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Things to do Instead of Scrolling

Social media can be great. It’s a place to meet like-minded people, connect, learn, and receive encouragement and inspiration. But it can also be rubbish... It’s addictive and can be really bad for your mental health. I am one of those people who wakes up in the morning and sometimes scrolls through social media before I can bring myself to get out of bed, even though I know that it’s bad for me. 91% of 16-24 year olds use social media, on average about 136 minutes a day. Sometimes I find myself using social media to fill the time out of habit rather than enjoyment.

I was inspired by this video I saw to write my own list of things to do instead. It’s organised into the 5 ways to wellbeing; connect, be active, learn a new skill, give and take notice.

So, here are some suggestions of what you can do when you feel like social media is not it:


  1. Call your friend, or organise a time later in the week to have a catch up
  2. Message someone you miss but don’t talk to as much as you want
  3. Reply to those messages you’ve been putting off
  4. Sign up for volunteering - has a list of community groups and volunteer opportunities you can join
  5. Look up events happening around your local area, this could be things like festivals, galleries and music events
  6. Plan something to look forward to with your people you care about
  7. Go to a museum or art gallery - Whitworth Gallery, Manchester Museum and Manchester Art Gallery are all good and free
  8. If you’ve got plants, give them a water
  9. Spend time with a pet
  10. Join an app where you can make money from walking other peoples dogs
  11. Take a virtual trip to Yellowstone National Park
  12. Take a virtual museum tour, for example to Boston Children’s museum

Be Active

  1. Go on a walk
  2. Go to the library and borrow a book
  3. Light a candle
  4. Do a puzzle
  5. Order some food from your favourite restaurant
  6. Play an instrument
  7. Make a cup of tea
  8. Rearrange your room, or make a poster to put up on your wall
  9. Go to an arcade
  10. Water your plants
  11. Brush your teeth
  12. Try cooking a homely recipe
  13. Be creative. Creativity has been proven to increase mental wellbeing, so pick up a pen and see what comes out
  14. Exercise - I recommend Yoga with Adrienne, her videos are my fave
  15. Do some baking
  16. Write a to do list - you can organise this in order of priority to make it seem less daunting
  17. Do your skincare routine
  18. Set your bills up as a direct debit - I know its boring but once its done, you won’t have to worry about remembering to manually transfer money again
  19. Journal - add something new to your journal
  20. Explore your area or a new part of Manchester
  21. Do some gardening
  22. Create some new goals for yourself
  23. Ask to walk with your friends dog

Learn Something New

  1. Learn a new language: Duo Lingo is a free platform to do this
  2. Watch a documentary - BBC iPlayer always have great options, so does
  3. Futurelearn has courses from universities around the world. Many of the courses are free and some of them are only take a couple of hours
  4. Make a playlist of new albums that have just been released or old ones that you’ve always wanted to listen to
  5. Sort out your Spotify playlists
  6. Organise your files on your laptop
  7. Make sure all your important documents and photos are backed up
  8. Learn a new recipe
  9. Start a tv series, or rewatch a comfort show
  10. Watch an interview your favourite celebrity
  11. Research opportunities in your area
  12. Play Geogussr - a game which improves your geographical knowledge by taking you to a random place in the world and you guess where it is


  1. Sort through the clutter, have a clear out and donate to friends/charity shops
  2. Create something to give to your friend - maybe a little drawing
  3. Try a cooking something to share with friends/colleagues
  4. Send a funny meme to a friend
  5. Sign up to donate blood (if able to)
  6. Join a peer support group where you can connect with like minded people - Manchester Mind has a good one
  7. Write a list of the birthday’s of people you care about and think about what you might give them
  8. Sign up to do some volunteering
  9. Send a nice text to someone thanking them or reminding them of a good memory you shared

Take Notice

  1. Organise your desk, your draw, your room, your kitchen, anything which you feel might need a lil spruce up
  2. Try some free writing, where you put pen to paper and just write anything and everything that comes to mind
  3. Write a letter to your future self, or your past self. FutureMe will email you your letter at a date of your choice
  4. Watch a movie (without going on your phone!)
  5. Watch some YouTube. Some accounts I’d recommend are:
    Micheal Reeves who makes mad robots
    So does William Osman
    Leena Norms who talks about books, fashion, environmentalism and politics
    ModernGurlz who do fashion predictions and breakdowns of fashion in movies
    Mark Rober is a NASA scientist who trained his garden squirrels during lockdown
    Jordan Theresa who does political and social commentary videos
    Tiffany Ferg who does media criticism and commentary
    Anna Akana does funny short videos about psychology
    The School of Life do short videos on everything from psychology to philosophy
  6. Write down your goals
  7. Do a manifestation practice
  8. Create a moodboard - you can do it online
  9. Take yourself out on a date. Florence Given, author of Women Don’t Owe You Pretty encourages people to take themselves out and have fun
  10. Draw out a good memory
  11. Go through (and perhaps delete) old photos off your camera roll or old texts and notice any emotions they may bring up, positive or negative

By Georgie B