If there’s one thing a New Year is good for…

Eilidh Nicholls

If there’s one thing a New Year is good for…

If there's one thing a new year is good for, it's identifying areas of your life you'd like to improve. For us, 2019 is going to be about spending less time on social media and instead reconnecting with the real world.

We already made a start on this toward the end of last year by using a setting on our phones to restrict the time spent on them. According to the time tracking app Moment, people spend an average of four hours a day on their phones - and that doesn't even include things like taking calls. Cutting back on this means we now have time in the evenings to really concentrate on our family. Activities you engage in for extended amounts of time can literally change your brain, which is why it's so important to make time for positive behaviours like meditation or time spent outdoors.

Following on from this, Darren has now also deleted the Facebook app from his phone - taking it one step further! Social media is literally designed to be difficult to stop using, and like any other addiction removing the temptation is an important step. For example, "likes" literally train our brains to associate going on social media with receiving a reward.

We've been Pavlov'd! If freeing yourself from the trap of social media is something you're interested in this year, then don't worry if you find it difficult. Symptoms like becoming stressed when you can't check your phone or reaching for it in your pocket when it's not there are actually recognised symptoms of withdrawal.