Six Steps to Make your Social Media a Happier Space
I see multiple tweets every day about how social media negatively effects people. Studies have proven the detrimental effects it can have on our mental health, but it doesn't have to. Social media is an amazing thing, and it can be for you too, if you let it. I blamed social media for my eating disorder, and I still do to a certain extent, but I also blame myself for letting it in the first place. Since then, I have learnt the values and positives of social media. I accepted the body positive community instead of the Instagram models I aspired to be like. Of course, choose whatever inspires you - but ensure that it inspires you in a healthy and empowering way.
1. Detox your feed.
I follow interior, food, fashion, lifestyle bloggers and travel accounts (all of my favourite things) and they inspire me every day either to earn money to be able to visit that beach, to dream of the perfect bedroom in my house, to be kinder and help the environment or they educate me. Anything that makes me feel good, I follow. I love going to the gym but I found that following accounts like Grace Fit failed to inspire me, but made me feel insecure and jealous. When I want to find gym inspiration I'll look for it; but it's not right there staring me in the face. But, if you're someone that loves the gym and isn't intimidated by this kind of content then that's great, because with social media you can cater your feed to you. I felt my mood massively increase when I unfollowed all of the gym accounts and I genuinely don't feel sad, jealous or bitter anymore when I scroll through my phone. It also means that I don't feel like I've wasted time being on my phone anymore because I enjoy it, find it educational and inspiring. Also, let's talk about the mute button: it might be a little awkward to unfollow someone you know but if you're finding it difficult seeing someone's feed then it's absolutely fine to mute them.
2. Set timers.
If you've found that social media is sacrificing your productivity then have you thought about setting limits? Set daily limits on how often you can go on your social media or give yourself certain times of the day to have a browse. Try it for a couple of days and see whether it works, but don't beat yourself up if you ignore the timers or go over your limit.
3. Change your mindset towards it.
You have the mental ability to choose your attitude. Like I said, I blamed social media for sparking my eating disorder but now I have the mental ability to reject concepts that make me feel inferior, unworthy or negative in any way. Instead of feeling jealous over your friends success - be supportive because that energy is contagious and will benefit both you and your friend. Instead of wishing you were traveling, wishing you had his fashion sense or her job, use the harmful emotions and turn them into tools of achieving your goals. I wish I was travelling, but I know that one day I will so I won't let it negatively effect me right now. I want her dress but I can't afford it right now so I might sulk for a few seconds but I'll accept it. It's all about your mindset. So, next time you're feeling a bit jealous, sulky or not enough, take a step back and evaluate your mindset because I promise, it's way more effort to feel negative.
4. Build friendships.
I've met two of my best friends through Twitter, conversation about this very blog in fact. I've had countless conversations on social media over something I've written about on my blog and I think that's amazing. Being able to communicate with people I wouldn't normally come across or speak to in person is a brilliant opportunity. I always see tweets about wanting to make new friends and it's SO easy to reach out and say 'hey, do you fancy going for a coffee?'; building relationships is never a bad thing (hit me up later if you want to go for coffee btw). I've also heard stories of people reaching out to employers by asking to go for coffee and job opportunities have grown out of it so try your luck one day. A simple comment on someone's post could be the start! I love to tell people they look good or they're doing amazing because I know how meaningful it can be. Don't forget to share that positive energy with the world.
5. Stop comparing.
I know it's easier said that done, but in moments of comparison catch your feelings and challenge them. Social media is not an accurate reflection of you, so remember that no one's is. Your Instagram page doesn't really tell people who you are, like what values you hold dear, what you like or don't like or what your dreams are etc - it is simply a little insight into your life. You have to remember that keyword, 'insight' and know that everyone is on a different page of their journey and you truly have no one to compare yourself to other than the past you.
6. Stop trying to maintain an aesthetic.
One of the funnest part of Instagram for me personally is creating pretty photos and keeping it bright and colourful to reflect the happy person that I am. However, I think some of us often get caught up in those aesthetics and actively think 'should I upload this?' or 'is this going to fit with my theme?' and for some people, that's their job! but for the majority of us, we just want things to look pretty but there is absolutely no pressure to maintain that. Upload what makes you happy or what you think is important!!! Also - I feel like there's a bit of stigma with uploading often but who the hell cares! do what makes YOU happy. Annddddd, it may be cringe but I am going to upload soppy photos of my boyfriend and I won't apologise for it.
"Self-care isn't selfish"