Do a digital detox

Stepping back from the ever-changing world of social media can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. So, is it time to break up with your phone for a bit?

Students playing fusball

Scrolling through Instagram or Facebook on your phone is easy, and pretty addictive. In fact, some research suggests that social media is more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol.

If you feel like you can’t stop looking at your phone, try these handy ideas for putting some space between you and your device. You might feel much better for it!

1. Use an app: There are some good apps you can download, which will let you know how often you are checking your phone as well as the amount of time you are spending on it. Try Checky, a simple app that monitors how often unlock your phone, or Moment, which allows you to set a self-imposed limit for screen time.

2. Kill notifications: Pretty much every app you have on your phone will be sending you notifications from time to time, and while staying informed is great, it can also be quite distracting. Identify the ones you can live without and kill the alerts!

3. Take time out: Take a social media vow of silence, and make it a recurring event. This means popping your phone away and taking time to be present in the moment, instead of documenting it all through your phone screen.

4. Hit unsubscribe: The next time you get an email newsletter from a company or website you have no interest in, take the time to unsubscribe! You’ll have a less cluttered inbox, and you’ll feel much better for it. (No pressure to unsubscribe from Uni updates though!)

5. Bring a book: Having a book or magazine on hand is great for those times you’re waiting in line or are bored.

6. Keep quiet: Get into the habit of putting your phone on silent before every meal, and pop it out of sight so you’re not tempted to look at it while you eat your meal.

7. Hold off on emails: Don’t send emails, or post to social media in the hours leading up to bedtime. By holding off on posting, you can go to bed without stressing over who has liked your post, and whether or not someone has received or replied to your messages. You can also set your phone to 'do not disturb', which means you are only notified for emergency or family numbers.