Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Hey sis, put your phone down… well, after you read this.
When the world is as heavy as it has been, sometimes it’s best to take a step back, put your phone down and decompress. Even on a normal basis social media can have quite a big impact on your mental health.
On an average we spend 2-4 hours roaming in our little social environments in the palm of our hand, which can equate to 2,600 taps (It sounds very excessive but not at all surprising). So, at what point does it become just a little addicting?
SOCIAL MEDIA IS "DESSERT"
Imagine eating your favorite dessert, and all the flavors bursting throughout your taste buds (my dessert of choice, triple chocolate cake, Matilda style). It’s the first bite and after that you want more, and more, and more. A chemical in your brain release and that chemical is DOPAMINE. The feel-good chemical that makes you want more of that release! That same chemical releases when you get those notifications, likes, comments, shares, and even your reactions to all the good and bad news it has to offer. This can lead to us checking in for the rush of dopamine so often that it turns into a habit. Now out of boredom, here we go, checking our phones.
OK, WHAT ELSE SIS!?
Let’s also talk about how social media can have us a feeling a little inadequate at times. I mean come on, it’s a place where people go to highlight their best moments and their best looks. It can leave us in a state of comparison and questioning if we have enough or if we are good enough (I’ll be one to admit, I get stuck in that rut sometimes). This can lead to low self-esteem and a depressive episode. (We do not need that in our lives!)
ONE MORE THING
Constantly having all these connections at the tip of our fingers can cause a continuous state of anxiety, fear of missing out (FOMO) and depression. On a regular basis, throughout these past months especially, we have been exposed to a lot of violence, hate and horrible news. It has been overwhelming to say the least. Yes, it’s good to be in the know, but sometimes it’s best for yourself and your mental state if you take a break. There is only so much that you and your heart can take.
Tips for Maintaining Balance
Pick 1-2 days out of the week to stay off social media. Take this time to be present where you are and enjoy the physical beings around you, try new activities, etc.
Set a social media limit. Limit yourself to no more than 2 hours of social media per day. Once that time is up, the time is up. This will help you use social media wisely and stop you from mindlessly roaming (I personally think it’s a state of hypnosis, but that’s just me).
Practice meditation often. This will help with feelings of anxiety and get your body use to being in a state of stillness and quietness, which don’t come often these days. BE INTENTIONAL.
Stimulate your mind! Dive into some good reads or just expand your knowledge. Put that brain to use!
New experiences. Try something new and get more excited about life, keep it to yourself and enjoy it.
Remember, your mental is your everything.