While there can be many benefits of using social media, it can also be really addictive and detrimental to our mental health. The constant intake of content can be overwhelming, and can affect us in so many areas, which is why it may be time to consider taking a break from it. It might seem daunting at first, because our hands are used to scrolling all the time, but it is achievable. It is also important that you look for healthy ways to replace the use of all the time you spend on social media. Keep reading to get some ideas on alternatives to endless scrolling.

Things to do instead of Social Media

Your mental health is more important than your Instagram aesthetic. So, what can you do instead of curating and scrolling?

The beautiful thing is the world is your oyster! When you step away from the screen and into the three dimensional world, there’s an endless array of options depending on your needs.

Once you identify why you’re feeling the urge to log onto your social media accounts, you can redirect this feeling in other ways.

If you use social media to relax

If you find you reach for your phone when you have a little down time, consider swapping for these options instead:

  • Take a walk around the block.
  • Put on some music.
  • Set the mood with candles or diffuse some essential oils.
  • Read a book.
  • Try doodling or crafting.
  • Bake something delicious.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Try yoga or meditation.
  • Drink a soothing, hot beverage, like a tea or hot chocolate.
  • Book a massage or acupuncture appointment.

If you use social media to connect with others

If you find yourself longing for some human connection and the desire to check your feed arises, try these activities instead:

  • Call a friend or family member (bonus points for a video call!).
  • Invite someone over for dinner or drinks.
  • Bake something and offer it to your neighbors, lingering to chat when you deliver it.
  • Organize a weekend brunch, hike, or shopping trip with friends.
  • Check out Meetup.com for like-minded groups to join (and actually attend an event!).
  • Volunteer at a local food bank or other organization.
  • Take a class through your local Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Join a community group, like a church, nonprofit, or club.
  • Take a goat yoga class — you’re almost certain to come away smiling.

If you use social media for entertainment

Instead of memes and 30-second videos, opt for some IRL entertainment:

  • Go see some live music.
  • Check out an arcade (Skee-Ball, anyone?).
  • Try a paint your own pottery studio, like Color Me Mine.
  • Learn an instrument.
  • Take a dance or martial arts class.
  • Take a hike (literally).
  • Take a trip to a local museum.
  • Try your hand at gardening.
  • Listen to a podcast.
  • Read a book.
  • Gather some friends or family and play a board game.

There’s a lot of power in knowing your motives for logging onto your social accounts. Once you do, you can make a choice to meet that need in another way.

How to set healthy social media boundaries

While taking breaks from social media is great, it’s important to be realistic (and not militant) about your use.

If social media is a part of your life, that’s OK. There are ways to lessen the negative effects and enhance the positive effects of social media, even while you’re using it.

For instance, you can:

  • Unfollow accounts that have a negative effect on your mood or self-image.
  • Remove photos from your own profile that trigger self-judgment.
  • Delete any negative DMs, trolling, or spam.
  • Unsave posts that encourage you to compare yourself to others.

On top of that, you can set an example for mindful, authentic posting, so others can be inspired by your feed and perhaps follow suit.

For starters, you can:

  • Skip the filter and showcase the real you.
  • Post photos of the “messy” moments, not just the perfect ones.
  • Remind others in your captions that you’re a real person with flaws, hang-ups, and insecurities — just like them.
  • Post encouraging comments on others’ posts.
  • Post about taking breaks when you take them to remind others they can do the same.


For most of us, social media is simply a part of our lives, for better and for worse. At the same time, we can use it in a way that emphasizes the positive over the negative, both for us and for others.

With a little conscious use, occasional breaks, and balance with other activities, social media can be a healthy tool for self-expression and connection.