Guest Blog: How to Help Protect your Mental Health on Social Media
Social media has made the world a much smaller place, with everything available at the click of a button. However, while it certainly can be a force for good, it also has the power to impact our mental health in a negative way. As someone who spends a lot of time on social media, we caught up with content-creator, Amelia Goodhead – also known as xAmeliax – about her top tips for protecting her mental health online. Here’s what she said…
“In today’s day and age, we get a lot of our information online. News, tv shows, recipes, DIY tutorials – they’re all there at our fingertips to scroll through within seconds. It’s no wonder a lot of us are addicted to our phones and find hours of the day disappearing with the flick of a thumb.
But while social media can bring hours of entertainment, it can also be, when left unchecked, quite detrimental to our mental health. It’s important to keep track of how we feel when we start to scroll and protect ourselves from the dark side of social media. Here’s some tips on how you can do just that…
Understand That It’s OK to Unfollow
Think of the different stages you’ve been through in your life so far. Tastes change, interests diversify and we ourselves evolve. So it goes without saying that the accounts that make us feel good (or bad) will do the same. It’s important to understand that it’s ok to unfollow accounts if they’re no longer bringing you joy when they pop up on your timeline.
TRY THIS: Open up one of your social media apps and have a scroll down the feed. Stop at every new post and see how that makes you feel. Does it make you smile? Not interest you at all? Or worse, make you feel bad about yourself or your life in some way? You may have loved that account last year. But if it makes you feel bad now, it might just be time for a cleanse.
It’s not necessarily them, or you, it may be that their content just isn’t relatable right now for you and your life which is nothing to feel bad about. Take a look at some of the accounts repeatedly posting content that no longer makes you feel good and think about muting or unfollowing.
Keeping your feed a happy place FOR YOU is key to protecting your mental health online.
Stop Hate Following
Hate Following is a term used to describe purposefully following a person online that makes you angry, upset or miserable. While it seems silly, you may be surprised to see that you’re also hate following a few accounts yourself. Those posts that make you roll your eyes or spark that burning feeling of jealousy in your tummy? That’s a hate follow.
Some people hate follow accounts purely to have something to talk about with others online or via messages. It serves as a distraction from issues and insecurities in their own lives and enables them to feel better for a short period by making fun of another person. Others don’t even know they’re doing it. But either way, hate following can be incredibly bad for your mental health. Exposing yourself to content that makes you feel angry, jealous or upset can be a roller coaster of emotions and it’s important to watch out for when scrolling down your feed.
Limit Your Time Online
Finally, limiting your time online can be a great way to help control your mental health with social media. Make use of time limiting apps that kick you off once you’ve hit your daily quota! Or simply turn your phone off or switch it into do not disturb mode after a certain time in the evening. These two hacks help you limit exposure to other people’s lives online…and spend a little more time living yours.
What are your top tips for staying happy online?”
If you’re struggling with your mental health and would like any advice or support, Living Well UK is here to help. You can call us for free on 0121 663 1217 or go online for our live chatline, where one of our specialist team members will be on-hand to talk and share any guidance.