Mindful moment - why a mini-break from your phone can boost your mood
Updated: Apr 15, 2019
Ever gone to grab your phone from your pocket, and experienced the terror of it not being there? Your heart skips a beat and your mind starts racing, furiously retracing your steps to remember where you left it? Technology and social media have become core parts of our lives – with so many day-to-day tasks completely dependent on it, like our schoolwork or connecting with our friends. It’s pretty hard to imagine surviving without them, right?
There’s been tonnes of stuff written about the benefits of stepping back from technology and taking a break, and just as much on how too much phone-time can cause stress and anxiety. Being able to reach anyone at any time and share every aspect of your life isn’t necessarily as good as it sounds, and can sometimes place some pretty serious mental health demands on people.
Without getting into the facts and figures you’ve heard before from Mum and Dad, here’s a couple of important benefits to having a social media detox we think are worth reading about!
You’ll have a tonne of free time
On average, Aussies spend about 5 hours and 34 minutes a day on some kind of screen with about 1 hour and 40 minutes of that on social media. We asked around the office and made up a little list of suggestions on how to spend that sweet, sweet extra time:
Have a nap
Dust off the Nikes and go for a run
Watch an episode of Brooklyn-Nine-Nine on Netflix
Catch up with your mates - IRL!
Book a Schoolies Unearthed trip (couldn't resist)
It’ll improve your mood
How many times have you aimlessly scrolled through countless selfies on Instagram, pointless updates on Snapchat and Facebook-mums leaving scathing reviews on your local Woolies’ page? Social media takes it out of you in a big way. One-in-three people felt worse after using Facebook and significantly more dissatisfied with their lives – that’s huge.
Watching people live out their carefully-curated lives doesn’t do wonders for our mental health or theirs, and powering down for a while whether it’s by yourself or with your mates gives you a much needed chance to refocus, reset and re-enter the present.
Some well-deserved ‘me time’
We’re only as alone as our phones let us be – and that’s equal parts good and bad. Sure, it’s great to be able to pick up the phone and instantly contact your family, friends or partner but what if they just want some space?
Feeling obligated to be contactable every minute of the day is a pretty new phenomenon in our lives – and a lot of experts say it’s doing more harm than good. Particularly when you’ve reached the end of your schooling career, it takes a fair amount of soul-searching before you make up your mind and come to some big realisations about yourself and what you want out of your life – realisations that are hard to come to over the top of the Facebook Messenger notification sound.
You’re really in this - be here and now
Having your head buried in your phone all the time is easy enough to do. We might do it when we’re a bit nervous, or in a situation we aren’t fully comfortable in. A longer-than-average pause in a conversation or stressful task can drive us to pick it up and muck around with it just for something to do. But what do you miss out on while you’re looking down? This is especially true when you're travelling. Many of us love having our phones with us while we're overseas so that we can make sure we get plenty of pics for our social feeds. But checking your socials too often might mean missing out on seeing the sun rise over the mountains as you trek through the Himalayas in Nepal with your mates. The Blue Lagoon in Vanuatu just won’t look the same through an Instagram filter as it did in person. Sometimes it’s better to just relax, lean into it and enjoy what’s happening right in front of you.
Schoolies Unearthed offers adventure travel trips for high school leavers to help you have heaps of fun, prepare for life beyond school, AND switch off completely to explore a new destination for a whole 10 or 12 days. Check out our destinations here >>