HOW TO PROTECT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHILE USING SOCIAL MEDIA
In today’s TALA Talks, @harrietemilyprior helps you protect your mental health whilst using social media.
Social media is both a friend and a foe. One minute you’re making a recipe or completing a workout courtesy of your favourite influencer, and the next you’re left feeling inadequate as you compare yourself to a neverending reel of perfect pictures. Using social media consciously is key, so below are our top tips for getting the most out of social media with mental health as the priority.
Cull the perfect accounts: please take this as the sign you’ve been waiting for to unfollow or mute any accounts that make you feel inadequate, unattractive, or unworthy. Whilst you may think you enjoy following the workout regime of your favourite model, you have to question whether this is beneficial for your mental wellbeing. Go through the accounts you follow, reflect on whether the content they post makes you feel good about yourself, and hit the unfollow button to any that don’t. It’s not rude, it’s simply self-care
Stay off social media in the morning: you’ve just woken from a good night’s sleep, so rather than grabbing for your phone and comparing yourself to others, switch up your morning routine. Make yourself a coffee, practice a guided meditation or yoga, and take a moment to write down the things you’re grateful for
- Follow accounts that align with your purpose: the accounts you follow dictate the content you consume daily, so make sure you follow accounts that align with your purpose. Whether it’s sustainable brands, body confidence influencers, or parents bloggers that show the trials and tribulations of everyday life, make your Instagram account a reflection of your beliefs
Limit your screen time: we all know how easy it is to accidentally spend an hour mindlessly scrolling through your phone and then subsequently wonder where the time has gone. Check your screen time on your phone, notice which apps you are using the most, and set limits to the amount of time you spend on each. This will give you more time to look up and notice what’s happening around you in daily life
Remember Instagram is a highlight reel: the little squares you see on Instagram are the best (and often heavily filtered) parts of people’s lives. Please remind yourself of this on a daily basis. For many models and influencers, Instagram is a full-time job and they put hours into creating perfect content. Remember you do not see the 100 other photos that didn’t make the cut
Avoid dwelling on likes: we’re all guilty of fixating and seeking gratification from the number of likes we get on our posts, but try and remember who you are posting for. If you love the photo, then does it really matter what anyone else thinks?
- Have a media detox: it’s the only ‘detox’ I will ever advocate, but if this article has resonated with you, consider taking a period of time away. Use that time to ask yourself why you use it, what you get out of it, and whether taking a timeout has been mentally beneficial.
Most of all, remember that your mental health should be at the forefront of all the decisions you make. Be kind to yourself and make the changes you need to help protect your wellbeing.