8 Ways to Unplug from Social Media [GUEST POST]

Woman relaxes by reading on a dock
Sometimes we all just need to unplug. (Photo courtesy Canva)

Social media can be great – but taking a break is important for your mental health. Like Jessica in my novel Everything is Fine sometimes I need to remind myself how to find happiness in real life too. Here are some of the things me and my kids do to de-stress.


Appreciate nature.

I’m lucky to live in rural France where we get to see some fantastic sunrises and sunsets. When everything gets too much, sitting back and appreciating our surroundings can be really grounding. Plus, it’s something I can do while the kids race around, burning off energy.


Chill with the family.

Before lockdown, we used to spend a lot of time at the softplay centre. Since we can’t go there at the moment, we’ve had to improvise. The kids have found dried leaves to be a great substitute for ball pits. And I can’t complain – I’ve saved a fortune!


Get cooking.

I have to cook two meals a day for very hungry kids, so don’t always enjoy meal preparation. But I do like cooking when there’s no pressure – when you’re making something for fun or for a treat. Recently, I bought these recipe cards to record my favourite recipes on. There’s only one completed so far – for chocolate cake.


Hang out.

There’s more than one way to hang out, as Joe demonstrates in this picture… I prefer to relax on the garden bench while he does his thing. But each to their own!


Have a relaxing bath.

There’s nothing quite like sinking into a bubble bath at the end of a long day. Although the kids prefer to pretend to swim, use up all the bubble bath or splash so much that the floor ends up soaked. Still, it’s good fun.


Practice your makeup.

So there are no parties going on right now, but why not spend your extra free time perfecting your makeup? Here’s Lily, Evie and Robbie modelling their latest look…


Practice your singing.

 It’s time to get creative! Whether you yearn for stardom or – like me – can barely hold a tune, singing can be wonderfully therapeutic (just make sure the neighbours are out).


Read a good book.

There are so many great books to choose from! But if you fancy something funny and uplifting with a poignant message, my novel Everything is Fine is out today and I’d love you to give it a go.  

[Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post are provided by Gillian Harvey.]

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Orion Books

Jessica Bradley has it all. Gorgeous boyfriend, perfect daughter, successful PR business, influential healthy eating blog. At least, that’s what her followers believe.

IRL, her boyfriend just left her over Post-it, she’s been eating more chocolate cookies than kale, and her perky online persona has never been further from the truth…

But Jessica knows you have to fake it till you make it. Some little white lies, a few staged Instagram pics, and she can keep pretending that everything is fine. Bust as her life starts to spiral out of control, how can Jessica tell the truth from the tweets? And will she recognise real happiness when it’s right in front of her?

Hilarious, heartwarming, and oh-so-relatable, prepare to fall in love with Jessica Bradley’s search for happiness. Perfect for fans of Louise Pentland, Anna Bell and Lindsey Kelk.

Gillian Harvey
Gillian Harvey


Gillian Harvey writes nonfiction articles for UK magazines and newspapers, as well as short stories for several different publications.

Everything is Fine is her first novel and was released by Orion Fiction in May 2020 (UK) and is due for release in paperback in January in the US. Her second novel, Perfect on Paper, is due for a UK release in May 2021.

She lives in France with her long-suffering husband Ray and their five children: Lily, Joe, Tim, Evie and Robbie.

To find out more, visit GillianHarvey.com, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Gillian Harvey
384 pp. Orion. $15.99

Order Everything is Fine direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionHalf Price BooksHudson Booksellers, or IndieBound.

About Gillian Harvey
I'm the author of 'Everything Is Fine,' 'Perfect on Paper,' and 'A Year at the French Farmhouse.' I currently live in France with my five young children and long-suffering husband.

One Response to 8 Ways to Unplug from Social Media [GUEST POST]

  1. A lovely post with great tips. Thanks for sharing! 💜

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