Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

As you can probably imagine, being a blogger and working in social media I spend a lot of time on the Internet, particularly on social networking sites. I really love what I do, and at the moment I don’t think I would change it, however because of how much time I spend online I am always in need of a good detox. An online break for me can be categorised in different times, such as even having an afternoon or an evening off is still what I would consider a break. Although, I would argue that the positive effects of it are much less than when you have a longer period of time off. When I first ever visited Scotland a few years ago, one of my favourite holiday destinations, I had eight days away from my social media platforms and my phone in general as there was literally no way of accessing it anywhere. To begin with I found it challenging but that soon faded, and I very quickly became used to not grabbing my phone during any interval. Towards the end of the holiday I really noticed how much better I was feeling in myself and how refreshed I felt. In fact, I think it is the most rested I have felt since I was a small child.

I am not someone to criticise social media entirely, as I do personally love it, however I do think it is sad that we have all become so addicted to it. I personally believe that the best way to enjoy social media is by also being able to enjoy your life without it.

Anyone who knows me would probably laugh if I said I could survive without social media, but that it just because they know how much time I spend on it. In all honesty, if it all disappeared tomorrow, I would feel completely fine, in fact maybe even a sigh of relief. I mean, ignore the fact that I wouldn’t have a job anymore 😉 When I started my blog, I had no idea how much of a large part social media would play in it, and I have found it very stressful over the years. I have gradually overcome this and really found a way to help myself switch off, making my time online more productive and my down time much more enjoyable.

With all that being said, I think many of us would agree that it is much easier said than done. We all love being online now and connecting with others, having a nosy at people’s lives and switching off from our own. I find it scary how I can be looking at someone’s Instagram and then twenty minutes later would have found their best friends, uncles’ daughter who now has a baby. It is pretty scary how much we can find out about one another from these channels and it is quite hilarious how invested we become in other people’s lives. I personally believe that the first step in being able to switch off is realising that your life exists in the real world and what you see online is very much only 1% of what is happening in someone else’s. We all choose to post the ‘perfect’ parts of our lives, and it can be easy to believe that that is all there is to the story. There is always so much more going on that isn’t shared, and it is usually those things that define a person and their life.

The second step is being strict with yourself. I had to really reign in the amount of time I spend on my own social media a few months ago, as when I saw the stats of my average time per day, I was shocked. I always complain about not having time to get to the gym or cook from scratch every night, or even just get around to all my emails in a day, but somehow, I accumulated a ridiculous amount of time on social media. The problem is, because it is generally lots of small chunks, we don’t realise in the moment just how much it adds up. I will now limit my morning time to 15 minutes (and I will get up earlier to do so), a little look with my lunch and then an hour or less in the evening. I am also trying my hardest not to let myself go on Instagram in bed… because that is when you fall into a bad habit! Limiting yourself and keeping busy in other ways is the best way if you need to reduce your time online.

The next step in reducing your social media time is leaving your phone. I have become much more aware of how often I have my phone with me and am making such an effort to stop. When eating out or meeting friends, my phone stays in my bag. When chilling on the sofa in the evening and watching something, I try my best to keep my phone in another room. We don’t need 24/7 contact with our phones and not having the temptation is a big part of switching off.

Finally, tech free holidays. I have become a pro at this, as I really felt the huge benefits of not being on my phone during those eight days in Scotland. Whenever I go away, I allow myself a little time on my phone, but apart from that I keep myself busy with other things such as swimming, exploring, reading and a hell of a lot of napping. Holidays are your time to switch off from the world and having a real rest is the only way you will feel like you’ve actually got away and recharged your batteries.

 

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Skirt – New Look

Top – New Look

Shoes – New Look

Bag – Mulberry

 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

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