Tip #51: Turn off all screens for a few hours each day.
The why: Who knew that we’d live in a world where we’d be constantly contactable?
Facebook messenger, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Text messaging, Facetiming, Phonecalls, Voicemails (okay maybe not so much these anymore), Skype, Tinder, E-mails – these are just a few of the ways in which we are reachable.
Believe me, I think it’s a wonderful thing. Humans all over the globe are connecting and sharing their lives in ways previously unimaginable.
But sometimes, for those of us with anxiety, it can come at a cost.
Seeing your phone constantly flash, with an armada of unread E-mails and hordes of messages from friends when you’re not in the mood to reply can cause a wave of panic.
“Am I a bad friend? I just really don’t feel like talking to anyone right now.”
Of course, you’re not a bad friend, you love your friends dearly, and want to know how they’re getting on. But just not at every single second of every single hour of every single day.
Everyone needs to take some space sometimes, and that’s okay.
I highly doubt if you don’t reply to a photo of someone’s latest cake-baking extravaganza within two minutes that they’re going to consider your friendship over. And if they are that kind of person, then you probably are better off without them anyway.
Also, research has shown that going on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram for too long can have a damaging effect on your mental health.
This is because on social media, and I’m sure we’re all guilty of this, we portray our best selves and our best lives.
Unless you’re incredibly brave, you’re most likely not going to post a badly-lit, unfiltered photo of you eating a mountain of chicken nuggets in a onesie watching some incredibly questionable TV.
This means that when we go on these sites, we are exposed to everyone’s good side. We end up comparing ourselves to their seemingly successful, popular, beautiful and exciting lives.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure your life can be exciting and amazing too, and you can be super happy for the people you care about who are doing great, but when you’re feeling particularly down about yourself, it’s probably not the best idea to look.
Give yourself a break! Switch off that phone.