Social media is one of the best ways to remain in contact with friends and family regardless of distance. It has proved to be one of the greatest innovations in communication in the past 10 years. But with all good things comes major drawbacks. Studies have found that prolonged use of social media can increase feelings of anxiety, depression, physical ailments, and decreased self-esteem. This can come from comparing ourselves to others, seeing the world’s current events with constant negative commentary, or simply distracting us from more important things. These come as no surprise to anyone who has spent some time on these platforms and has left many of us wondering what we can do to improve our mental health in the age of social media.
- Take a break. One of the best ways to help fight the stress and anxiety that social media creates is to take a short break. These breaks allow us to center ourselves and understand the importance of stopping to look at the little things happening around us. Many people aim to take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks off just depending on what they see as necessary.
- Connect in a different way. Many of us use our social media to try and connect with loved ones who may be far away and difficult to see in person. Try to reach out to them whether it be over text or a quick phone call to see how they are doing. This not only helps you see the full picture of how their life is but also comes with all of the benefits of standard methods of connection.
- Focus on the little things. There are many times we find ourselves comparing what others “have” or what they are doing. This not only develops envy and jealousy in our relationships with these people but it can also cause feelings of inadequacy on our part. Focusing on the little things that we have in our lives can be a tremendous benefit in stabilizing ourselves and maintaining a healthy relationship with others.
- Set a stopping time each day. Try setting a time each evening when you put your phone down, and stay off social media the rest of the night. This allows you to spend time with yourself or your loved ones without interruption, thus focusing more on what’s in front of you.
These are just a few different ways that we can try to reduce the strain that social media can put on us. Remember that you can always reach out to Portage Path to hear about the treatment options we offer. We are looking forward to hearing from you!