Lifestyle, Minimalism, Minimalism

10 Things You Can Do Besides Scrolling Through Social Media

One of my ultimate goals for this year, that I mentioned in my Mindsets To Leave Behind This Year post, is to be online less often. As a blogger, it’s easier said than done where most of the behind the scenes work with promoting comes from social media. But with the help of scheduling tweets & Instagram posts ahead of time, I’ve been able to be more intentional with my time & allow myself a break from the digital world. This idea of being online less often came to me when I was reminiscing of my childhood. I’m a part of the generation that had the best of both worlds – a life without internet & a life with the internet. I still remember the days it would take me 20 minutes to watch a 2 minute Youtube video thanks to good old dial up. But the one thing of my childhood that sticks ot is the fact I played outside far more often than any kids do now. And so, I thought although social media & the internet are huge parts to our lives, it’s nice to unplug once in a while. Here are 10 Things You Can Do Besides Scrolling Social Media

Read A Book

My TBR list for this year is so long! I plan to do a What I Read in 2022 at the end of the year because reading as become a huge part of my life. It’s a great way to shut off the world & be at peace for a little while. I’m trying to read at least two books a month – one fiction & one “self improvement” or motivational book. I feel like the more I read, the more growth I have. I gain new perspectives & a sense of clarity that helps me tackle obligations.

Listen To a Podcast

My favorite podcast at the moment is Mood by Lauren Elizabeth. She focuses on self growth, self care & our moods [ hence the name ]. I find her so motivating & inspiring. And listening to podcasts are quite relaxing while I’m running errands, taking walks or biking & cleaning.

Get Moving

Whether it’s just a walk around the neighborhood, a yoga practice or a hard core workout – getting active is always a healthy habit to establish in our daily routines. I find so much clarity during these sessions even if it’s only a 20 minute walk outside. Taking in your surroundings & the sounds of nature really ground ourselves & literally bring us back to Earth.

Get Lunch With a Friend

Put your phones away & be as engaged as possible during these outings. Nothing bothers me more than two people sitting at a table just scrolling through their phones & not giving a crap about their company. We need to learn to be more present especially when we specifically plan get togethers. These moments are a perfect excuse to unplug, let that call go to voicemail or read that text later. Having true conversation where we actively listen to each other is a habit we all need to relearn. This will allow you to strengthen said relationships & create amazing memories.

Write A Blog Post

This is obviously directed to my fellow writers, but writing is rather therapeutic whether it be for your site or just for recreation. When we write, we reflect on our thoughts & dreams which ultimately help us grow. If blog posts aren’t your thing, you can start a gratitude journal or a manifestation journal. Not only is it a form of self care, it’s also interesting to read the passages back later on to see how you’ve changed.

Have a Game Night

I love playing board games & having a game night with a group of friends or family. Some of my favorite games include Cards Against Humanity, Monopoly, Scategories, & classic card games. This kind of goes back to childhood roots of those non-technology days.

Listen to Music & Dance Around

When I was a teenager, I had this blue stereo system with CD racks on both sides on my bedroom dresser. As an activity, I would blast The Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears, dance around my room & even jump up & down on my bed with my hands up in the air trying to touch the ceiling. As a dancer in high school – I would practice all the time on routines & choreography. As an adult now – I wish I did this more often because it truly boosted my mood back in the day. Ever since we started wedding planning, my fiance & I have even spent the evenings practicing our first dance together.

Start a Home Project

The pandemic actually turned us into home improvement connoisseurs. We became the biggest homebodies & I don’t know if it’s just because decorating your own home is a lot of fun or quarantine made us notice every problem in the house. I will say – painting or putting together furniture is quite satisfying. We even renovated our backyard which caused us to be outdoors a lot more often. Yay, Vitamin D! And when you see people or they visit your home – it’s fun to tell them about our home projects & the end results.

Learn Something New

Not to sound like a cliche – but knowledge is power. Even I’ve considered going back for grad school because I honestly miss learning. I think we can learn new things every day though – through reading, listening to podcasts or watching a how to Youtube video. Just getting out & experiencing life without starring at a screen can allow you to gain so much knowledge.

Clean The House

I personally love cleaning the house, organizing & decluttering. There’s something so motivating about this routine. Not only this but a clean home can truly spark creative & productive inspiration. Anytime I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed even, I will clean. Do a load of laundry, organize your closet, vacuum or even scrub some dishes. A clean home makes me feel like I’ve earned some downtime or self care.

Surprise Surprise – there are tons of things you can do besides spend hours scrolling aimlessly through social media. I’m sure you [ who is reading this ] can think of other activities.

-B

blogtober, Minimalism, organization

15 Things You Can Do To Downsize Your Digital Space

I declutter a lot of spaces in my home, but one area I feel like we all tend to glance over is our digital space. Although it is not visibly taking up space, it is taking up memory storage & in our mind. So, I say we should all spend some time cleaning out our digital footprints for our storage & our sanity. Here are 15 Things You Can Do To Downsize Your Digital Space.

  1. Social Media Detoxes: Our lives are very heavily documented online in this day & age. We are constantly scrolling through our feeds, glancing at photo after photo, comparing ourselves to the people we follow. It can become rather exhausting keeping up with the expectations placed on us from these so called picture perfect lives. For our wellbeing, we MUST step away from social media & take breaks to focus on our lives off the phone screen. I personally have learned to take multiple breaks from my phone & accounts to enjoy the real world. Whether it’s saving a few hours in the evening or even taking month long hiatuses from social media, you must take care of your mental health & put the phone down as often as you can.

2. People You Follow on Social Media: My rule of thumb is if a person I follow doesn’t resonate with me or provide positivity, I don’t follow them. On my personal accounts especially, I don’t care the number of people I’m “friends” with on social media because it’s not a true indication of my friends in real life. I try to keep my friends lists to people I really see on a day to day basis now or people I truly want to keep in touch with. I don’t need to be friends with every acquaintance I went to highschool, middle or even elementary school. I don’t like how in today’s society you can’t run from your past as easily as you did back in the day. I feel like if I kept my friends from these stages of life & don’t see them on a regular basis, it keeps me sedentary in that time frame. I’d much rather move on to the next chapters of my lives & grow without these reminders of my past holding me back. I don’t even keep yearbooks anymore for this very reason.

3. Social Media Pages: Have you ever gotten that notification for your Facebook memories? Boy, that can be a cringefest, let me tell you. I recently went through & deleted old statuses, photos, & comments that were just so damn embarrassing. This includes going through old tweets & Instagram posts or photos on your phone. Whatever isn’t a good representation of you at this very moment, clean it up.

4. Photos: I used to be the queen of having 1,000 photos on my camera roll. A huge group of selfies just staying on there because I had to have the perfect shot. It might seem like a daunting task at first, but let me tell you, it’s well worth it in the end. I spent a few hours deleting screen shots of restaurant menus, thumbnails I made for my blog posts, duplicates & pictures I didn’t like anymore. I’m actually pretty old school when it comes to my photos. I still love printing them out & putting them in albums. But the ones I do store digitally, I have a few folders on my laptop organized by year, season, or event. But on my phone’s camera roll, I try to limit the number to about 100.

5. Unsubscribe: Whether it’s hundreds of spam emails, store subscriptions or notifications, my email’s inbox used to be flooded with them. I used to think with spam emails, all you had to do was delete them & they’d go away. Nope! You have to unsubscribe from those too. Not getting notifications from Ulta or Nordstrom also helps me from spontaneously shopping. Yay for sticking with my low buy year!

6. Delete Apps You Don‘t Use: My phone holds literally one page of apps. I hate having pages & pages of apps I don’t use on a regular basis. Don’t get me started on folders either. If I don’t use an app, I delete it. They say some apps, if left unused for a long period of time can cause problems to your phone anyway.

7. Music You Don’t Like: I used to download so much music. I don’t even think about doing that now with Spotify & Youtube. But I still have music on my Apple Music account I seriously need to just delete. I never use it! And it wastes so much space.

8. Declutter Files, Bookmarks & Documents: I’ve been out of college for a while now & I still have assignments from like 2010. I found a paper I wrote my sophomore year of highschool! Go through your documents & delete ones you will never reference to again. Some articles I wrote for the newspapers I kept & my theses from college. But it felt really good to delete the rest.

9. Delete Your Trash Can: Please remember to clear out your digital trash can on your laptop & email inbox. It’s something I always forget.

10. Clean up your Desktop & Wallpaper: Don’t keep a ton of folders on your laptop screen. It just looks messy. Whenever I see a laptop like this it makes me feel stressed out just looking at it. Also, change your wallpaper to something calm & minimalistic. It creates a workspace that will provide you some clarity.

11. Reevaluate What You Post: Your social media platform is like a digital newspaper. You have to ask yourself would you want this plastered on the front page? Even I have to stop myself from overly sharing. Especially with the blogging community, where I find it to be a job, I’ve now limited myself to how often I post on Instagram or Tweet. You have to think quality over quantity. Something I learned for Facebook, is if I have something to share, I wait until I have a quality profile picture to go along with it. I don’t like changing my profile picture that often, so it teaches me to post once or twice a month instead of weekly or even daily.

12. Set A Time For Use: By limiting a block of time where you are allowed to scroll through your phone, is crucial. Most of my “work” on social media occurs during the day. So in the evening, I try to block out a few hours where I can spend time with my boyfriend in the evening, read a book, eat dinner, or have some self-care “me time” before bed. The light from your phone keeps you awake anyway, so it’s best to take a break from it a few hours before sleep.

13. Turn off Notifications on Your Phone: This changed the game for me. My phone used to *ding* constantly with notifications. By turning this function off, I’m able to be more present & productive in my daily routine. I’m not distracted by messages constantly. I can view these things on my own time.

14. Organize Your Files: Do this as you go. When you are finished with a task, file it properly in a labeled folder. This helps you find things later easier & it’s far less overwhelming. I don’t keep hundreds of folders either. I have a blog folder, a few folders of photos, academic documents & my resume.

15. Your Phone: I could do a seperate post on what I keep on my phone. But basically I keep the bare minimum. I don’t keep games on my phone or excess apps. I have a page with Facebook, Messenger, Instagram & PicStitch (photo editing app). I don’t keep Twitter on my phone, I only check that on my laptop. And other apps I’ll add to my phone as I need them, but quickly delete once I’m done.

Health, Self Growth

Social Media Detoxes Are Good For The Soul

In the world of blogging, if you don’t market yourself properly, you won’t get the following you deserve. In my personal life, I let go of social media (minus Facebook) because the battle of comparison was way too much. Not only that, but my life didn’t feel like my own. Nothing was left to mystery but I also liked the attention. It was a vicious cycle & I wanted to be free of it.

Once I started blogging, I saw the benefits to having different platforms to share my work. All the advice articles to blogging say it’s the best way to increase traffic. But to what cost? I felt myself slipping into the habits of wanting to look perfect on Instagram & take the best photographs. Everyone else makes it look effortless. But I find it to be a waste of time. As a minimalist, I want to live in the moment more. Constantly browsing through social media sucks that time from you. So I had to reevaluate my purpose for these platforms & be my authentic self.

You Might Also Like: Why I Only Use Social Media For Blogging

Instead of feeling the need to post photos of my day, I want to solely stick to the blog posts I write & inspirational quotes. If that means I lose followers, it is what it is. I’d hope people would enjoy the authenticity and stay around. But my main goal is to share my writing. Twitter has been a good way to do that. It’s just my link & no other extra fluff to it.

Take a Step Back

When I deleted most of my personal social media in 2016, I felt free. It became annoying when I would go out, friends would Snapchat me without me knowing. I didn’t want that to be out there. I wanted to enjoy the night unplugged. The best parties & events are the ones where you take no photos. The times where you are so engaged in the moment, the thought of documenting doesn’t even cross your mind. I love to take photos. But I know I have a great life. I don’t need to prove it to anyone.

The Comparison Battle is Ruthless

It’s so easy to look at other people’s lives & highlight reels & think you aren’t enough. This is why stepping away from social media some is healthy. You can then connect with yourself better & know your true worth. It’s good to be different. I’ve seen this even in the blogging world. There’s so many blogs out there. Everyone is unique & I think the ones that are truly successful are the ones that stay true to themselves. It shouldn’t be about follower count. It should be fun & inspiring. Readers see though fake content. Eventually you have to be real. Might as well start that way.

I Gained A Happier Mindset

When you let go of technology you let go of the unnecessary distractions. Minimalism is much more than decluttering. It’s a mindset shift into living with intention & appreciating the people around you. Social media seems to keep you connected. But how many of those “friendships” are real? It’s superficial in the grand scheme of things. I promise you when you look up from your phone, you realize all the precious time you are wasting. So log off. You’ll be happier.