We’ve all been there: You look up from your phone and realize you’ve been on TikTok for five hours, and you cannot even recollect how many videos you’ve scrolled through mindlessly. While much of our current lives revolve around living online, in order for our mental health to stay prosperous, we must find a balance between our online and offline lives.
Today, we will break down some of the basics and top tips for the healthiest ways to draw boundaries between your online social life and your in-person life. The obvious answer would be to throw your cell phone off of a bridge and start a new life in Pacific Beach and rent out paddle boards, but for those of us who cannot take on that new life, here are some thoughts for creating online and offline balance.
Set boundaries for yourself.
The best place to start is to incorporate app limits on the “screen time” setting on your smartphone. This built-in tool can help you set time restrictions for different apps across your cell phone and compile past data on social media usage so you can better plan your time online. Whether you’re addicted to Instagram or you find yourself streaming on Twitch on your high-end gaming laptop until 5 A.M, setting up time boundaries along with setting your phone to “Do Not Disturb” will drastically change your way of life online and help you rise to your full potential.
For content creators, it’s important to consider the app notifications that flash across your phone and laptop at all hours throughout the day. How much peace would you discover if you simply turned them off and went to a better place? Allowing yourself to step away from the constant notifications will stop your mind from driving into overkill. Finish your YouTube video with a solid “thanks guys!”, and before you log in to Twitch to stream Fortnite until the sun comes up, silence the notifications and set solid boundaries and a healthy balance for your technological usage.
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Dive into a new hobby.
It’s time to slather on the sunscreen and search for a new hobby that will bring your extracurricular life to the next level. Whether you have a full bucket list of activities that you’ve been yearning to attempt or are looking for professional instructions on one specific sport, get ready to jump onto a surfboard or kayak. If you’re in an area near the coast like San Diego, Myrtle Beach, or Santa Barbara, you can sign up for local surfing lessons to learn the fundamentals. Find yourself a professional coach and spend an afternoon taking a surf lesson. If you’re farther up north, like the Pacific Northwest, it may become your new favorite thing to find the best spot for a board rental and take your first lesson in snowboarding
Many mental health professionals have expressed their fears that the line between online and offline behavior is becoming too blurred, and it seems quite impossible to find anyone who isn’t glued to their cell phone at all hours of the day. Reminding yourself to peel away from your phone by muting notifications, applying a time limit to specific apps, and signing up for an hour lesson with experienced instructors to help you jump into a new sport will give you the right amount of balance to find peace both on and off of your cell phone or laptop.