Social Media Cleanse: Why You Should Take a Break From Social Media

Social Media Cleanse
Casey authorCasey Rollins
Health & Wellness Author
Master of Education (M.Ed.)

What is it?Self Test  | The Plan |  Benefits

How often do you find yourself opening up your favorite app on your phone and looking up a half hour or even hours later to discover you’ve gotten nothing productive done? Sounds too familiar? perhaps it’s time for a social media cleanse.

Social Media Cleanse

It’s all too easy to get lost down the rabbit hole of Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, or any other app you can’t seem to stay off of.

Luckily, there’s research out on how to retrain your mind and take back your power when it comes to technology addiction.

A Social cleanse doesn’t have to be a complete digital detox that eliminates every modern technology. Its an effort to reset and restore more balance in a digitally driven world.

The purpose of the social media cleanse exercise is to be conscientious of how we use social media and how much time we spend online.

Time is the most precious thing we have, and so the that time we spend online come instead of others activities we may not have a second chance to do.

With social media cleanse, you usually delete all forms of social media on your smartphone, and perform other activities that help you control the urge of logging in on your laptop, tablet, or home computer.

Do I need A Social Media Cleanse? Take The Test & Find Out

Why You Should Take a Hiatus From Social Media

Time to be honest. Do you really need a social media cleanse?

The ten questions below are not meant to judge or to conclude.

Instead, they may help you observe the role social media plays in your life.
So, for each question, try to be mindful of which feelings or sensations in your body are triggered. Do you feel love and happy, or, do you feel perhaps pressure and stress?

  1. How many hours a day you spend on social media? Do you think you can better use this time to improve the quality of your life?
  2. Are you looking at your phone in the bed, instead of conversing with your significant other?
  3. Have you ever felt stressed after reading social media content?
  4. Out of all your social media connections, how many of them do you actually know on a personal level?
  5. Have you paid less time to your children because you were uploading pictures of them?
  6. Do you often communicate with your friends or colleagues via social media, instead of just calling them? And if so, is it always the best way to discuss?
  7. Are you late on deadlines at work and work just keeps piling up because you can’t pull yourself away from your phone?
  8. Do you compare yourself or your life to others based on their social activities or social profile?
  9. Are there times where you feel depressed or lonely after spending time in social media?
  10. Do you feel like social media is having an overall negative effect on your life?

If you answer Yes to any of these questions, perhaps it’s time to look into a social media cleanse, and take your power back! and without being tied to your phone all day.

Take time to discover your true interests, explore a new hobby, go on a one day body cleanse, or call up your mom with your newfound free time. There is so much of the world to explore and if you allow yourself to free that time, your creativity will grow so much larger.

Time to take a deeper dive into the ways social media affect our lives.

Feeling Lonely? Social Media Can Make It Worse

Social Media Cleanse Feeling Lonely

Modern life is making us feel lonely. In fact, the research suggests this may be the next big public health issue. According to the data, loneliness increases mortality risk by more than a quarter!

It’s been proven that those who use their phones more are more likely to present feelings of anxiety, depression, isolation, and loneliness. If an individual is using social media as their primary form of community and connection, those feelings are going to dissipate when logging off of the app. The itch to return and scroll to see what you have missed is an addiction for fearing that you will miss out on something vital.

The bottom line: you may have hundreds or thousands of online friends, they can’t replace real friends and social interactions. As a society, we are at a tipping point where we start to feel the effects of being more isolated from our close family members and friends and having more superficial relationships with our increasing reliance on social technology.

Compare is Despair

Social Media Cleanse Compare

I can’t believe how many people determine their self worth through their popularity online. Even worse, is when we start to compare ourselves to others.

It is human nature to compare oneself to others. But, when we do so using social media, we need to remember that most people aren’t posting their most intimate struggles or true selves to say the least.

Some of the problems with social media stem from feeling like we have to prove to others how interesting and luxurious our own lives are. This is only heightened by Instagram models posts, advertisements, and celebrities showcasing their travels. We don’t live in a picture perfect world, and there’s no sense in pretending that we do, by only posting the “pretty” stuff.

Seek For Approval

Social Media Cleanse like

Posting a great picture of you hiking so you can share these beautiful happy moments with your family and friends is an example of a great use of social media. But do you find yourself later constantly checking the comments you get? And how often some of these comments affect the way you feel?

As nice as it feels when you receive a comment on a post you have written or a picture you have posted, that warm feeling is fleeting, and usually doesn’t offer a long-term effect. Even more, social media is well known for its negative comments that can have a big impact on how we feel.  Another reason to consider a social cleanse.

Social Media Isn’t All Bad

Social Media benefits

Social media is associated with a lot of negative implications. Just think about the amount of time that could certainly be utilized in living a healthier lifestyle.

With that said, how you use social media matters, as there are also benefits with proper use. Social media platforms can act as a pillar for education, research, job search, and networking.

It’s an opportunity to connect and develop genuine connection with people all around the globe. Expand your horizon, learn about a wide variety of opinions. For introverts, social media allows users to develop friendships that may not have been possible without it.

Benefits of a Social Media Cleanse

Social Media cleanse nature

The most common thing many people who start a social media cleanse mention, is that they actually have much more free time.

Getting out into nature is a great way to kick start a social media hiatus. It will allow you to reset and refocus on the guiding principles in your life that are the most important.

The time we spend in nature is well known to benefit both our physical and mental health. Learning again how beautiful and rewarding these simple things can be. It’s like opening a magic door to a world we have forgotten all about, the real world.

Some of the other main benefits of social media cleanse may include:

  • Better overall mental health (lessened anxiety and comparison)
  • Better sleeping patterns
  • Improved posture
  • More face-to-face social interactions
  • Less eye strain
  • Help curb your FOMO (fear of missing out)
  • Help jog your memory of all the other stuff you enjoy
  • Lessen your dependency on the gratification you seek from others.

And above all: reconnect with yourself, with your (real) friends, family and with your (real) surroundings. 

How do I wean myself off social media?

How do I wean myself off social media

Prepare yourself for success: Before you start with the social media cleanse:

1. Spread the word

Make your friends and family members aware of your social cleanse plan. So you won’t cause alarm by disappearing all of a sudden. This will also not give you an excuse just to check if “everybody is ok”.  If needed, unfollow and unfriend users who annoy you.

2. Turn off all notifications

That means quieting the noise on the Instagram likes, Facebook comments, retweets on Twitter, and so on and so forth. Without the constant push notifications, your mind will have more space for the things that really matter in your day. You can always select a time where you will check each app, but this keeps the constant “open me now” notifications from coming straight to your lock screen and disrupting your current present thoughts and actions.

3. Check you screen time

With our phones now calculating our screen time, it’s easy to take a look at what applications we are spending the most time on. The iPhone goes as far as encouraging scheduling downtime away from your phone and setting app limits to help tame the addiction of utilizing certain apps.

Utilize the screen time functions on your smartphone in order to breakdown different app usage, how often you’ve gone to unlock your phone, and how many notifications you have received at different time intervals, to decipher where you may need to work harder to wean yourself away.

4. Switch to a simple mobile display

This is a great suggestion to prioritize and turn your smartphone back into a useful resource. Simply put the apps you find helpful (not social media apps) first. For example: navigation, maps, calendar, camera, weather, email, notes, etc. For everything else, including games and social media apps, banish these to the last page on your phone.

If you want to use these, your mind is going to have to work to find them! Another suggestion is to turn your phone into gray scale coloration, therefore your mind isn’t reinforced with bright and shiny, colorful apps.

The Social Media Cleanse Plan

Suggest timeframe: 2 weeks
(reason: that’s the minimum time it usually takes to change bad habits)

  1. Just woke up? do not look at your phone/email.  Start your day with expressing gratitude. Towards the people in your life, towards your family, your achievements, etc. A few minutes of meditation, light yoga or just a walk in the park would do,
  2. Prepare a list of tasks you would like to achieve for the upcoming week. Ideally these should reflect your entire life, work and personal, duty and also fun. Perhaps it’s also time to try something new you have never done before. Volunteering, check out that new yoga place around the corner, adopt a dog, or start out a cleanse.
  3. Cut the time spent on your smartphone. Ask yourself before you reach out and grab your phone/laptop – do I really need to do it right now?
  4. Journal about how you feel overall during this time. If you feel that social media may affect your mental health, writing your thoughts may give you the ability to understand your mindset through the process.
  5. Pretty day outside? Perhaps a great opportunity to enjoy nature, read a book in the park, or just have a great workout.

You control your tech usage. Don’t let it control you.

Social Media cleanse happy

REMEMBER social media is not reality!  There’s no need to give up technology altogether or never use social media. The purpose of the social media cleanse exercise is to be conscientious of how we use social media and how much time we spend online.

Time is the most precious thing we have, and so the that time we spend online come instead of others activities we may always have a second chance to do.

Soy Sauce Colon Cleanse Challenge: What Was I Thinking?

Soy Sauce Colon Cleanse
Casey authorCasey Rollins
Health & Wellness Author
Master of Education (M.Ed.)

What is it? |  Origin  | Healthy Cleansing

Soy sauce colon cleanse, really? The viral spread of information via the internet and social media platforms is no surprise. Technology keeps steadily increasing with its efficiency, efficacy, and speed.

Disastrous and potentially dangerous health fads have gained popularity and mainstream support through the opinions of others. The problem is that social media often allows these trends to spread like wildfire. The soy sauce colon cleanse, below, is just one example.

It’s time that we raise our awareness around viral trends that circulate quickly, and be mindful before we let these influence our lives. Including: our physical health, our self image and our mental health.

The Soy Sauce Colon Cleanse

The soy sauce colon cleanse began with a 39-year-old woman who drank a liter of soy sauce in the time span of two hours or less.

The thought behind drinking the sodium rich condiment: your body’s toxins will follow the sodium as it passes through your body, leaving you with a toxin free gut.

This idea of course is not supported by science or has any reliable evidence. In fact, according to all the evidence, it is rather risky.

You see, one of the primary roles that sodium plays in our body is regulate fluid balance both in and around your cells. When an abundance of sodium is thrown down the hatchet, it completely throws that equilibrium off.

Due to the high amount of salt, you may experience electrolyte imbalance and dehydration, which can cause muscle weakness, muscle cramping, or in the case of the soy sauce colon cleanse, brain damage.

Dangerous Colon Cleanse Leaves Woman Brain Dead

The middle-aged woman referred to above attempted the soy sauce cleanse and went into cardiac arrest shortly thereafter. While in the hospital, the woman began to stabilize, but she continued to doze in and out of consciousness.

When she finally woke up, the lady was pronounced “brain dead”. She was unable to speak, swallow, or move, all from the Asian inspired sauce, that had a viral claim to fame for weight loss response.

She was later diagnosed with severe irreversible nerve damage. If she or her closest family member could speak up, I am certain they would say she was beautiful and worthy in her own skin, and would give anything to have her back in the same consciousness.

Drinking a whole Liter of Soy Sauce, “What Was I Thinking?”

I write all of this to protect you from the viral spread of information we see on the Internet every day. From conspiracy theories, political agendas, to health and nutrition fads.

All last as long as we give them attention. We live in a world that you must be hyper aware about the credibility of the source. Not everyone who proposes ideas, diet regimens, or faux health fads, has your best interest at heart. In social media, they are probably more fixated with getting the most likes, comments, shares, and reactions.

Always consult with a medical professional before starting a new diet or cleanse.  Especially if you have any medical condition.

Healthier Ways to Cleanse the Colon

colon cleanse detox

Modern diets that are loaded with processed foods, chemicals from our environment and the high stress lifestyle have shown by many studies to completely alter our gut bacteria and weaken our digestive systems.

In fact, according to the U.S. department of national institutes of health, it is estimated that 70 million Americans experience various digestive diseases [1].

Multiple studies have suggested a strong connection between gut health to overall good health, immune system function and the ability of the body to fight and prevent disease [2].

Fortunately, there are healthy evidence based ways to cleanse your colon and promote gut health, that are both safe and effective. Not surprisingly, all these methods involve consuming healthy whole foods and herbs.

To learn more see:

  • Overnight Colon Cleanse:
    this simple recipe combines lemon juice, raw apple cider vinegar and ozonated (oxygen) magnesium to cleanse your colon while you sleep.
  • One Day Cleanse:
    an effective and safe natural plan designed to help your body cleanse and detox in 24 hours. Most people notice more energy, higher clarity, a clearer complexion, and better bowel movements and digestion. It is also common to see improvements in digestive issues such as bloating, gas and occasional constipation.
  • Gut Cleanse:
    a slower “deeper acting” natural plan designed to detox, flush and cleanse the entire digestive system, reduce gut inflammation, and promote gut health using whole foods, recipes, meal plans and natural supplements.

The Soy Sauce Colon Cleanse Origin

Just to show you how dangerous health trends are born, let’s look at a possible origin, the Tide Pods fiasco challenge. In this challenge, teenagers make YouTube videos of them challenging one another to eat the candy shaped detergent pods. So today the challenge is Tide Pods, tomorrow, soy sauce colon cleanse?

Everyday I see more and new cleanses and health fads on social media. More and more nonsensical approaches and “challenges” to weight loss, detoxes, or other cosmetic benefits. Most are not supported by any evidence.

Final Thoughts: Dangers of Viral Social Media Content

There’s no doubt that the Internet is a powerful tool nowadays. But, with great power, comes great responsibility. It’s time we start to look out for one another and ourselves, and prevent those that we love from doing the soy sauce colon cleanse (or other risky challenges).

Unfortunately, the number of risky trendy health fads grows every day. I am sure you have heard about the master cleanse. Drinking nothing but a mixture of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup doesn’t sound like to much fun, right? Yes, you may lose a few extra pounds in a week, but do you really think this is healthy? How many of these pounds are actually fat?

There are no shortcuts. Several studies found that when people lose weight quickly, it comes back with a vengeance. So you suffered for a week drinking lemon water with maple syrup, only to gain back all the weight.

It’s time that we raise our awareness around viral trends that circulate quickly, and be mindful before we let these influence our lives.

Mindful Eating For Beginners: The Mind Body Diet Connection

Mindful Eating For Beginners: The Mind Body Diet Connection
Casey authorCasey Rollins
Health & Wellness Author
Master of Education (M.Ed.)

What is it? |  Diet  | TechniquesExercise | Tips |  Weight loss

You just got a solid eight hours of sleep; you love your new morning routine with your warm coffee and new ceramic mug, and the weather has finally cooled down to your favorite fall temperature and you can start the fireplace, yes!

Do you ever feel like you’re 100% in the flow of life?

Everything feels a lot lighter because your patterns of behavior are much more habitual. You feel like you’re eating well, you’re getting more steps and/or exercise than usual, your performance at work is at an all-time peak, you’re drinking more water, you’re tasking more efficiently, and you’re generally being more productive and leading a healthier life physically, emotionally, and spiritually. How great does it feel to YOU when you feel like you’re genuinely “firing on all cylinders” as I like to call it?

Cue Paramore’s, “Ain’t it fun, living in the real world?”

 Are You Acting On Life, or Is It Acting On You?

Mindful Eating For Beginners

Life tends to mirror a tennis match. Sometimes the ball is in your court, and sometimes it’s not; but you must remain mindful that it’s essential to make proactive choices day in and day out, keeping your list of short term and long-term goals close by, to ensure the ball bounces back in your court in time for you to act.

We can also observe a pendulum and make a lot of analogies about the habits (both healthy and unhealthy) that are ingrained in our brains, and our perspectives about resiliency and will.

We all know what the flipside to feeling on top of the world feels like. What goes up must come down, right? Sigh. This doesn’t have to be a dismal metaphor though. Really, our interpretation about different situations carries the weight. If you are willing to let the pendulum swing in its natural essence, your anxiety associated with being on the less desired side is less likely to spike.

About Stress, Eating & The Autopilot Mode

Mindful Eating stress

Habits are defined in psychology as, “actions that are triggered automatically in response to contextual cues that have been associated with their performance”.

You exercise habitual behaviors all the time including; washing your hands before eating, washing your body after your hair, putting on your seatbelt before you start your car, etc. All of these habits allow your brain more mental space for other larger events because of the automation of common tasks.

When life gets more chaotic than usual, work starts to pile up on your desk, you add something to your morning routine, but don’t account for the additional time, and now you’re running late to work, we start to feel stressed and crunched on time.

Stress and time management generally run together, as we often over schedule ourselves and under prioritize our most important tasks, which leads us to run on autopilot and pushes our brains into survival mode.

How Autopilot Mode Affects Our Eating

Mindful Eating For Beginners Stress

Let me set the stage for you…

You’re in your classroom teaching all morning, your lesson plans are due during your only planning period, you have to go to the bathroom before your students come back, and you try to text your significant other back and make a call to make a dentist appointment, all before lunchtime strikes.

You have been stretched thin all week and haven’t had the chance to grocery shop or even wash your hair the last several days, so you resort again to going through the drive thru and ordering the easiest and quickest thing to consume, a burger and fries.

Your inner self talk is negative and you internally have regret that you should be eating a salad and vegetables, and MUCH less carbs and fried foods but YOU ARE STARVING AND DON’T HAVE TIME to go down this rabbit hole right now.

You have students who are coming back from recess any moment. It’s go time, again! Sigh. You stuff as much food as you can in your mouth before whipping back into that school parking lot. You take a deep breath and prepare for the final push of the workday

Cue evidence based research on mindful eating and what it means to approach your nutrition in a more mindful and fully aware way.

Mindful Eating vs. Diet Trends

Mindful Eating vs. Diet Trends

Mindful eating is a rather new approach and runs perpendicular to the diet craze that has consumed American society over the last several decades. Rather than depending on a “magical pill” or a cosmetic quick fix that allows you to binge on the same unhealthy foods you have been consuming, a wrap that tightens existing belly fat, or the increasingly popular method of cryotherapy, which drops your bodies temperature in order to speed up metabolism and make the body work harder to keep warm, mindful eating focuses on intentionality.

The difference between mindful eating and other diet and exercise plans is that it is not about rules or guidelines, as many think when they hear the term in conversation. Rather, it is about the individual experience that each person has with his or her complex relationships with food. No one has the same cravings, aversions, allergies, or recipes with the same foods, which creates for a vast amount of literature in the nutrition realm.

Mindful Eating Exercise

The idea to have mindfulness is for people to have their own experiences with food and to be fully present while having them. To slow our brains down in order to be effective in this approach it’s important to focus on all five of our senses while eating: taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight. A famous raisin experiment illustrates this here, under “Practicing Mindful Eating”.

  • What does your food look like?
  • What do you anticipate it’s going to taste like?
  • Does it smell like it looks? Does the smell urge you to keep eating, or does it turn you off?
  • When you chew your food, what does it sound like? Is it crunchy? Is it soft enough you don’t even have to chew?

Developing mindfulness in different arenas in your life can be strengthened through daily meditations (using moment-to-moment awareness), yoga, body scanning, noticing your breathing patterns during your day to develop a higher level of awareness of self, and practicing mindful eating several times a week.

What is Mindful Eating?

What is Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is process oriented, and requires changes in your typical eating behaviors. Those that have mastered mindful eating, throw conventional rules out the window and focus on what their body needs by listening inwards. Problems that mindful eating solves includes distracted overeating, emotional eating, stress eating, improper chewing, selection of unhealthy foods, binge eating, and much more.

Can Mindful Eating Help You Lose Weight?

If weight loss will assist you in living more fully, that is FINE; the problem arises when people get so preoccupied with the sole goal of losing weight (with no emphasis on muscle mass, healthy selection of different foods, eating patterns, etc.) that you lose sight of your intentions to lead a healthier lifestyle, which includes being more present and involved in your own life. You only have one life to live! We have to start making baby steps today in the direction you see your life and health going.

Mindful eating strives to take automaticity out of eating, and challenges you to look closer into the foods you eat.

  • What elements were required to grow your food?
  • Was there sun and soil involved, or did a factory genetically process the food you are consuming?

Mindful eating takes the pressure off of counting points, ordering shakes and pre-made meals, and erases the expectations of a particular outcome: i.e.: inches off your waist, hips, thighs, glutes, or pounds lost, new sizes of clothing, etc. It aims to strengthen your bond with eating in a more holistic way.

Developing Mindful Eating Habits Techniques

Mindful Eating Techniques

Some of the attitudes associated with mindful eating and living more consciously include:

Non-judging

Setting aside our previous experience with a food can be very challenging. Being aware of our judgments with different foods is a critical element of mindfulness.

Patience

Living in a fast paced society where our expectations for time management, family demands, and work pressures are at an all time high; patience is a virtue and mindful eating and living take a more understood approach to patience and what it means to be present and aware in the moment. Rather than throwing a handful of raisins, M&Ms, chips, etc. in your mouth; it’s about letting the experience unfold slowly, savoring each bite, rather than quickly trying to satisfy your hunger. It is easier to have more patience with fewer distractions. One of our biggest setbacks right now is having our phones in our hands or having the TV on, which creates a mind numbing sensation, causing you to be less aware of the situation at hand and cause us to eat more and to ingest more quickly

Beginner’s mind

Approaching food experiences like a baby or small child does, with awe and wonder, allows us to experience new and familiar foods in the here and now.

Trust

When we learn to trust our interactions with food and our choices, it becomes more enjoyable to eat foods when we are being mindful of our selections.

 Non striving

This is the quality that differs the most from most diet minded approaches, where the main goal is to lose weight, count calories, or any other quantitative measure. There is no pressure or expected outcome when eating mindfully, although weight loss is typically experienced and weight is more likely to be kept off with a conscious change of behavior in the way we eat.

Acceptance

We must accept whatever comes up in the moment when we are practicing mindful eating. We have to be fully present and accept the colorful food that consumes are plates

 Letting go

Letting go of the toxic relationships we have with unhealthy foods has to come from examining what the foods do for your overall well-being and letting go of foods that don’t make you feel better.

Tips to Help You in Your Journey Towards Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating Tips

Before You Eat

Minimize Distractions

Put away your phone, your work, your book, any distraction that will allow for mindless eating patterns. Make sure that eating is the only thing you are doing.

Assess your emotions

Are you physically hungry or are you just bored and looking for something to fill the void in your time? Are you lonely? Are you looking towards food to satisfy another need you are having? Think about what you might need to help you and ensure that food is what your body, mind, and soul needs.

During Mindful Eating

Express gratitude to your food!

  • Appreciate the long process of what it took to grow the food you are about to consume, prepare it, and make it accessible for you to purchase. When we express gratitude for the things we have, we become more aware of the abundance around us.
  • Savor each bite and take the time to recognize all the sensations you get from eating or drinking a new food. Be descriptive with the language you use.
  • Use a timer and giving yourself breaks while eating. This allows your brain to catch up with your stomach and decide if you are still hungry. Ask yourself questions like, “Have I had enough?”, “Is it time to stop?”, or “Am I still hungry or are am I just eating as a time filler?”

When Not Eating

  • Keep up with your water consumption. You should strive to drink your weight divided by two in ounces of water.
  • Use a journal to assess your eating journey. Write down tips and tricks that helped you stay on track for the week and add to your journal daily.

Mindful Eating is Not About Perfection

Forgive yourself for slipping up and eating more or faster than you would have liked. Even if you fall off the train, have the audacity to get back on! One night of poor eating doesn’t mean you are back to square one. Thank yourself for your realization that you didn’t eat in the manner you would have liked to, and practice harder the next time.

You Are in Control of Your Relationship With Food

Mindfulness challenges you to be aware of your choices and controlling your own experiences. When it comes to mindfulness on all levels, you have to decide when you’re going to practice it and MAKE it happen!

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