Social media has the potential to add joy to our lives but it can also be anxiety inducing. Luckily, there are ways to ensure that social media adds joy without having a detrimental effect on your mental health. Here are 8 ways to take care of yourself:
1. Limit your time.
Keeping your daily usage of SM to a time limit of 30 minutes can help boost your overall happiness. A study done at the University of Pennsylvaniahad unequivocal results: “Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness.”
2. Limit Comparison
As Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Continually comparing yourself to others is a destructive habit. Do whatever you can to remember that the “perfect” life people present on social media is rarely a good representation of reality.
3. Turn off notifications and uninstall apps.
Constant interruptions in the form of push notifications don’t help your happiness. Turn notifications off and consider uninstalling social media apps from your phone. You can still use and enjoy social media but it doesn’t have to intrude into every minute of your life.
4. Consider a cleanse.
Taking a conscious break every once in a while is a good idea. You can try a weekly screen-free Sunday. Or try taking a weekend off a month. If you’re really addicted, a total pause of a few weeks might be just the break you need.
5. Connect virtually with family members and people that care about you.
Make plans with the people who love you. Have virtual dinners with your family. Go for virtual cocktails with your friends – and just laugh!
Those accounts that always make you feel unhappy or jealous or angry? Unfollow them!
7. Use social media for positive habit change.
Join groups and follow accounts that will help you make positive healthy changes to your life. If you’re trying to be healthier in any way, there is undoubtedly a social media group out there that can help support you on that journey.
8. Take a walk.
If the weather is nice, go outside and take a long walk. Walking is very healthy mentally and physically. If you can’t go outside, shut off all electronics, open a book and read for an hour or two. Lose yourself in the story and your stress will melt away.