In Recognition of World Mental Health Day 2022
There’s no doubting the importance of staying socially connected in a world that seems to be moving at a faster pace than ever before. Being online broadens our understanding of the world around us, sparks creative thought and the expression of new ideas and enables us to connect with others at any time or place.
Despite this, it’s important to recognise that although there are significant benefits of the online world, it also comes with its own challenges, and as a digital marketing agency, it is our responsibility to draw attention to these. If social media or the online world has ever made you feel down, stressed, or lonely or if you’ve felt your mental health decline because of it, know that you’re not alone. Research suggests that young people who are heavy users of social media – spending more than two hours per day on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – are more likely to report poor mental health, including psychological distress (symptoms of anxiety and depression). So make sure to prioritise yourself on World Mental Health Day and learn 5 ways to better your mental health online.
Pay close attention to how scrolling on social media makes you feel and how it influences your opinions, thoughts and actions. Does seeing photos of your friends out and about make you feel good or envious? Do you see pictures of influencers and get inspiration from their lifestyle or feel like you’re underachieving? When you read the news, do you feel informed and prepared for the day or stressed and anxious about events you can’t control?
By taking the time to identify the feelings you have towards being online, you can set personal limits on how much time you spend on particular apps and the type of content you choose to follow (we’ll dive further into this in point 2). It’s important to remember that the online world is not a reality, but how it makes you feel is.
Monitor Your Screen Time
Around 58% of the world’s population uses social media — and the average daily usage is 2 hours and 27 minutes. If your screen time feels too high for you, it’s a good idea to set a limit.
Tools to help you manage your screen time and better mental health online:
Set app limits: You can track and monitor the time you spend on social apps like Instagram or Facebook.
Set break reminders: A web browser extension like the ‘Stand Up! Timer’ can give you a friendly reminder to take a break from your computer. Use this time to get some water, stretch, go for a walk — just do whatever works for you.
Give your phone a bedtime: By setting a “bedtime,” all your notifications will be paused until the morning.
Choose Kindness, Always
By using social media for good, you’ll not only make your own profile more positive but also spread positivity to all of your followers! Why not add an engaging comment to someone else’s post or post an inspiring quote to your story?
If you see or receive messages or content you consider to be hurtful, abusive or bullying then make sure to report the account immediately. Words matter and can cause harm to others in ways we may not realise so make sure to always spread love, not hate.
Take Care of Yourself
Caring for yourself doesn’t have to mean expensive spa days or trips out. Usually, the best form of self-care is showing yourself a little more kindness and taking time to do the things you love.
Self care to try this week:
Wim Hof relaxation method: If you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious, relaxation techniques can help you to reach a state of calmness. They are widely known to reduce stress, help you sleep better, help you clear your mind, and they can even help you deal with depression. The Wim Hof Method is a powerful and scientifically recognised method that makes you a stronger, happier and healthier person. Find out more information here.
Exercise: Did you know that there is a 20%-30% lower risk of depression and general feelings of distress for adults participating in daily physical activity? Exercise is a great way to challenge your body and calm your mind.
Listen to podcasts: Want to switch off? Listening to a podcast can turn your focus away from your thoughts and onto something creative, inspiring or uplifting.
Prioritise Real Life
The lines between the on and offline worlds can become increasingly blurred, making it more and more difficult to live in the present moment.
Do you ever find yourself replying to your friend’s post rather than meeting up with them in person, or interrupting what you are doing so you can post it on social media? Take a break from social media every now and then to spend time with friends and family in real life too.
A Final Note
If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, know that you are not alone and that help is always available when you need it.
Unfortunately despite mental health awareness increasing due to days such as World Mental Health Day, many people still face challenges in getting the help they need. According to the Mental Health Foundation, “fear of discrimination and feelings of shame are among the top reasons people give for not telling their colleagues about their mental health problems.”
If you’re finding things difficult, and do not know where to turn, here are some resources available to help: