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I’ve been trying to stay away from Facebook lately.
Don’t get me wrong; I love the idea of Facebook. Seeing what other people are up to, being able to easily offer encouragement or wish someone a happy birthday is a lot of fun.
I usually hit Facebook when I’m bored or tired or want to do something other than whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing in that particular moment.
(And of course this could be Pinterest, or Twitter, or Instagram. Whatever social network is a huge time suck for you.)
Knowing that helps, because if I can just stop myself before I get there, I can acknowledge the feeling and do something else instead.
Here are 15 things to do instead of checking Facebook that often work for me. Sometimes all in the same day.
- Acknowledge and label the feeling that makes you want to check Facebook. You can even say out loud or to yourself, “I’m really bored and I’d love to check Facebook right now.” Naming it takes away its power.
- Get a glass of water. Drink it.
- Read a book for 10 minutes.
- Clear off your desk.
- Do 50 jumping jacks or jog in place for 5 minutes.
- Send an email to someone you’ve been thinking of (or a real mail, whichever).
- Go outside. Feel the sun. Walk around a little bit.
- Do some writing or doodling in a journal.
- Stare out the window if you happen to have one handy.
- Work on a craft project: do a row of knitting, sew a seam or add the next color to your painting.
- Actually talk to someone in person.
- Do the thing on your to-do list that you’re wanting to avoid by checking Facebook.
- Remember that social media is fake and if you really wanted to know about those people, you’d be talking to them in real life.
- Write a blog post. (Don’t have a blog? Start one.)
And make sure you tell yourself that there will be a particular time when you are allowed to check. I tend to go for times when I’m not particularly needed, such as during the girl’s swimming or gymnastics classes, or during the part of bedtime when my husband is reading to her.
And honestly, just a few minutes is enough to remind me there’s nothing too interesting happening over there anyway.
It’s not completely foolproof. There will still be days when you fall into a Facebook pit and don’t recover yourself for untold minutes at a time.
But being aware of what you’re really looking for when you want to go to Facebook, and having some options for what to do instead, can really be a big help.
Do you try to limit time on Facebook? I’d love to know what you do when you feel the urge to scroll.