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3 quick tips for practicing social media self-care

Updated: Jun 29

woman practicing social media self-care

Social media can be a great way to stay connected with people we care about or act as a vehicle for discovery. Both in my professional and personal lives, people are excited to discuss new interests, hobbies, and aspirational people they've encountered while scrolling. However, just like everything in life, we can sometimes unknowingly cross a line from enjoying ourselves to engaging in behaviors that are hurtful for our mental health, such as comparing ourselves to others, taking general advice as complete advice, or scrolling the day and night away without connecting to joy in real life.

As a licensed therapist, I often hear from clients that unintended consequences lead to anxiety and or depression symptoms. Those impacted by various types of interpersonal trauma can be especially vulnerable to well-intentioned but harmful advice and experience decreased self-compassion. Because of the double-edged sword social media presents, social media self-care is critical. Social media self-care involves cultivating an intentional, positive relationship with technology so that it brings value to our lives.

I've put together 3 quick tips for practicing social media self-care

  1. Choose to follow accounts that bring joy, love, and motivation into your life. These may include fine or performance artists, inspirational people, or cute baby animals. One hint to master this tip is to pay attention to how you feel during scrolling. Are you feeling positive, numbing, or negative feelings? If you don't feel uplifted by the accounts you follow, it's okay to unfollow or even block them. Our mental and emotional health are precious, and we can protect them!

  2. Audit and clean your social media stream seasonally. We all grow and change, and the content or people we follow also change. Auditing and cleaning our feeds can help us curate an online world that supports our growth, healing, and creativity. Ask yourself if the people or content still aligns with your values and lifestyle? Do you feel reflected as a real person in the posts you view?

  3. Try to avoid comparison, but if it happens, practice self-compassion. Self-compassion combines self-kindness and a strong connection with ourselves. Self-compassion allows us to move away from judgment and may protect us from falling into downward spirals that leave us feeling isolated or inadequate. Self-compassion can help us acknowledge where we are and help us self-soothe and increase mental wellness.

Social media self-care is vital to mental health and may reduce the possibility of anxiety, depression, and trauma bonding habits while at the same time allowing us to create a healthier connection with ourselves and those around us. If you need support, speak with trustworthy people in your life, or let your mental health therapist know if you are struggling. It's also okay if you ask your mental health therapist about the validity of the advice you're getting.

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