We’ve all been there. You’re casually checking social media and you come across a post where someone “looks” like they’re doing something incredible — and you haven’t even gotten out of bed yet. But comparing yourself to what you see on social media doesn’t feel good and can make it seem like you aren’t doing enough with your life. We’re here to share tips to help change your mindset when you’re browsing through social media and realize that you have just as awesome of a life as everyone else you see. Learn how to love yourself and not let social media steal your joy (while still enjoying that daily scroll).
Can Social Media Affect Your Mental Health?
In our modern, ‘gram devoted society, many people, men and women alike, compare their lives to those they see on social media. While being active on social media is great for staying in touch with friends and family, an excessive amount of time spent on social accounts can strain your mental health in a negative way. There have been many studies conducted that explore the effects, both positive and negative, that social media can have on mental health.
In addition, many studies show that too much time spent on social media can be harmful to young girls, especially. Some interviewed said that not only are they aware that their social media use could be harmful, but they’re also torn by the feelings of being “left out” if they did not participate. Girls report increased feelings of self-consciousness from too much comparison to often “overly polished” social media profiles, as well as feelings of depression and an increase in instances of self-harm and even suicide (a sad statistic affecting girls and boys). While many parents must struggle with issues of limiting social media or screen time for their childrens’ sake, as adults, we also have to assess how our relationship with social media is affecting our own mental health.
Signs that Social Media is Negatively Impacting Your Life
There are specific signs that you can look for to determine whether social media is having a potentially harmful impact on your life. Identifying these signs can help you improve your relationship with social media and encourage you to engage in that all important self love. Some of the most common signs of a negative impact, include:
- You want to spend more time on social media than you do with your friends in real life.
- You constantly compare your life to other people’s lives on social media through what they share.
- You seem distracted from work or school because you feel the need to check social media on a regular basis.
- You struggle with sleeping at night due to the urge to check social media accounts.
- You experience worsening symptoms of anxiety and depression after checking social media.
Tips for Protecting Yourself From Negative Social Media Effects
There are many different ways you can approach handling social media so that it’s a positive experience rather than a negative one. Some of the best tips for helping to protect yourself from the negative effects that social media bring include small steps you can start taking today!
- Set a limit: Create boundaries to limit when you log onto social media such as only a certain amount of time per day.
- Create a non-social schedule: Schedule periods of time where you have a complete break from social media to focus on something important.
- Step outside the box: Pay attention to the certain things that trigger you on social media to feel anxious and/or depressed.
- Be mindful while you scroll: Take a mindful approach to social media to understand why you are spending the time you do browsing.
- Remember what’s “real”: Ensure that social media does not replace your real life.
Hope is a huge advocate for self-care and taking the time to be present in the moment. Whether you take a small amount of time for yourself to do a skincare routine or take yourself out to dinner, it’s important to live in the moment and understand that everything you see on social media might not always be real life for people.
As you get ready to practice daily self-care in the form of a beauty or exercise routine, also consider the tips above to form a healthy relationship with social media.