This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanUWellness on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
It’s no secret that people spend time on their phones. It just so happens that it is a lot. However, how much of it can be considered a bad thing?
Considering the fact that excessive time spent online, specifically with social media, has resulted in increased mental health issues and distorted views on real life (Robinson & Smith, 2021), it can be wise to say that how a person uses and the amount of time spent online and through social media can impact their emotional health.
Even if it’s for 30 minutes or an hour a day, there needs to be effort to unplug routinely. However, one might find it difficult to fill in the time spent online with something new.
That being said, here are five tips on living a great (offline) life!
- Develop a hobby: Feeling the need to check those social media notifications? Replace it with finding a new hobby to enjoy. Whether it’s a current hobby or something new to try out, focus on that hobby whenever there’s that compulsive need.
- Go outside: Another simple tip is to just simply go outside. While spending time online frequently, spending time in nature is a great way to unplug. Even a simple walk can help lead to increased mental health benefits (Weir, 2020).
- Spend time with friends and family: While it’s easy to connect with friends and family online, nothing can compare with connecting in person (Robinson & Smith, 2021). Whether it would be catching up over coffee or having a game night (safely, of course!), the time spent together can help foster an improved emotional and social well-being.
- Learn to improve time management skills: Be intentional with spending time both online and offline by mastering time management. Try to divide up time between time spent online or scrolling through social media with dedicated times to unplug and just be.
- Practice self-care: Trade in that screen time with self-care time! Several of the mental health issues can be helped with practicing mindfulness and self-care (Robinson & Smith, 2021). Recognizing that can help make better improvements on how a person can manage their screen time and live their best life.
Robinson, L. & Smith, M. (2021, October). Social media and mental health. HelpGuide. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/social-media-and-mental-health.htm
Weir, K. (2020). Nurtured by nature. Monitor on Psychology, 51(3), 50. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/nurtured-nature
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Rachael Owen, junior public health and wellness major, Wellness Center intern
Ashley Craven, sports communication and media major
Lucas Taylor, senior English education major