fitness · mindfulness

Alternatives to doomscrolling

I am addicted to my phone. No doubt about it. I start my morning by checking all the usual social media, including the newsfeed app built in to all of our phones. Most of it’s not a downer. But there are the obvious offenders – Covid-19 – big announcement of the day! and how much life has changed indefinitely; Trump/US Election/the end of democracy as we know it; Climate Change; fires; other ways we can get sick or die, besides Covid; the economy; another icon has died; and so on. The news often scream out for a meditation break.

A cartoon (from NY Times) of a woman in a red top and black pants in a seated meditation pose.

I am a practical person. So I am not looking to cut out doomscrolling completely. How else will I have interesting things to talk about during virtual coffee breaks with colleagues? But I do think it would be valuable for me to make a concerted effort to interweave activities that are good for my mind and soul. Here are some options:

Not a complete list, but some ideas:

  • read a book (currently reading Girl Woman Other by Bernadine Evaristo)
  • go for a run or walk (practice active meditation)
  • prep a meal
  • tidy up (not my strong point these days)
  • do some push-ups
  • complete a task for work
  • call someone on the phone (voice calls are having resurgence during the pandemic)
  • take a hot bath (and read a book)
Drawing (from @mylittleparis on Instagram) of a woman in a bubble bath surrounded by a basket of fluffy towels, a stack of books, a glass of wine – optional – I prefer coffee these days – and candles. No mobile device for doomscrolling in site.)
  • go workout in the park (the winter doesn’t scare me, I will dress for it)
  • watch a show (endless streaming can result in watching crap shows. I recently watched a German series called The Last Word, that was quirky and touching and more up my alley). I also caved and added Crave to my subscriptions.
  • have sex (no partner required if one is self isolating!)
  • or just snuggle
  • trim my nails and remove some of the calluses from my feet and try to ignore the worsening bunions
  • shave my legs, but really, I let that go a lot these days too
  • start a sourdough bread or bagels
A picture of a batch of my sourdough bagels (I couldn’t resist)
  • clean out the fridge
  • sort out the clothes closet
  • clean the floors (I hate cleaning floors and we have two dogs, so that is not a good combo)
  • listen to music!
  • check in on a friend and try to make them laugh
  • do some jumping jacks
  • kiss my dogs
  • take a nap
  • do Sun Salutations
  • play Sporcle
  • practice my deep squat, do the “couch stretch” for my quads, do “up dog” stretches for my lower back, roll on my foam roller..
  • make plans for a socially distanced walk with someone not in my bubble

What activities do you enjoy between, or instead of, doomscrolling?

Nicole P. is trying not to doomscroll too much.

7 thoughts on “Alternatives to doomscrolling

  1. Wow–those are gorgeous bagels! I realized recently that I was not doing my cat a favour by cleaning her litter box 5 times a day, meaning she had to get up from her day job of napping to “mark” her box again. Instead I made lentil soup for lunch, with lots of ingredients that needed chopping.

  2. These ideas sound great, I love bagels and sourdough so they sound amazing, the German series, that’s a definite I will have to find 👌

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