The purpose of a detox can be endless. I did mine to clear my mind and just to challenge myself overall. Also, the immense amount of stress my new acne medication was giving me, caused me to just want to curl in a little ball and come back when all the stress was just eliminated. So that’s precisely what I did. I found a way where I could eliminate, even if it was for just a week, if I could just eliminate that stress, I could finally uncurl from my little ball. Also, I’ve always found the word ‘detox’ to be so lush and fun…so I tried it. And I didn’t try just any detox, I tried a “social media detox”.
Here are 10 steps that helped me socially detoxify and these can help you too:
Step 1: Set a goal – Set and objective and be smart with your objective. I knew any duration longer than a week and for the first time, would be harder than the situation already was for me. Looking at the situation now, I would definitely do this detox again and for a longer time period.
Step 2: Sleep – Naps in the afternoon have always been a huge thing in my family but I have never felt the need to nap in the afternoon unless I was really tired. However, not having social media forced me to sleep more or should I say allowed me to sleep more. And with the elimination of the act of messaging “good night” to everyone and with the elimination of the bright screen my eyes were otherwise glued to as I fell asleep and woke up the next day with headphones still in my ear and a new youtube video still playing, I felt so relieved, relaxed and genuinely happy during that week. Sleep really betters your mood.
Step 3: Go on a trip – This might sound like the easy way out but going on a trip allows you to learn culturally and to experience something new and for real. Going on a trip allows you to form bonds with the people who are with you and memories that you will keep forever as cliché as that does sound. A trip also allowed me to have a very limited time I could have used social media due to the family and friends that were always around me.
Step 4: Read – I took a book on my trip and literally just read it for the week I did my social detox. If it wasn’t for the social detox, I wouldn’t have read the book at all! The book is really interesting but obviously watching boyfriends put makeup for their girlfriends and watching people try weird food combinations was more interesting. This detox taught me that a balance should be implemented so yeah sure, watch the makeup been done really badly but also read the book that you carried with you and that you spent money to buy! The book below is the book I was reading.
Step 5: Love! – I had the pleasure of staying with two cute little dogs on my trip and going and just sitting near them and petting them, it made me feel genuinely so happy because they genuinely enjoyed my company and the happiness you see in them is what makes you want to sit with the little cuties, even longer. So spread your love to the people or even animals that truly appreciate it and who are there with you.
Step 6: Photography – during that one week, I found it so hard to take a picture, not even a decent picture but just a…picture, all because I wouldn’t be allowing myself to post it on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, so naturally I couldn’t even take the picture. That’s how social media had literally trained my mind and it wasn’t until that, that I saw the spell of social media. So I decided to shift my focus to take really good pictures, which I could then use to develop my profiles later on. I could really see an improvement in my pictures but the beauty of Goa really helped a lot.
Step 7: Say NO – Just say no and actually follow through with it – I found myself constantly with my phone when in need of the washroom. Its sad but true. I couldn’t use the washroom unless I had my phone! In the end, I could successfully fling my phone on my bed with such technique that it wouldn’t bounce and fall on the ground, when in need of the bathroom. Yes, I had to actually throw away my phone, to go to the bathroom without it.
Step 8: Give and Take – A few times I actually found myself going to my apps so I decided on a compromise. I would from time to time, check my notifications, just for a taste to keep me sane. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you catch yourself scrolling through pictures or tweets. The important thing is that you pull yourself back from the softwares and mentally keep note of what you just did.
Step 9: Transfer – I found myself just talking to someone and at the same time unconsciously scrolling to my Instagram, without any thought, so I moved all my social media apps to another location on another page completely. And now even though my detox is over, I have still continued to keep the apps in a different location so my mind wouldnt be trained anymore.
Step 10: Don’t be discouraged! – if you cannot do it please do not be hard on yourself. Even if you could do it for no more than a day, that’s more than most people are doing and that one day without social media, would’ve benefited you in some way so do it for yourself!
I Denied myself social media for a week. You might think a week is easy but it is not. But it was the best thing I ever did. After struggling the first two days, the rest of the week was such a breeze. It does not cost a thing, so try it.