Every day, we wake up picking up our phones and scrolling through our Timeline; for some people, their first interaction is social media. In the past few weeks, the news on social media has not been pleasing to the ears. Still, we just keep going back there. For some people, social media is their safe space and where they get all the validation, “i.e., step on our necks, we’re your carpet” Still, I need you to understand that the buzz on the media can affect your mental health, and when it does, you should remember to take a step back.
In this article, I will be speaking to the methods and ways you can protect your mental space and health from social media. As much as you think you may not need this, it is essential to take these necessary steps and share with your friends and loved ones that may need this.
Limit When and Where You Use Social Media
Using social media, a lot of times can become exhausting and tiring. It affects in-person communication and also distracts you from getting things done. With social media, you need to be able to adopt self-discipline. Know when to use it and when to put down your phone. With the recent happenings in the country, some people have gone into depression, anger, fear, and severe pain, which has affected their mental health. Therefore, take a break from social media when necessary and know when to leave social media to protect your mental space.
Pay Attention To What You Do And How You Feel
I agree that no one can tell you how to feel or what to feel. But you can manage how you feel. Experiment using your favorite online platforms at different times of the day and for varying lengths of time, to see how you feel during and after each session. You may discover that spending shorter hours on social media makes you feel better than spending close to an hour on the TL. And if you find that going down Instagram or Twitter rabbit hole at midnight leaves you feeling bad about yourself, delete those platforms after a temporary. Whenever possible, focus your online interactions on people you also know offline.
Use Other People’s Posts As Inspiration Rather Than Comparison
Social media is a platform where people let you into their personal lives. Now, this is not the place where you compare your success to theirs. I’ve had a lot of people tell me how they’re depressed because their friends are doing better, and they showcase their lives on social media. You need to understand that these moments aren’t actual representations of someone’s whole life, and the person posting them is probably struggling with a lot of the things you are struggling with. Look at these posts as an inspiration for you to work towards your own goals, rather than directly comparing your daily life to their lives on Instagram, this is a healthier way to view posts on social media. It’s also good to be selective about who you follow. If someone’s posts consistently make you feel bad about yourself or get you frustrated, consider unfollowing.
Approach Social Media Mindfully; Ask ‘Why?’
If you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is go through Twitter, you need to think about why you’re going there, whether it’s to get informed about breaking news or if it’s a mindless habit that serves as an escape from facing the day ahead. Do you notice that you get a craving to look at Instagram whenever you’re feeling you can’t achieve a task or be better at something? You have to be brave and sincerely honest with yourself. Each time you pick up your phone (or computer) to check social media, answer the hard question: Why am I doing this now?
Cut Your Followers and The People You’re Following
Over time, you are likely to make many online friends, contacts, and people and organizations. Some content may be interesting to you, some boring, some triggering, or even worse. You need to understand the energy you get from each person. If this energy doesn’t match yours, now is the time to unfollow, mute or hide contacts. It will make your life and social media space healthy. Another suggested tip is to follow people whose social media include inspirational stories, experienced gratitude, vitality, and awe. Cutting some “friends” off and adding a few motivational or funny sites is likely to decrease social media’s harmful effects.
Put Your Mental Health First
Check-in with yourself, and if you’re feeling down, maybe you need to speak to a friend in person rather than spending time online. If getting notifications throughout the day makes you feel stressed or anxious, then it will be a good idea to disable push notifications, so you only see alerts when you sign in manually.
Social media is very powerful; as much as it can enhance your life, it can also become an additional burden and stress. It can lead to anxiety and depression. No one should have the power to stress your mental health, not even social media.
It will be best if you tried some of the tips listed above to help you keep your social media space healthy. Using some of these tips can help you create healthy social media habits that create balance in your life, protect your mental health, and make your social media a positive force rather than a negative one.
If you feel that social media is impacting your mood more than it should, and taking a break isn’t helping you find relief, consider reaching out and speaking with someone. If you need to talk to someone at any point, you can talk to us, and we’re ready to help.