It’s time to check in with yourself and put your mental health first! That means checking in on your relationship with social media. Social Media has become such a big part of our lives and sometimes we don’t even realize how much time we spend on our feeds or how it’s affecting our thoughts, mood, or self-perception. Today we’re coming at you with some tips on how to navigate social media in a healthy way. Take a look!
The first and most important way to navigate social media is with kindness. Share positive content, be supportive of others, send helpful messages, and be generous with positive feedback on content or photos. If you wouldn’t have an in-person conversation and say the same things you’re putting out on social media, consider not saying it at all. Always remember that words matter and think carefully about what you’re putting out there. You have the power to be kind! Spread the love!
Be picky about who you follow and what content you take into your mind and heart. Evaluate your social media feed and ask yourself: how does this make me feel? Am I feeling informed or stressed? Are photos of friends making me feel good or envious? Be sure to fill your social media platforms with motivating content or positive creators that help you grow, feel confident, develop skills, etc. You can follow friends, family, athletes, actors, entrepreneurs, you name it! Just make sure you feel good about what you’re viewing. If someone’s posts are consistently making you feel bad about yourself or frustrated, consider unfollowing that person. It’s okay to be picky!
Be Mindful of Time
As with most things, balance is key. Consider setting aside time when you can scroll through social media and times when you ignore notifications completely. If you do, you’ll have more time for exercise, hobbies, developing skills, trying new things, you name it! Most phones have some kind of screen time function where you can limit yourself to an hour on Instagram or whatever social media app pulls you in. That way you know exactly how much time you’re spending on your favorite app. Being more intentional about your screen time will likely help any anxiety or stress you may be feeling in general.
Look at posts as inspiration for you to work toward your own goals instead of directly comparing your daily life to someone else’s Instagram. Learning to see inspiration vs. comparison is the healthiest way to view social media! Seeing other people post about their successes and post-perfect moments might make your daily life look drab in comparison. But remember that these moments aren’t giving you the full and realistic picture. Just like you, people you follow are dealing with their own mental health, family issues, work responsibilities, and much much more. We really are all in this together (cue High-School Musical) so seek to inspire those around you and be inspired in return.
Be Where You Are
Stay connected to real life by living in the present and satisfying your need for human connection. Being on social media can help enhance your life, but it can also easily become a stressor. If you’re out to dinner or swimming with friends, don’t interrupt what you’re doing to post. Be where you are and post later! Want to check in with a friend and see how they’re doing? Call them to meet up in real life instead of checking their Instagram. Spend time with friends and family, go for walks, do activities together, anything that provides similar stimulation and leaves you feeling focused and relaxed. And the good news is… you don’t HAVE to post about whatever you're doing. It could just be something you experience and value privately.
Our biggest hope is that you remember how amazing you are! Social media makes it easy to forget that we are doing a good job, our bodies are perfect the way they are, and that we have value beyond likes or online interactions. Take these tips to heart and see if it helps build your confidence, relationships, and overall well being. Cheers to mental health!
Kortni + Team