(Disclaimer: If you are feeling depressed do not hesitate to see a doctor or healthcare professional. These tips are not intended to provide solutions for depression or other mental health problems.)
These days it’s nearly impossible to escape the grasp of social media. From Snapchat news bites to Instagram-based careers, it’s become clear that these apps aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. However, despite its many perks, social media also has the potential to create negative thought patterns linked to depression.
Often times, pictures of seemingly “perfect people” in “perfect places” foster feelings of inadequacy, watching videos of events we couldn’t attend creates major FOMO (fear of missing out) and timelines full of the latest news tragedies leave us feeling down. If you are feeling like this, you aren’t alone and I believe it doesn’t always mean you have to quit social media for good!
Below are five ways that can help you keep a healthier mindset while using social media:
1. Change up your feed to a more positive, realistic scroll!
Social media can be a platform for both positive and negative messages. Unfortunately, sometimes our feeds make us feel like we aren’t enough, especially when we compare ourselves to Photoshop and highlight reels. Start purging your timeline of accounts that make you feel this way and follow more that are centered around encouragement and realness. There are some awesome people out there who are honest about their struggles, but still put out positive, affirming messages!
Here are a few to get you started:
Instagram: @chinaealexander — Chinae is a fitness and lifestyle influencer who is both an inspiration and total friend goals. She also isn’t afraid to be honest and vulnerable with her followers.
Twitter: @LAWOFATTRACTION — This Twitter account is solely dedicated to helping its followers foster positive thoughts with every tweet. Follow it for a daily mood boost!
Snapchat: @djkhaled305 — The “king” of Snapchat DJ Khaled actually has a great message about love and self improvement. Follow him for major keys!
2. Reach out to those who inspire you!
These apps don’t just have to be for fawning over your favorite influencers and celebrities. They also have the potential to connect you to them! What’s great about social media is that it gives you access to people you normally wouldn’t have access to. There’s no harm in reaching out to those that inspire you. You can message someone with a question, for advice, or just to chat and share your love.
3. Use it to share your accomplishments!
Have something you’re super proud of? Show it off on social media! There’s no shame in wanting to share all you’ve accomplished with the world. In fact, putting your work out there can help you grow your opportunities and keep yourself accountable while chasing your goals.
4. Bring awareness to a cause!
Social media can also be a great way to share things you are passionate about on a deeper level. For example, if you have a charity close to your heart you can encourage your followers to donate or you can spread awareness about an issue that many people might now know about. These apps have the potential to create great change, so don’t be afraid to use them to make an impact!
5. Encourage and uplift your friends!
Hype up that friend who just posted a fire selfie! Express how much you care for the people around you and share their accomplishments. Social media doesn’t have to be a place of competition! We can appreciate others’ successes and beauty without putting ourselves down. Sharing the love (and likes) can create a happier online atmosphere for everyone.
Bonus: Give yourself a time limit if you must when using social media.
All of the swiping, scrolling and double tapping can put us in a daze. If you find it hard to put your phone down, set an alarm to help snap you out of the social media trance, then go do something in the real world that you love!