Updated: Mar 26, 2021
As 2020 comes to an end, we see a rise in mental illnesses that have never been witnessed before. More and more people have started to endure the worthlessness felt after absorbing all the news provided by media—be it through traditional broadcasting channels or social media apps that provide no benefits to their mental health.
It’s the idea of a perfect life that these apps endorse, and the loneliness that ensues behind the pictures is almost neglected.
And the worst part is that a large number of people—210 million, to be precise—are addicted to these apps, and it is steadily exacerbating our life quality. A report claims that an average person spends 2 hours on social media daily, which accounts for 5 years and 4 months of our lives!
The time lost in scrolling and admiring others’ perfect pictures is beyond recovery and is holding us back from doing wonders in life.
We tend to view it as a form of self-care, where we spend hours watching oddly satisfying videos or Instagram reels that make us feel worse than before, and yet we can’t stop.
But the truth is that wasting away hours on social media is more self-sabotaging than self-care, and we are still blinded by this reality.
And all of this is because of the time we spend on consuming, rather than creating content. It leaves a sense of hollowness in our minds, as we keep on ignoring our tasks and find ourselves exhausted without doing anything substantial.
So, you might wonder, what alternatives do we have? During these arduous times we don’t have the option to roll up our socks and go for a hike or pay a casual visit to our long last relatives, neither would we prefer to spend our rare hours of free time reading Shakespeare or listening to podcasts.
The best way to declutter your mind and take a break from the excess stimuli would be to limit, if not abandon, your usage of social media. Here are 5 alternatives to that!
1) Write– Blogs, short stories, journals, whichever suits you best. You can fill up your diary about how your day went, or even pen down a story that has been in your mind for years. Use words as a medium to express, introspect, and discover yourself, and you’ll find yourself much more content than usual.
2) Draw–Your art doesn’t need to be a masterpiece, in fact, it doesn’t need to be good at all. Sketch that pretty girl you saw on the street, doodle random symbols on the paper with a new pen, mix up all your favourite shades, and paint that t-shirt you no longer wear.
Just let yourself run wild with all the vivid, bright colours and allow the clutter in your mind to organize itself on the paper.
3) Bake: Call your mom and find out the recipe for your favourite childhood cake, or just hunt down all the ingredients in your house that can be used to make a decent dessert.
Baking has always been known as a calming, and satisfying activity—and all that mouth-watering is just the cherry on the cake!
4) Garden: Visit your backyard and sow new seeds that will one day blossom into fragrant flowers, or bring home a set of indoor plants that can simply sit on your desk. Research suggests that gardening can diminish stress and anxiety levels, and also boost your self-esteem!
Plus the fresh air carries its own set of health benefits, giving you all the more reasons to garden.
5) Sing: Chorus your favourite song at the top of your lungs or softly sing Hozier’s new track—anything you wish to do. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t really need a melodic voice to sing the catchy songs that are on almost everyone’s lips.
Your mind produces endorphins, the feel-good chemicals, whenever you sing, which naturally leaves a positive impact on your mental health and helps strengthen your immune system. And while you’re at it, you might as well try your hand at playing a fiddle or hitting the drums.
These are just a few recreational activities that not only help you pass time but also have a beneficial impact on your mental health—much of which is systematically harmed by social media.
What are your top recreational activities? Let us know in the comments below!