Fed up with being tied to your phone 24/7? Try our tips to take a break from your socials…
We’re all hung-up on checking our feeds and posts from time to time when we should be doing something else – after all, it’s difficult to resist the temptation when you have the key to your online social life on a phone in your hand. Social media in moderation can be fun and entertaining, but what can you do when you feel like it’s starting to take over your life?
When Does It Become A Problem?
Ask yourself this question: Does my use of social media affect me in a negative way? Perhaps you find yourself scrolling until the early hours of the morning and wake the next morning feeling tired and grumpy, or get a knot in your tummy when you post a selfie, worrying yourself sick about how many likes your photo will get?
You might find yourself comparing your own body to models and celebrities on Instagram and feeling low and self-critical. Much of what we see online is filtered and not a true reflection of real-life, but viewing images of ‘perfection’ can leave us feeling inadequate. If social media is making you feel anxious, upset or tired, then perhaps it’s time to make a few small changes.
Why Is This A Big Deal?
Many of us can strike a good balance between quality interactions in the real-world and spending time on social media. It’s when this balance tips that problems could arise – an over-reliance on social media can start to have many negative impacts on our mental health.
Your use of social media could be affecting your mental health if you’ve found yourself:
- Spending hours on your socials when you should be doing homework or studying.
- Obsessively checking your accounts several times a day.
- Feeling a sense of panic if you accidentally leave your phone behind or if your battery goes flat.
- Deleting posts and feeling upset or worthless if you don’t get enough likes.
Six Steps To Success!
Try our helpful tips to reduce the harmful effects of social media:
- Aim to put down your phone for a certain amount of time every day. You could ask a parent to keep it for you, if you think you might be tempted to turn it on and start scrolling. A good time to do this is in the evening to give your brain and body time to unwind and settle for a better night’s sleep. You might want to leave your phone charging in another room overnight.
- Unfollow anyone who makes you feel less than happy with yourself. If seeing a celebrity’s multi-million-pound lifestyle makes you feel envious and sad, then hit unfollow. Look for accounts that boost your positivity and the way you feel about yourself.
- Clean up your accounts. Do you need to be on every platform? Are there accounts you don’t even use? If so, delete those accounts and streamline your socials.
- Never engage with someone who is negative towards you, or others. Speak up if you see bullying or harassment taking place. Block, report and move on to protect your mental health and wellbeing.
- Swap out social media time for meditation or mindfulness time. Do you usually scan your socials when you first get up in the morning? Close Insta and try a yoga workout or a breathing exercise instead. There are lots of free apps available for you to try.
- Turn off your notifications! Give yourself a break from the constant buzzing of likes, shares and inbox notifications which can cause anxiety. Try not to check your phone every two minutes to see if anything is happening on that selfie you posted an hour ago. Relax, breathe, put the phone down, walk away and leave it. Aim to extend the time you have off your phone and keep yourself busy with a different activity. You’ve got this!
If you want more information about the impact of social media on mental health or to find out how to #OwnYourFeed, head to Young Minds: https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/looking-after-yourself/social-media-and-mental-health/