Social media has a big impact on the mental health of all generations. I’m sure with the launching of sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., these creators intended to create a platform to give people the chance to connect, with good intentions. Unfortunately, the creation of social media sites have also indirectly created a network of ornery individuals who’ve been given a platform to do what they do best, spread negativity. Social media platforms are a narcissist‘s playground, and many of us with mental illness have fallen victim to their attacks. Still, without social media we wouldn’t be able to connect with people in the ways that we do or use our platforms to inspire change and positivity in our community. Here’s how to tune out the haters, know when to step away, unplug & just breathe.
Seriously, just stop. I know this one is hard, trust me. If you’re like me, you wake up and you’re laying in bed, first thing you do is grab your phone. I always try to start out productive, turning off my alarm, checking my email and whatnot, but I somehow always end up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. If there’s anything that can instantly ruin your day from the moment you wake up, it’s seeing less than favorable posts on social media. Whether you end up in a heated argument or just feeling annoyed by seeing your uncle’s seventh unsavory meme of the day, if you find yourself in a bad mood from the moment you scroll through your accounts, that’s a pretty good sign it’s time to unplug. Utilize the screen time notifications in the settings of your phone. I have mine set to 4 hours a day (which I’m considering lowering now) and my phone will send me a reminder if I’m spending too much time on social media. Pay attention to the daily and weekly reports of your screen time settings, it will help you figure out what your spending too much time on.
Write it out, then delete it
This one was actually suggested to me by my good friend Marina. I used to be a firm believer of “just keep scrolling” when I saw something that upset me on social media. Something that I noticed about that method though, just because it leaves your sight doesn’t mean it leaves your mind. I would find myself scrolling back to it, reading it again, still fuming about it and wanting to comment. That method gets you nowhere and can still leave you in a cranky mood. So I tried what my friend suggested, and it works! Type up what you want, everything you are feeling, its okay to cuss or to say unkind things or try to change their mind, type it all out. Then delete it. This method works best in a notes app on your phone, to prevent you from accidentally sending it. The feeling of getting it out is freeing, and you don’t have to actually be a jerk to do that.
Airplane mode on, earbuds in
When I am in a bad mood or filled with negativity, I like to sing it out. The type of music you listen to is an important factor though. Listening to screaming death metal when you’re angry or depressing country ballads when your sad completely defeats the purpose. It doesn’t get you out of that mindset or help calm you down. Choose instead to listen to what I call feel good music. Feel good music is the kind that gets your heart pumping just a little, can sometimes leave you with goosebumps, and has the lyrics that speak to your soul like only music can. So turn your airplane mode on, put your ear buds in, and let music therapy do the rest. To hear my playlist of feel good music, click here.
Science has proven that exercise releases endorphins, or as I like to call it, the “happy” chemical in our body. Did you know that endorphins actually trigger a positive feeling in our body, similar to that of morphine? Now, don’t go out and try to get yourself some morphine, that would be counterproductive and silly, considering our body makes that for free and without side effects! The best way to get those endorphins in your body is to get regular exercise. You don’t need to be a fitness guru to make that happen. Go take your dog or your kids on a walk. Don’t have a dog or kids? Grab your partner and go on a short hike, start a competitive sprint with your partner, or just find an easy trail located near you using AllTrails. Even if you can’t go out, there are plenty of workouts you can do at home that get your blood pumping and your body moving. There will always be an excuse not to exercise, but let me tell you this. If you had time to read this post, you definitely have time to get moving. So what are you waiting for?
There will always be naysayers and haters when it comes to the internet. We don’t have to let it affect our mental health though. We have the power to choose what we do with our life and our time. If you find yourself in a rut, day after day, and can’t seem to shake out all the negativity, just unplug and breathe.
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