5 Things to Do Instead of Doom Scrolling

Kindling’s Five Antidotes to Digital Doom Scrolling

Keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of very important issues and events affecting our day-to-day existence can be overwhelming.

Something we learn as Burners, and as everyday humans, is that a change of scene into immediate reality is the key to shifting your mindset away from today’s constant parade of digital distractions. All around you there are wondrous things to do. You just need to open your eyes to the possibilities.

We call that the Principle of Immediacy:

From the 10 Principles of Burning Man:

Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

What does it mean to kick the doom scrolling habit through immediacy? Here are our digital vice-breakers — five things you can do now to disengage, unplug, and EMBRACE THE NOW.

Make some art.

Everyone is an artist, even YOU. Back away from the laptop, put down the phone, and pick up that thing you started, or never started and always wanted to. If that doesn’t exist, surely you must have a pencil and paper. Make something for someone you love (and yes, that someone can be you).

Phone someone you care about.

We may think we’re always in touch because we see their updates on social media. But when was the last time you spoke with that person who you haven’t seen for months? They may live a few blocks away, but with COVID-19, it’s been a while. It might feel good to hear their voice.

Commune with the trees.

No doubt your doom scrolling has introduced you to the myriad benefits of forest bathing. Whatever the weather, back away from the electronics and find your nearest green space, preferably with trees. You don’t have to be weird and hug them (unless you want to). Take off your headphones and just take a walk among the trees. Immerse your senses in their sights, sounds, and textures. Thank you, trees. We love you.

Cook a meal for someone.

Making food for someone else is always more fun than cooking for yourself. Chances are, you have a friend or neighbor who is struggling to put food on the table. It may or may not be due to economics. Maybe they’re overworked, or they have small children in tow. Whatever the reason, everyone appreciates a casserole or a dozen freshly-baked cookies.

Follow your curiosity.

Within one square mile of where you are currently sitting, there is something you don’t understand. Maybe it’s your vacuum cleaner, or maybe it’s something more esoteric (What was William James really talking about?). Nothing is so urgent in life that you can’t take a couple hours off to read up and learn how, or find out why, or shed light on something obscure.

Your checklist of non-doom-scrolly things you can do every day:

Go outside.

Connect with a friend.

Cook a healthy meal.

Stretch your body.

Get some sleep.