Today is World Mental Health day. Have you ever thought about how using social media can both positively and negatively impact your mental health?
Social media is great for connecting and keeping informed, but it can also have a negative impact on us.
Ever notice yourself:
- feeling down or angry because of what others post,
- constantly comparing yourself to others online,
- trying to portray the “perfect” life,
- regularly distracted by your phone
- staying awake for far too long at night,
All of these can be detrimental to our mental health but here are five ways to change these negatives into positives and help you to Thrive online:
- Be kind online – social media can be cruel, just talk to most celebrities, politicians or anyone in the public eye who have been on the receiving end of trolling. It’s important that we all think of the impact of the comments we make, the likes and emojis we are posting: Is it Kind?
- Don’t let comparison steal your joy – comparing ourselves (our bodies, features, hair, houses, cars, our food!) with others online is a natural human response. To be constantly comparing ourselves, to fill our newsfeeds with models, celebrities and people who have been blessed with good looks but also excellent editing skills and great lighting is not going to make us feel so good about ourselves! So, be kind to yourself! Be intentional about who or what is filling up your newsfeed.
- Portray real life not an edited version – we all want to look our best in photographs, we all want to show our lives in the best possible light. No-one posts about the dull, boring, everyday moments. Pause and think about how you are portraying your life online and as for these dull, boring, everyday moments? Let’s remind ourselves they exist in everyone else’s life too.
- Detox every now and again – switch your notifications off, remove the apps from your home screen, go for a walk, camp in a field, and live in the moment.
- Don’t let social media be a sleep thief – one of the best things we can do for our mental health is get a good night’s sleep. Switch off your phone at bedtime and do not let the little blue lights keep you awake.