It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme is all about the power of kindness.
Whilst social media acts as a source of inspiration, connecting people across the globe, it also has the ability to become potentially harmful to your mental health. Studies show that extensive or ‘misuse’ of social media can lead to anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation and low self-esteem.
Here are our 5 top tips to encourage a positive experience and look after your mental health on social media:
1. Only follow accounts that make you feel good
If you notice that you’re comparing yourself to others or often feel disheartened by posts when scrolling, this could be a sign of unhealthy use. The good news is that you can control exactly what you want to see on your feed by actively monitoring who you follow and interact with. Simply unfollow those accounts that consistently affect your mood, even if it’s temporary. If you don’t wish to unfollow someone at the risk of hurting their feelings, you can instead ‘mute’ them on Instagram, ‘hide’ them on Twitter or ‘unfollow’ them on Facebook.
2. Block out negativity
If you sometimes receive negative comments or encounter bots on your posts, you can easily manage these. Instagram has recently introduced a tool where you can select and block multiple comments at once. To avoid potentially harmful content from others, Twitter has a mute feature to block words, hashtags, phrases and even emojis from appearing on your feed.
3. Monitor your screen time
The average person spends around 2 hours a day on social media platforms. To avoid unnecessary overuse and ensure that you use your time online more productively, it’s a good idea to become aware of how much time you’re regularly spending on various platforms. With the latest iPhone update, you can easily track this as well as set time limits across platforms to get notified of your usage throughout the day.
4. Don’t believe everything you see
Keep in mind, people don’t just post the best moments of their life, they post the best photos from that particular moment. It’s healthy to remind yourself that not all posts depict reality – you never see anyone posting mundane tasks such as taking the bins out!
5. Be kind on social media
In an online world of bots and trolls, you can benefit from being a positive influence online and by showing kindness and support. Why not reach out to someone who deserves some words of encouragement today, share an inspiring post or introduce your friend to an account you love.
For more ways you can improve your mental health, visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk