by: Medi Woldemichael, Manning School of Business Well-being Leader
Social Media has become an accepted practice in our daily lives. By the time you’ve read this, you’ve likely already used a variety of social media platforms today, and you’ll see even more by the end of the day. That’s not something inherently “good” or “bad”; instead, it’s a new aspect of our social life to be mindful of, especially in relation to mental health. To ensure that social media benefits your health, you must know how you use it. Here are some tips for maintaining mental health while enjoying social media’s benefits:
Know your Purpose.
Knowing why you use social media will help you focus on that goal and spot it when it has been achieved. For example, if you’re using a social network to remain in touch with friends and family who don’t live nearby, then use and appreciate it for that—but if you find yourself perusing your feed, getting lost in hours of random videos, or Instagram stalking celebrities, understanding your purpose might help you remind yourself: this isn’t why I’m here. Knowing your purpose and when you’ve strayed from it helps you get back on track and get the most out of your time on social media.
View Other People’s Posts as Inspiration Rather than a Comparison.
Your daily life may seem doubtful compared to others’ achievements and picture-perfect moments when you see them shared online. But remember that these moments don’t reflect someone’s whole life, and the person is probably dealing with many of the same problems as you. A healthy approach to using social media is to use these postings as motivation to work toward your own goals rather than simply comparing your life to that of their Instagram. It’s also
beneficial to choose who you follow carefully. Consider unfriending or unfollowing someone if their posts frequently frustrate you or make you feel bad about yourself.
Take a social media break.
A break from social media is sometimes needed. You do not have to delete your account entirely and stop using social media. However, taking a break will help you reset your mindset to resume better, more deliberate habits. You may use several practical strategies to step away from social media, such as muting notifications or turning off your phone. Overusing your phone can lead to loneliness and low self-esteem. Putting your phone away from time to time might help mitigate some of these emotions.
Prioritize self-care first. It can be especially beneficial to substitute your social media use with other mood-boosting activities that do not require your phone. Try one of these healthier options when you feel the need to check your phone and start scrolling:
– Make plans to meet up with friends in person.
– Go for a walk, hike, or bike ride
– Cook your favorite meal
– Journal for 20 minutes
Social media’s effect on your mental health often depends on how you use it and why. It can have long-lasting effects on our mental health and well-being. Depending on how you utilize it, it can have different outcomes. Trying to set time apart from your phone to enjoy other amenities will help with mental health and other parts of health.