The beginning of a new year can bring about all types of action towards being the best versions of ourselves. We all have things that may need to be reset in order to make room for all the things we want to accomplish. For me, it meant reshaping my relationship with social media and how I use my time. Let’s face it, social media can be a true time suck. It can also have an adversarial affect on how we see our accomplishments, our self-esteem and how present we are in our everyday lives. I knew I wanted to create new habits and January was the perfect month to get to work on them. It’s amazing what you can do with the time we allot to mindless scrolling. 

Here are some of the things I filled my time with. 

Learning A New Language

Apps like Duolingo, Busuu and Memrise make it easy to pick up your phone and put it to use learning a new language. Ever started scrolling on your favorite social media app and then realized an hour or so had passed? Yep, me too. The same is possible with a language app except when the time passes, you have a cute new skillset. Of course you won’t be completely fluent in a month but you’ll be well on your way to, at least, have a few words and statements under your belt. You never know where the year will take you so brushing up on the language spoken in your dream destination could be a necessity. Go for it!

Reading Books

Remember books? Listen. They are still in existence. There are so many dope reads by and for Black women right now. With a clear brain that is not trying to split time between that funny thing you just read or what your ex is up to (because the snoop is real), you can truly dive into a literary work. Using books to elevate your career and personal goals is another great way to put yourself ahead of the game for 2021. 

Being Truly Present With Friends and Family

How many times have you been mid conversation with a friend and then started to scroll out of nowhere? How many times have you been on a phone call and find both you and your family member with paused screens as you both check your IG notifications? I’m not judging. But there is something to be said about being able to truly give your undivided attention to the ones you love that feels really good. We have become so accustomed to only giving ourselves to one another in small intervals while apps and feeds get the most of our time. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just the way we live our lives, unfortunately. I’ve learned so much more about the goals and everyday happenings of my closest friends by simply prioritizing them this month. 

Journaling, Prayer and Meditation

Breaking the habit of waking up and reaching right for your phone is definitely not easy. But once done, you can truly maximize your self-care time in the morning. Journaling out any thoughts, concerns and desires that came to me has been life-changing. Meditation has helped me set the tone for my days and calmed my anxiety surrounding the future. And prayer is always a great grounding tool for when the world starts to seem out of control. It feels like second nature to get up and choose to dedicate sacred time to myself now. 

Engaging With Things I Am Actually Interested In

Sometimes, we are inundated with things that we truly don’t care about just by way of the people we follow, algorithms and things being shared to our feeds. This can sometimes entrench us in news stories, debates and images that we’d rather not engage with. Having the time to seek out things that actually interests me helped me to be mindful of what matters to me. There are shows, artists and celebrities that I simply haven’t had a single thought about since leaving social media and I plan to take that into consideration once I am back active. 

Putting Action Behind My Goals

Goal-setting is definitely a hallmark of the new year but most of those goals barely make it to January 15th before we’ve forgotten them and gone back to life as we know it. With a renewed awareness of how my time was being spent, I was able to strategically plan and execute things that I’d been putting off for months. With limited distractions, it was easier to see what I needed to do to get things done. I have not seen the fullness of those goals yet but the foundation has been laid.

Though it’s practically impossible to live life off social media completely as many of us must engage for work reasons, brand building and to keep up with friends faraway, it’s a great time to readjust your relationship with it. Decide how much time you’ll actively give to each app and stick to it. Give yourself time in the morning and in the evening to disconnect and recharge. Be vigilant about only engaging with things that feed your mind, body and soul positively. And, don’t hesitate to unfollow, block or mute even the people you know who make your experience less than stellar. Don’t let your feeds feed you nonsense, sis!