How a social media cleanse will benefit your mental and physical health

This is your cue to step away from your phone.

Harper's Bazaar India

Can you imagine life without social media? If this was a poll online, most of you, if not all, would’ve hit the "no" option. And no one can blame you, considering we are the digital generation. We log onto Instagram before we brush. However, once in a while, social media detox is essential. Unfortunately, there is no green juice you can drink to rid yourself of the toxins doomscrolling brings, but you can put your phone away for a few hours every day or follow in the footsteps of numerous celebrities (we are talking about Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Tom Holland, and Demi Lavato) and just take a clean hiatus from all social media. 

The question most of us have is: Why do we need a social media detox? It’s simple. Nothing in excess is ever good. Endless scrolling and going deep down the Instagram or Twitter rabbit hole takes a toll on your body and mind. It leaves us feeling on edge and uneasy, and sometimes makes us question ourselves and our life choices. Numerous studies have linked excessive use of social media to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Thus, a cleanse every few weeks is extremely crucial. 

Read on to know why you need a social media detox, now.

It can help you sleep better 

Raise your hand if you sleep with your phone next to you. Now raise the other hand if you waste an hour (minimum) doomscrolling or stalking your ex’s new girlfriend. If you’re sitting there with both your hands in the air, you should know that social media has taken over the reins of your sleep schedule. 

Studies show that the harmful light emitted from your phone interferes with your body’s ability to produce melatonin (the hormone responsible for our circadian rhythms and sleep quality). So, no matter how much we are convinced it’s relaxing, staring into the bottomless pit of social media right before falling asleep does some serious damage. And if it’s one of your chronic habits, a social media detox would give you the good night's sleep your body is craving. 

Frees up your time to do other things 

Have you ever noticed how much time you spend scrolling and sending memes on social media? And let's face it, for most of us, it is utterly unproductive; a method of procrastination. If we’re spending most of our time doing one thing, we aren’t doing anything else. So, getting out from behind the screen, even for some time, frees up our time to pursue hobbies and avoid procrastination. You could read a book, go for a walk, learn a new language, finish that project you’ve been dodging, or just hang out with friends without distractions. It’s ironic that avoiding social media for a while will strengthen your relationships in real life. There are all kinds of possibilities and opportunities if you just look up from your phone.  

Curb FOMO 

Another bonus of getting off social media for a while is avoiding the FOMO. We’ve all felt it at one point or another; for instance, while watching the stories of someone vacationing on a tropical paradise island, while we’re stuck behind a desk 40 hours a week. It’s only natural. But if you don’t look at social media for a while, you’re spared from those green monster pangs. However, for some people, keeping social media away for a while can also induce FOMO. You just have to find that sweet spot between being able to digitally detox but still not missing out. 

It might help you relax more  

An analysis published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking looked at 61 studies to assess the claim that excessive social media use is linked with low self-esteem, loneliness, and depression. We can’t deny that constantly being updated with new information or being bombarded with messages or even keeping up with the Kardashians can be overstimulating. Hence, taking a break from social media can help to curb anxiety and uplift your mood almost instantly.