As much as we love spending time online checking social media, we all know how draining it makes us feel. If you’re anything like me, you must be knowing how it tends to take a toll on our mental health and wellbeing. That is why it is essential to have a good relationship with social media. And so here are 7 practices for a healthy relationship with Social media.
But before that let me tell you why it is so important for us to take care of this relationship for our mental health and well-being.
Why it is important
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We have two environments. One is our physical environment, that is, the place where we physically spend our time and the other is our mental environment, the place where our mind spends its time.
Where you let your mind focus in, where you let your mind spend most time in is the environment where your mind lives at that moment.
And at this day and age, we may be sitting in a cafe or laying down in our bed physically, but our minds are elsewhere- it is online watching someone’s story, watching someone’s reel and whatever. So if there’s any place where our mind spends most time, then it is social media.
And as important our physical environment is, also very important is our mental environment since it is directly affecting what we feed our minds with and thereby our mental wellbeing.
Don’t make social media a default home for your mind
7 Practices on how you can have a healthy relationship with social media:
1.Don’t check social media first thing in the morning:
The first person you must meet in the morning should be you. Never never check social media first thing in the morning. This is a rule I strictly follow. Devote the first few hours of your day to doing your morning routine. And only after you’ve done your stuff, check social media.
If you don’t have a proper morning routine yet then check this post out:
2.Be mindful of your social media consumption:
The previous me had no limit on my social media usage. I used to check it anytime, anywhere. But I found it was being detrimental for my mind as it was constantly being flooded with thoughts and images of what I saw and what I would post even when I wasn’t using it.
And that’s when I started trying to be mindful of my social media consumption.
For a start, you can start being mindful……
- Everytime you open instagram. ‘Why did I open?’ You might find it almost becoming a reflex.
- At what times you tend to check social media?
- Of how much time you spend on social media which could have been better spent doing something important or meaningful.
It is helpful to allot a wholly specific time to check social media rather than multitasking it while doing other work. It also helps to have a time set after which you don’t check social media.
For me morning time is strictly for myself and for doing my most important tasks and rituals. I check my phone only after I finish them. Aso I make it a point to not check social media after dinner especially before sleeping time.
This allows me to check social media mostly during my free time, waiting time and when I have nothing much to do. And I feel this much social media is enough for me. Actually, it is enough for everyone.
3.Utilise Logout button:
How many of you never log out from instagram? I never used to earlier but now I log out immediately after checking and that saves me from constantly going back and forth checking instagram time and again. If even that doesn’t work, simply uninstall it.
The reason why we tend to check our phones so often is because it is too easy. Make it a little bit difficult and you won’t do it as often. And in this uninstalling helps more than logging out. Uninstall after using it and install when you specifically have a time set for social media.
5.Be intentional in what you post and what you see:
Before posting just anything, just a simple reflection, ‘Why do I really want to share this?’ might help. If you find yourself caught up in the process of wanting to show (off) something (not just material but also intellectual), don’t post it. If it is that you simply want to share it because it gives you joy or because it gives a good message, then share it. Be true to yourself in everything you do.
Also be intentional in what you see.
Our wellbeing thrives in us being creators, not consumers. So be intentional of how much of social media you consume in a day and what all you see. Mute those you wouldn’t want to see.
6.Unfollow people you wouldn’t want to see in real life:
It’s human nature to want to know what someone is upto when you’re not close or no longer close with someone, but if you wouldn’t want to see them in real life then you shouldn’t see them in your feed either.
If someone’s posts tend to make you feel bad, sad, angry or anything, simply unfollow. Not because you dislike that person or anything but because you want to save yourself from feeling bad about the person.
7.Take a social media sabbatical:
Social media with all its news, comments, idealized lifestyles etc can be overwhelming at times. Hence it is essential to take a social media sabbatical from time to time. It makes us realise that the real world where we need to live in is here and now, not online.
There are so many things we can do and our lives are much more meaningful when we are creating something, anything. Don’t make social media a default home for your mind.
Lastly It is essential and I think you already know this, but please don’t compare your life with the life you see on Instagram or anywhere else. It’s rarely a full story.
So these are the 7 practices you can do for a healthy relationship with social media.
Let us work on building such a life that we can share our success stories on social media and have a life we always dreamed of.
Thanks for reading,
Have a great week ahead!