Ever feel like there’s not enough time in the day? Well, the U.S. average for time spent on social media per day is 2 hours and 6 minutes.

So, when you think about it, there’s actually 2 hours and 6 minutes a day that a lot of us are wasting, while in the same breath we complain there isn’t enough time to do the things we want to do.  

Want to stop wasting so much time scrolling through social media? If you need ideas, here’s 5 better ways to spend your time.

Take a walk outside

When you take a walk outside, not only are you moving your body, which is good for your body, you’re absorbing Vitamin D—which is good for your body, too!

Connecting with nature has been shown to support cognitive function, productivity, physical health, and psychological well-being. Keeping physically active is proven to improve mental well-being as well. So, what could be better than doing both at once?

When you consider that physical activity and spending time outdoors both improve mental well-being, while social media has been shown to hurt it, the choice is clear!

Organize something

All of us have at least one thing in our homes that could use reorganizing. Plus, it’s proven that clutter can contribute to feelings of stress and depression.

Apart from ridding your space of clutter, organizing can also generate a feeling of accomplishment. When you’re finished with an organization project, you’re able to see a space that’s been totally transformed thanks to your hard work! 

The best part about organizing something is not only do you make your life easier when you do (it’s a lot harder to lose things when everything has its place!), but organizing your physical surroundings helps promote clarity and focus.

Watch a TED Talk or documentary

When you scroll mindlessly through Instagram or another social platform, you’re not very likely to learn anything. But, if you watch a TED Talk or a documentary, you’re sure to learn something new. 

Plus, you can do this from the comfort of your couch or bed, so it’s perfect if you’ve had a long day at work!

Choose 5 pieces of clothing to donate

On average, Americans didn’t wear 82% of their wardrobe last year. That’s a lot of clothes! 

Instead of opening Twitter, choose 5 clothing items out of your closet to donate and bring them to a local textile recycling bin. Rather than bringing your old clothes to a thrift store, textile recycling bins actually provide the most environmentally friendly and sustainable outlet to get rid of your unwanted clothing. 

Not sure where one is near you? Don’t worry, the answer is just a Google search away!

Go to bed early

Sleep plays a crucial role in keeping you mentally and physically healthy. And yet, 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. don’t get enough of it. 

So, next time you reach for your phone right before bed, turn off the light and catch some extra Zs instead. We promise you’ll thank yourself for it in the morning!

Want more ideas?

Looking for other ways to spend your time doing something other than scrolling social media? We’ve got you covered. Check out this great article!

“Be yourself!” As it turns out, this childhood adage is a lot easier said than done.

One obstacle to being fully and confidently ourselves is comparison. Money, career, looks, education, and popularity—these are just some of the categories in which we’re likely to compare ourselves to others. 

Here are five simple ways to avoid falling down the comparison rabbit hole.

1. Accept where you are and go from there

Comparison can stem from dissatisfaction with where you are in life. But, comparison also does nothing to solve that dissatisfaction. Instead, it fans the flame.

Having trouble accepting where you are in life? Consider this: it’s easier to accept where you are on your life path once you’ve acknowledged not only where you want that path to take you but your capability to make it happen. 

Think about it, if you know where you’re going, you’ll be more likely to get there. Set a goal, assess the practical steps necessary to achieving that goal, and get started! 

Remember, admiring someone for what they have accomplished is not the same thing as comparing yourself. It isn’t a competition! Try not to stack your accomplishments up against someone else’s and judge yourself for it. Instead, learn what it took for that person to accomplish what it is you’re wanting to accomplish, then set your mind to leveling up the needed skills to achieve it for yourself.

Redirecting your attention away from comparisons and toward self-improvement can help you get where you want to be.

If you’re not happy with how your life looks right now, redirecting your attention away from comparisons and toward self-improvement can help you get where you want to be. And the sooner you recognize this, the sooner where you are in life will start to change!

2. Do a social media detox

When you compare yourself to someone on social media, you’re comparing your real life with someone’s carefully curated ideal life. 

Typically, anyone’s social media shows you the “highlights” of that person’s life and is unlikely to feature any struggles or feelings of inadequacy that person has. So, don’t compare the actual reality of your life to the cherry-picked reality of someone else’s. All this will get you is a boatload of self-doubt and frustration. 

If you notice social media giving you anxiety in this way, log off and take a break for a few days and consider reading a book or drama that tells a more honest story of life

3. Take time for gratitude

Practicing gratitude is a way to appreciate what you have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make you happier or more satisfied with life. 

In fact, gratitude is proven to benefit mental health and improve happiness. 

So, take a little time each day and think about what you’re grateful for; slowly but surely, this will help you feel more positive about your life and make it less appealing to compare it to someone else’s.

4. Transform comparison into inspiration

Let whoever you’re comparing yourself to be a source of inspiration for what you can be, do and have in life. 

Think: what do you want and how can you get it? If you’re jealous of your neighbor’s new car, consider a plan for how you can start saving money and maximize your earning potential. Wish you had a big group of friends like your brother does? Join a local kickball league! 

5. Look beyond the surface

When you compare yourself to others, what are you focusing on? Is it something superficial, like the number of followers you have on Instagram? Or is it something meaningful, like virtue?

Pretend your best friend is a saint. If you had a saint as a best friend, then your best friend’s joy, love, and peace would probably make you jealous. Especially on those days that you feel grumpy and fed up with the world! But, rather than getting caught up in jealousy and simply wishing you had a better attitude, consider where those virtues come from. Find what is motivating your best friend to be so full of joy, love, and peace and discover a way to tap into it.

You got this!

When left unchecked, comparison can take away valuable time and energy—not to mention joy!

We hope these five tips can help you start to focus more on you and less on comparing yourself to other people. When you water and nurture your own grass, there’s no point to worrying if the grass is greener on the other side.

Comparing yourself to others has been shown to prompt increased anxiety and depressive symptoms, negative body image, sleep problems, and cyberbullying.

But, comparing yourself to others is also human nature. By evaluating your own attitude, abilities, and traits in comparison with others, you’re able to get a more clear picture of who you are. At least, that’s true in theory.

In practice, it’s hard to draw the line on comparison and not let it preoccupy you. Especially in this social media day and age, when your phone and computer are constantly putting other people and their lives in front of you, practically begging you to start comparing yourself.

Did you know that users who spend more time on social media are more likely to agree that others have “better lives” and are “happier” than themselves?

 Well, it’d be hard not to feel this way when you’re always seeing other people’s smiling photos!

While it might be difficult to train your brain to stop constantly comparing, the effort is worth it. People who make frequent social comparisons are more likely to experience envy, guilt, regret, and defensiveness. 

Wouldn’t you rather experience self-love, peace, and joy?

Halcyon’s next campaign will dive into the causes and effects of comparison as well as the tools to stop comparing yourself so much to other people.

Keep an eye on our social media channels for the launch of this campaign and subscribe to our email list so you don’t miss a beat!

Whether we like it or not, social media plays a big role in most people’s lives today. What does that mean for mental health? According to evidence, more bad than good. 

Stress

A lot of people use social media to vent. Bad customer service experience? Post about it. Not happy with politics? Post about it. Someone died? Another reason to post.

The downside to this common use of social media is that it can overload our feeds with stress-related content. The outcome for people absorbing this content is that social media induces more stress than it relieves. Twitter’s been found to be a significant contributor to stress in this regard.

Mood 

Social media might boost your mood in the short-term, but research’s found that higher levels of social media use correspond with higher levels of depressive symptoms, such as loneliness.

The more time people spent on Facebook, the worse they felt afterward, and the more their overall mood declined over time.

Studies show that depressive symptoms, such as low mood and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, are frequently connected to negative social media interactions, such as cyber-bullying and having a distorted view of other people’s lives.

In one study, researchers texted 79 participants five times a day for two weeks, asking them how they felt and how much they’d used Facebook since the last text. The results of this study demonstrated that the more time people spent on Facebook, the worse they felt afterward, and the more their overall mood declined over time.

Anxiety

General anxiety is characterized by feelings of restlessness and worry, as well as trouble sleeping and concentrating. 

Research shows that people who report using multiple social media platforms were more than three times as likely to have high levels of general anxiety symptoms than people who use fewer than two social media platforms. 

Addiction

Excessive use of social media can easily transform into social media addiction. Social media addiction has been linked to relationship problems, poor academic performance, lower levels of participation in off-line activities, as well as anxiety and depression. 

Research shows that those with social media addiction are more likely to be dependent on alcohol, highly extroverted, or using social media to compensate for a lack of “real life” relationships. 

On a related note, FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is one of the leading factors that drives social media addiction by giving us the feeling that we have to know what other people are doing every minute of every day.

(If you’d like to learn more about FOMO’s causes and effects, you can check out this blog!)

Self-Esteem

According to one survey, social media sites make more than half of users feel inadequate.

Fashion marketing has long been a point of concern when it comes to passing down unrealistic beauty expectations and harming consumers’ self-esteem. 

Today, social media is causing the same concern, with its supersaturation of filters, lighting, and angles.

According to one survey, social media sites make more than half of users feel inadequate. And more than half of 18 to 34 year olds responding to the same survey reported that social media makes them feel unattractive.

Jealousy

It’s hard to go on social media and not experience jealousy. Feelings of jealousy are often triggered by social media since it almost demands that users compare their lives to others. 

Wanting to go on vacation, but it isn’t in the budget? Then seeing someone post pictures of a trip to Bali probably isn’t going to make you feel great. Wish you were in a relationship? Then a post that two of your friends from high school just got engaged probably won’t make you feel very good either. 

These are just two examples of the ways social media can produce jealousy and the negative feelings that go along with it.

Sleep

Social media use can also come at the expense of your sleeping patterns. How? Well, the blue light from smartphone and laptop screens has been shown to inhibit the body’s production of the hormone melatonin, which facilitates sleep. 

In other words, if the last thing you do before bed is check social media on your phone, you’re not going to get a good night’s sleep thanks to all that blue light exposure.

Time is precious

If you go on social media and experience any one of these negative mental health outcomes, try and keep the following in mind: social media isn’t real life!

When you choose to prioritize “the real world” over social media, not only are you protecting your mental well-being, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to make real memories. 

Spend your time doing something other than scrolling social media and, in the long run, you’re almost guaranteed to feel happier and more fulfilled.

When all your friends are spending Saturday together but you have to go to work, you’re probably going to experience FOMO. What’s that? 

FOMO is an acronym for “the fear of missing out” and, even more importantly, a kind of social anxiety.

While it’s true that FOMO is especially common among young people, people of all ages can experience FOMO, which can cause anxiety, frustration, and inability to focus.

What it really comes down to is how you feel about the things that fill your schedule. 

People who see the majority of their activities as obligations, such as studying or working, are more likely to experience a higher level of FOMO.

The reality is you simply can’t be everywhere at once! But, it’s easy to wish you could be. Because what if people are having fun without you? What if what other people are doing is more interesting than what you’re doing? 

Are you missing out?

Maybe! But, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Halcyon’s next campaign will dive into the causes and effects of FOMO, and demonstrate how gratitude can serve as the cure to this self-destructive way of thinking.

Keep an eye on our social media channels for the launch of this campaign and subscribe to our email list so you don’t miss a beat!

So you have FOMO. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Everyone experiences fear of missing out at some point or another, especially young people who are likely to feel FOMO on a day-to-day basis. 

Luckily, FOMO doesn’t have to be the be-all, end-all. 

Here’s 8 simple solutions to FOMO.

1. Switch up your feed

A major cause of FOMO is social media. With social media, we’re able to know what everyone’s doing all the time. When we know what other people are doing, we’re more likely to worry that we’re missing out.

Work to minimize your engagement with FOMO-inducing accounts, so that more of your feed makes you happy.

If you don’t want to quit social media altogether, try changing up your feed. Mute content and accounts that you notice triggering your FOMO. Work to minimize your engagement with FOMO-inducing accounts, so that more of your feed makes you happy.

2. Avoid overusing social media

After you’ve muted and unfollowed the content and accounts that you give you FOMO, work on cutting back your social media use across the board. Learn to redo your bedtime routine without your eyes glued to Twitter. 

One cognitive-behavioral therapy technique suggests setting aside a certain time every day to check all your social media outlets. Make this your one and only time of day to check your accounts, and stick to it. 

Eventually, your habit will be to just check social media at that one time a day, rather than whenever you have a second.

3. Make plans

Sometimes FOMO results from having another obligation that forces you to miss out, but there’s other times that FOMO comes from feeling lonely or excluded. 

Whether it’s with one good friend or a group of them, doing anything social that gets you with friends is sure to help you to shake that feeling that you are missing out.

So, if you’re experiencing FOMO and it’s not because you’re busy doing something already, find a friend who’s free too! Whether it’s with one good friend or a group of them, doing anything social that gets you with friends is sure to help you to shake that feeling that you are missing out. 

It could even be as simple as a Facetime call or Zoom happy hour!

4. Focus on gratitude

Studies show that engaging in gratitude-enhancing activities like gratitude journaling, meditation or just taking the time to send a loved one a note of appreciation can uplift your mood. 

Bonus: practicing gratitude can also brighten the days of those around you!

When you take the time to be grateful for the things and people in your life, and fully appreciate how much you have, you’re less likely to care about a party you’re missing out on or the vacation you’re jealous of. 

Daily gratitude can help to slowly build the mindset that you have what you need in your life and others do too. If you’d like to learn more about what gratitude can do for your mental and emotional health, check out our other blogs on the topic!

5. Remember: it’s okay to stay in

Sometimes, you just need a break! Everyone, even extroverts, need “me time” now and again. The problem is that many of us don’t know how to take “me time” without feeling guilty about it.

It’s true that there’s always a million other things you could be doing, but that doesn’t mean those things are more valuable. It’s okay to give yourself permission to rest and take time to relax without thinking of what else you could or should be doing. 

“Me time” is good for you, so don’t fear missing out—savor it!

6. Make a list of priorities

If you don’t have a clear understanding of your priorities, you’re likely to feel a lot of FOMO and indecision about choosing one thing over the other. So, take the time to reflect on your priorities, then make a list of them to go back to every time that FOMO/indecisiveness starts to creep in.

When you have a clear sense of your priorities, choosing how to spend your valuable free time can be less stressful and less likely to create FOMO. 

For example, if family time is higher on your list of priorities than socializing with friends, that’s fine! Now you know the next time you have to choose between hanging out with friends and hanging out with family, that hanging out with family is the way to go. 

When you have a clear sense of your priorities, choosing how to spend your valuable free time can be less stressful and less likely to create FOMO. 

7. Self-reflection and self-improvement

If your FOMO is creating anxieties that you’re not doing enough or what you’re doing doesn’t matter, making a list can be helpful here as well. 

Take a minute to write down the things you do that you think help make the world a better place. It can be anything big or small! When you consider your life through this lens, you’ll start to feel your activities are more valuable.

Then, build on that! Transform your alone time into self-improvement time. Read a book, watch a documentary—do something that will inspire you and that you can learn from. Take what you’ve learned and add it to your list as “to-do” ideas for other ways you can make the world a better place.

8. Dig a little deeper

Sometimes FOMO is more than just FOMO. 

Are you simply annoyed that you said “no” to a party invite, but everyone said it was a lot of fun? Hey, it happens! No need to do any deep self-reflection here.

But, if you find that your FOMO is bringing up all sorts of questions—perhaps you’re even starting to wonder if you’re happy in general—then you might need to take the necessary time and figure out what is really going on. 

When FOMO routinely dredges up feelings of general unhappiness and insecurities, it could be a sign you’re struggling with depression or anxiety. Talk to your doctor if you think this might be you.

Time to get started!

We hope that you find this toolkit helpful and that, by keeping these tips in mind and putting them into practice, you’re able to kick FOMO to the curb.

If you want even more FOMO content, take a look through our blog page for our other FOMO-related blogs!

What’re the keys to happiness? Humility, for one.

How? Think of it this way. People who are proud have unreasonably high standards, this brings with it a tendency to be greedy for bigger and better things. This means that they’re more likely to be dissatisfied with what they have. 

Yet, it can be challenging to express humility, especially when the world places such high value on external accomplishments and appearance. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

3 ways to cultivate humility

  1. Embrace your humanity. When you make a mistake or fall short of a particular goal, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. It just means that you’re human, like everyone else! 
  2. Practice self-compassion. Humility requires that you notice and accept your weaknesses. Rather than feeling down about your weaknesses, approach them with kindness and understanding. Everyone has weaknesses! Recognizing your limits in a self-compassionate manner is healthy.
  3. Say “thank you.” When you say “thank you” you’re recognizing the gifts that come into your life and, as a result, acknowledging the value of other people. This guides your focus away from the self and toward others.

Humility positions you to appreciate life’s little happinesses because you’re not always so caught up in wanting more. 

Humility can also improve your relationships. To put it plainly, people are more likely to want to hang out with someone who’s humble than someone who is pushy and self-seeking.

What’s more, humility opens the door to gratitude. Research shows that gratitude and happiness are strongly correlated. But, it’s impossible to practice gratitude if you lack humility. People who are proud are unable to truly express gratitude because a proud outlook suggests that you deserve everything you have.

Happiness comes from life satisfaction as well as moments of enjoyment and appreciation. And when you take the time to practice gratitude, you’re taking the time to appreciate what you have! So, it makes sense that gratitude and happiness go hand-in-hand.

3 ways you can focus gratitude

  1. Past. What about your past are you grateful for? What are some cherished childhood memories? Who’s an old friend you’re thankful you met?
  2. Present. What are you grateful for in your life right now? What’s the highlight of your routine? Who makes you smile?
  3. Future. What things coming up are you grateful for? What in the future are you hopeful and optimistic about?

While there are different causes of happiness, humility and gratitude are sure ways to bring about more happiness, as they prevent us from taking anything for granted. (Because, when you take stuff for granted, you become blind to the happiness you do have.)

If you take the time to notice the good things in life, you’ll feel happier. It’s that simple!