October 10th is World Mental Health Day. If this is news to you like it was for us, we want to first take a moment to celebrate and appreciate the recognition of this very important day. To us, there is nothing more important than prioritizing and taking care of our mental health.
We also wanted to use this opportunity to talk about the influence of social media and some tools we personally have been practicing to protect our mental space before spiraling into a mindless scroll (happens to the best of us). The recent outage of social media really reinforced our thought process around society’s obsession with social media because of course so many businesses – including ours – are fueled from the connection we have through these platforms (particularly Instagram). However, it made it so apparent how so many people spend so much more time worrying about updating their Instagram feed instead of updating their mental wellness. Mindlessly and endlessly scrolling all day can be soul sucking. More times than not most of us open the app on autopilot, not even realizing how many hours a day we can clock in looking at the gram alone.
When we have a lot going on inside, social media outlets seem like an easy way to tune out and away from it all. A few things to ask yourself and be mindful of as you’re scrolling…
- Is this serving me or draining my energy?
- Do I follow people who lift me up, or people who have me questioning why the hell I’m following them in the first place (#unfollow)?
- What is something I’ve been avoiding and procrastinating the hell out of that I could potentially be doing instead of this?
- Have I done something to take care of me today?
If you find yourself on a crazy roller coaster of emotions when you’re in a social spiral…here are a few things that have personally helped us create stronger boundaries so social can be a place for inspiration and motivation.
When you wake, are you reaching for your phone first thing? Do you open social media to see what’s new? We’ve found it’s really helpful for our mental state if we check in with ourselves first. So whether that’s laying still in bed for a few moments before the day starts, a morning meditation, a gratitude practice, journaling, or even just recognizing when your feet hit the ground in the morning and you get to live another beautiful day…it helps you start from a more grounded place.
Another boundary that we have with ourselves and social media is to set time limits. Because let’s be honest…sometimes we want to hop on to aimlessly scroll for hourssss without even realizing it. Just like we time block our calendars, we try our best to time block social media. So, for example, if you’re wanting to scroll away, try doing it for 15 minutes instead of 45 minutes. Give yourself mindful moments with it and use those other 15 minutes to do something for YOU. It really makes all the difference in the world when you realize where your time and energy is being spent. P.S. You can actually set a time limit on your phone.
If someone or something isn’t fulfilling you, and you feel too awkward to unfollow them, just mute them! Only consume content that makes you feel good.
Letting go with love
If a mean message comes through, MW has taught us to pray for that person, send them love, and delete the message (a little something inspired by Gabby Bernstein). Don’t waste energy trying to show them what really happened or try and convince a stranger that you’re a good person. Unkind messages are a reflection of their internal situation and have nothing to do with you.
Setting aside a few hours (or maybe even taking a full day or weekend) to just simply not scroll or be on social media can also help you reconnect with the present. Social media can be a beautiful thing but sometimes setting aside time to fully take a break can be extremely cleansing for our mental health. Our favorite way to do this is to literally delete the app off our phone for a certain amount of time so we don’t find ourselves opening it by mistake.
We hope these tips help, but if you’re still feeling like you’re on the ride, just don’t open or share on social media for a bit. Take a break. Try to be present in the moment. We know it’s not always so easy to step away from your phone but there is so much more life to live and our phones can really take us away from living if you let it. Putting it aside and tapping into the things that truly make you happy goes a really long way.
Talk to your friends and family in person (or by phone) and let them know what’s going on. Open up to a mental health professional. People want to help. But remember, they can only help if you’re ready for that help. Most importantly, do what feels good to you for YOU and let go of the rest. Life is too short to hold what’s not serving you. Instagram followers included.
“If you or someone you know needs help, contact NAMI HelpLine. The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., ET.
1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or [email protected]“