During uncertain times such as these, you might find yourself glued to your phone, scrolling Twitter for constant updates, or retreating to Instagram to try and find some positivity.
It’s normal to rely heavily on your phone at times like this – after all, it’s keeping you connected to the rest of the world. But a constant stream of news – not all of which is true – isn’t healthy, so it’s important to recognise when to put the phone down and take some breathing space.
If you’re finding it hard to part with your phone, don’t worry. We’re bringing you some alternatives to social media, to help distract you and bring some positivity at this trying time.
It might not be top of your list of things to do, but immersing yourself in a good book can be the perfect distraction from everything that’s going on in the world. Unlike a film or TV show, you can’t scroll through social media at the same time as reading, so it provides an extra level of distraction.
Starting us off, we have editor Lorne who loves #TheGreatGatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 📖 "I was obsessed with Gatsby before Leo came on the scene. I've read it nine times now; I think the book transcends time, and may even be more poignant today than it was back in 1925.” pic.twitter.com/7rXn5Ie946
— Source Magazine (@SourceMag) March 5, 2020
Reading about characters’ problems and learning about different experiences is great escapism. If you’re stuck for ideas, head on over to the Source Twitter, where the team shared their top reads for National Book Day on 5 March.
Just because you’re social distancing doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch all day every day. Exercise has key benefits – not only does it keep you fit and healthy, but it also helps improve mood and decrease feelings of stress and anxiety – two things you may be feeling a lot of right now.
You don’t even have to step outside your bedroom to take part in some exercise: YouTubers such as Emi Wong and The Body Coach offer easy exercise videos that can be done by complete beginners, all the way up to exercise enthusiasts. So, clear a space on your bedroom floor and make sure to do at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, to rid yourself of any frustration and get the blood pumping.
Now is the perfect time to put some dedicated time into your hobbies, or even try something new. Have you always wanted to try calligraphy or maybe do some research into your family history on Ancestry.co.uk? Maybe you should start listening to a true crime podcast or try your hand at a jigsaw puzzle. Whatever you want to try, make sure it’s something that keeps your hands busy, so you can’t resort to scrolling.
Staying off social media and avoiding checking the news is one of the key ways to protect your mental health at this time, particularly if you’re also unable to go outside because of self isolation or social distancing. Allow yourself to check in on the news, but consider using social media at designated times of the day, or monitor your screen time closely to make sure you’re not using your phone too much.
Though it can be overwhelming to keep up with the news at times like this, there are ways to stay informed without getting overloaded.