The world today has led many of us down the dark paths of ingesting news and social media content that, in larger quantities, can be incredibly damaging to our minds and our mental health. With the ability to be constantly in pursuit of new information about any topic imaginable, it’s no wonder that we can often feel overwhelmed by our internet usage, and more so when those topics are highly negative and depressing ones. Finding it difficult to tear ourselves away from these stories and feeling compelled to look further and further into them is often referred to as Doomscrolling, as we flick through article after article and read streams of harmful and negative comments on our phones or computers. This article aims to provide you with methods of reducing and even eradicating your temptation to doomscroll, as well as provide you with some ideas of other ways to spend your downtime online.
Move The Temptation
When we pick up our phones, it’s quite naturally to habitually open up a particular app and start scrolling without thinking about it. Sometimes removing or relocating one of the steps in this process, such as moving the position of your apps can give you those handy extra few seconds to snap you back to reality and resist scrolling through. Consider moving your social media or news apps to the page furthest from your home screen on your phone, and even into a specific social media folder, adding an extra step.
Sometimes our own determination is lacking, and we need an extra boost to withstand that social media temptation. In cases like this, you can make use of in-app restrictions, third party applications, as well as settings on your smart phone to forcefully reduce your time spent on a particular app. If you feel as though your time on a particular social media app is getting out of hand, set yourself a daily usage timer which prevents you from using those apps until the timer resets on the following day. Apps like Instagram have in-built systems specifically for this which can be incredibly useful.
Create A Better Routine
Many of us find that we scroll through our phones at particular times of the day, creating an unhealthy routine. Try going against this established daily routine by leaving your phone alone when you wake up or go to sleep. It’s easy to find ourselves staying in bed for too long when we awaken, due to picking up our phones and continuously scrolling, sometimes even for hours at a time. You could try to leave your phone away from your bedside when you go to sleep, so that you have to physically get up to turn your alarm off for example. Once you’re up, you could try to restrict the usage of your device for the rest of your morning routine and turn this into a peaceful and self-caring time of the day.
Set Some Downtime Away From Technology
During the course of the day we can find our attention wandering, and it’s at moments like this where we tend to pick up our phones and begin the cycle of scrolling all over again. To reduce your chances of doing this, consider putting your phone out of reach and allocating a specific time for you to check your messages and browse for a few minutes. Similarly, set specific times during the day where you have no access to your phone at all. Mealtimes and relaxation during the evening are great times for you to get away from the stresses of the day, so put away your phone and switch off from the day if possible.
Find A New, Deeper Interest
A great idea for reducing your time reading and viewing negative content is to switch your attention to other interestsyou have or find new ones altogether. Deep and fascinating stories about everything from different cultures to conspiracy theories can grip and distract us from the woes of the modern world. Consider looking into exciting topics such as cryptozoology research by UFO Insight to read about the myriad of intriguing creature and monster stories throughout the ages, whether you believe in these or not. As well as this, sites like this research many different weird and wonderful topics such as theories of UFOs or UAPs which have recently been the subject of great debate around the world after the US government officially announced the reality of these objects in our skies and admitted they have no clue what they are. If you need to venture down a different rabbit hole for distractions, these are brilliant choices.
Meditation And Self Care
A lot of the reasons for us endlessly reading through negative stories and scrolling through our social media platforms is simply because we’re not taking care of ourselves mentally. Mental health issues have become incredibly prevalent over the past few decades and today the push to get people to take better care of themselves is greater than ever. Changing our focus towards looking after ourselves can help us remove this doomscrolling habit from our lives and one great way of doing this is by implementing wellness techniques such as meditation and yoga into our daily routines. Meditation not only helps you to relax, but it also diverts your attention away from negative aspects of the online world and can generally help you to feel better physically and mentally. Taking a more dedicated stance on looking after our mental health and doing some daily self care can work wonders for you and your routine and is a great step towards eradicating those bad habits.
Replace Doomscrolling With A Hobby
Similar to finding other interests, you could also look into finding yourself a new hobby too. When we’re scrolling through our social feeds for hours, it’s usually because we have nothing better to do to focus our attention on. This should be a telltale sign that you could benefit from having a new hobby. Think about the things you enjoy doing and look into expanding on those interests. Maybe you used to enjoy a particular sport? Try getting back into it in your downtime or take up something you’ve always wanted to do.
Meet With Friends
The pandemic has seen many of us retreating into our homes and enjoying more time on our owns than we were originally used to. This has led lots of people to becoming more anxious in social situations and has heavily impacted social skills in some cases. This alone time has also driven us to us our mobile devices much more frequently and that, coupled with all of the negativity over the past few years has created the perfect storm. Now that there are more opportunities to meet with friends safely, it’s a great idea to start getting out more and grabbing a coffee with a pal. Not only does this prevent you from staring at your phone, but strengthening friendshipsalso goes towards promoting a healthier lifestyle. As well as this, getting outside in the fresh air can completely shift your perspective and you could visit some relaxing or interesting places with your friends and loved ones. Find a nearby park to visit for a picnic or search for some historic landmarks or nature areas to that can calm and focus your mind.