10 Tips for Social Media Breaks and a News Snooze

Written by Aislinn Pluta

For many, checking social media too frequently can be a downer. Research has linked social media use with depression and loneliness as well as lower overall well-being.

Constantly keeping up with the news may have similar mental health effects. A survey in 2017 found that 56% of adults say following the news causes them stress.

So how do you unplug? Here are 10 tips.

  1. Pay attention to how you feel after using social media or reading news. Do these activities tend to bring you down? It’s good to be aware of. How does your overall mood feel if you take a break for a while?

  2. Adjust notifications and settings. Turn off any notifications about new posts from friends, pages, or groups that post content that brings you down.

  3. Use website-blocking apps. Freedom or BlockSite, or StayFocused for Google Chrome, can help you to block news or social media except for certain hours of the day. For example, you could limit these sites and apps to just one hour a day around lunch or dinner. First thing in the morning and just before bed are good times to use a blocker.

  4. Use social media to connect not consume. Send messages, video call, or post positive content, rather than passively scroll through the newsfeed.

  5. Use post-it note reminders to limit time You can set these on your computer or phone as a visual reminder. You could also write down activities that would be better to do in that moment, like a satisfying stretch or a few deep breaths to help you shift your focus.

  6. Be mindful of envy and upward comparisons. Social media can paint a rosier-than-reality picture of others and lead to envy, but mindful comparisons can help you connect and increase gratitude.

  7. Be mindful of what YOU share Sharing inaccurate pieces of news can inadvertently spread fear. Focus on sharing reputable news sources or just things that are positive and uplifting.

  8. Consider de-activating a social media account You can de-activate your account without deleting it. Some people even make a practice of de-activating their accounts for the weekend.

  9. Ask a trustworthy friend to relay important news If you’d rather avoid the news altogether, this can be helpful strategy.

  10. Use only reliable sources to access news Every news source carries at least some risk of bias and misreported facts. For staying up to date on information related to COVID-19, use the CDC, the World Health Organization, and your local government authorities.

For more free, easy tools to de-stress, download UpLift on iOS, or if you don't have iOS, check out UpLift's free COVID-19 De-stress Care Package.

About the Author
Aislinn is UpLift's Content Director. She has a B.A. in Psychology and a Master's in Applied Positive Psychology, the scientific study of the factors that lead to a full and meaningful life.