Have you ever found yourself getting caught up in a toxic comment thread on social media? Or maybe you’ve been scrolling through every bad news headline and haven’t been able to stop? If you’ve found yourself engaging in these activities a lot, then you may have fallen into the trap of doomscrolling. While it may seem like nothing more than a bit of entertainment, consuming so much negative content can be bad for both your physical and mental health.
While you might be doomscrolling to find answers for the things that make you anxious, this unhealthy habit can cause your anxiety to worsen over time. Recognizing that this behaviour is problematic is the first step to fixing the problem. Now that you’re aware, you can choose a different activity or hobby that will brighten you up instead. Read on for five break ideas that you can do as an alternative to doomscrolling.
Use Apps or Visit Websites That Can Raise Your Spirits
You don’t have to go cold turkey on your phone to avoid doomscrolling. For one thing, that might be hard for you if you use your phone for work. Instead, replace your doomscrolling by using apps or social media that focus on uplifting its community of users instead. You can also bookmark and read through websites that consistently post bright and happy content.
If you are a Muslim, you can download an app like the Muslim Pro app to receive scripture-based daily inspirations instead of scrolling through negative comments. You can also follow accounts like the Muslim Pro app Facebook page for positive and inspirational content instead of filling your feed with sources of negative news.
And if you ever find yourself doomscrolling again, following accounts that share positive and wholesome content can provide you with respite from the negativity. If you particularly enjoy certain accounts that feature your hobbies and interests, consider turning on notifications for their posts, so that these alerts can pull you away from unexpected doomscrolling.
Catch Up on Your Reading
Depending on how much free time you have, you can read an ebook or listen to a book chapter to give yourself a break. It’s easy to purchase digital copies of books that are on your reading list, and having them on your phone means that you can catch up on your reading anytime and anywhere. If you prefer to listen to an audiobook on your device, you can silence your notifications until your break ends. You can also read during your morning or night routine so you can avoid starting and ending your day with doomscrolling.
Listen to Uplifting Music
Maybe your work schedule has short breaks in between that only last 15 minutes. And maybe that’s when you find yourself doomscrolling the most because it’s fast and easy. You can change that activity by listening to music on your phone.
You can create a 15-minute playlist filled with songs that help you relax or boost your mood. Most music-playing apps also have suggested playlists for certain situations or to evoke positive emotions, and you can just set a timer to stop the music when your break ends. Listening to upbeat songs is best as these are effective in perking anyone up and you can even dance along to improve your energy even more.
Journaling is a great way to keep in touch with your emotions. And thanks to a growing number of apps, you can even do your journaling right on your phone. Write down any thoughts you might have or express your feelings in words. You might even attach a photo or a video to help you remember special events that happened on that day.
Some journaling apps even have writing prompts or templates that can give you ideas on what to write about and allow you to deviate from the usual rundown of the day’s events. Whether your journal entries are long or short doesn’t really matter. The focus of this activity is to avoid adding unnecessary negativity to your mental and emotional life so that you can minimize its ill effects.
Follow a Guided Meditation
If you haven’t tried meditating, following a guided meditation can help you understand how to incorporate it into your lifestyle. Apps, websites, and videos will have multiple resources you can follow to help you start meditating. Some of these will only take a few minutes, and you’ll be able to refresh your mind during your short break.
If you’re not a fan of sitting still, there are walking meditations that allow you to better appreciate walking outdoors or even just in your office. You can also do longer meditation guides to enjoy more of its benefits, and you can use apps to track your progress.
If you’re most prone to doomscrolling in the morning or at night, schedule these times for doing meditation instead. Meditating will help you shape your mindset throughout the day and help you rest better at night. It’s a much more refreshing and relaxing way to start and end your day.
Doomscrolling might seem like a good way to pass the time, but you’ll eventually find yourself feeling disheartened and anxious the longer you keep doing it. Take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health by breaking the habit of doomscrolling. With the activities above, you can take a break from negativity and give your heart and mind the refresher it needs.