality, depression, and anxiety.
Start by spending less time on social media each day. Prioritize face-to-face time with friends and loved ones to gain the benefits of socialization without the negative side effects of using a screen for it.
2. Change Your Smartphone Routine
A recent study conducted by the Deloitte firm found that roughly 52% of adults check their smartphones within the first fifteen minutes of their day. Many people start consuming media before they even roll out of bed.
Set a new routine for yourself by avoiding your smartphone when you wake up in the morning. The benefits of your mini-detox can last all day long.
3. Head Outside
Pursuing activities that don’t involve media consumption can give your brain some quality “unplugged” time. You can disconnect your exercise routine by heading outside. A brisk walk, a bike ride, or a hike are great ways to get moving in the great outdoors without the constant media feed often found in gyms and living rooms.
Take some time to notice the world around you on your outdoor adventure. Being mindful and present can help you find your center despite the stress and anxiety promoted by our fast-paced lifestyles.
4. Start Meditating
Not ready to disconnect entirely? You can offset some of the negative consequences of media fatigue with mindfulness practices like meditation. Meditation helps reduce stress and promote happiness, and you can achieve the benefits of meditation in just a few minutes each day.
Practicing meditation is easy and requires only that you focus on the present moment in a comfortable place. It works best with practice, so make it a part of your daily routine.
5. Take a Solo Trip
Spend some quality time with yourself on a media-free solo trip. Experiencing a new place across the world or across town can give your brain a literal escape from the anxiety and stress of a media-saturated lifestyle. And if you hesitate to travel alone, don’t worry—you can find safe travel destinations on any continent. With so much to see and do, a solo trip is the perfect venue for a digital detox.
If you’ve always wanted to travel, disconnecting from eleven hours of screen time can open up your schedule. Experiencing a new place while traveling will inspire and invigorate you far better than anything on a screen.
These tips can help you feel like your best self and reconnect with your analog side. Finding your balance with a digital detox, meditation, and some media-management practices can help you eliminate stress and fatigue in your life.