Using social media can sometimes feel like a great balancing act. It comes with both positives and negatives that can tip you over the edge when you least expect it. And while social media is an incredible tool in building relationships and forming amazing connections, along with creating conversations about well-loved brands, talking through heartfelt issues, and maintaining a sense of beauty in an often ugly world… there have also been a few negatives when it comes to social media use. It’s easy to get sucked into everyone’s highlight reels, and we begin playing the comparison game all too easily. (Trust me, we’ve all been there!)
Below, we’re going to breakdown a few ways in which you can practice healthy social media habits to help transform your mind and form best practices around your social media activities. We’ll also touch on ways in which you can cultivate the power of positive thinking through social media.
Eleven Tips for Social Media Mental Health
1. Don’t Compare
If you take anything away from this resource, it should be this: DON’T EVER COMPARE yourself to what you see on Instagram. While Instagram is a beautiful form of expression, it should never lead you to feel down about everything that’s beautiful in your own life. Instagram is the perfect tool for sharing who you are and expressing yourself, but the minute you start to feel it’s negative effects, it might mean you need to take a little break every now and then.
2. Cleanse Your Feed
When was the last time you checked who you’re following on Instagram? It’s always great to cleanse your feed now and then if you see things that you don’t particularly like anymore. Sometimes the best thing we can do is give ourselves a little refresh, and when we see content that we don’t resonate with anymore, it’s okay to hit “unfollow.”
3. Track Screen Time Through the App
Did you know that you have a screen time app on your phone? You can use it to track your screen time every day as well as a way to set daily limits for yourself while you’re using other apps. Setting limits for screen time during the day and week can help free up time for other things, like taking a walk, reading a good book, cooking a favourite meal with your partner, or indulging in a good glass of wine + long bath.
4. The Power of Muting
You can use muting to hide Instagram posts or stories from people you follow without having to hit the “unfollow” button and dealing with that awkward run-in afterward. Here’s how: 1. Go to someone’s profile on IG & hit those three little dots at the top, 2. Hit “mute” and then decide when you want to mute their stories, posts, or both, 3. Once you’ve chosen what you prefer, you will no longer see that person’s content on your feed!
5. Use Social Media as Inspiration
Redesigning your kids room? Want a new hairstyle? Social media makes finding inspiration easy. Using social media as a tool to be creative and stay inspired is what I believe it was meant for. Check out our Pinterest page HERE as a great example.
6. See the Beauty in Social
There have been so many wonderful instances where social media has come into play. Whether it’s been connecting loved ones that are oceans apart, fundraising and drawing attention to worthwhile causes, to forming lasting relationships and helping those in need. Social media can be a beautiful connector and a powerful tool.
7. Optimise it’s Networking Powers
Social Media leads to so many amazing networking opportunities. And if you run your own business, it’s such a great networking tool when connecting influencers, brands, and companies alike. You can build lasting connections through social. Check out people like Tracy Harris from Mums with Hustle on instagram (@mumswithhustle) and you will see what I mean.
8. Take a Detox
Sometimes all you need is a little digital detox. Whether you’re choosing to take a Sunday or Saturday away from social media, or a certain amount of time per day away from the phone… this can help shift your focus on other important things like tasks, friends & family, self-care, and so much more. Or do as Arianna Huffington does and literally tuck your phone into bed each night. Just make sure you do it outside of your own bedroom.
9. Go black and white
How often do you open your phone to send a text, see the blue Facebook icon, and without even thinking, decide to click it. Now your scrolling, and when you’re done, you head back to the home screen and see the bright multi coloured Instagram icon and and are drawn to click that as well. Before you know it, you’ve wasted 15 minutes using social media. Switching your phone over into grayscale mode actually gears you to use your phone in the most basic way possible, that is, instead of being drawn into the colourful phone world, it bores us, so we’re more enticed to lift our heads and experience the real world instead.
To turn your iPhone into Grayscale mode for the first time select Settings – General – Accessibility – Display Accommodations – Colour Filters – Turn Colour Filters On – Select Grayscale.
To shortcut it and to switch back and forth between grayscale and normal colour mode select Settings – General – Accessibility, then scroll down to Accessibility Shortcuts, then select Colour Filters. Now, with a triple click of the home button, you can switch back and forth between colour and greyscale whenever you need a break.
10. Practice Balance
With all things in life, we should always try to have a balance. You can restructure your days when it comes to screen time too! Do you normally look at your phone first thing in the morning? Try allotting that time to yoga instead. Do you typically reach for your phone right before bed? Try reading a few chapters in a new book instead. Find ways to balance all of the things that you love by setting aside a healthy amount of time for each one.
11. Stay True to Yourself
Always be true to yourself and the content that you want to share. Cultivate the power of positive thinking by using social media as a tool to take pride in your accomplishments and share your passions with others. Everyone on social media is looking for connection, and by letting your true self shine your opening up the possibility of making them.