The world is now connected more than ever – but one of the biggest challenges we’re currently facing when focusing on our mental health and wellbeing, are the impacts of social media.

Whilst the digital space and social media sites can bring so many benefits to our lives; we can learn whenever and wherever we want to, and we have access to a wealth of knowledge on the latest news and trends (right at our fingertips!), we should also be mindful of the components that can have a negative impact on us too.

Did you know that rates of anxiety and depression in young people have risen by 70% in the last 20 years? And that social media use is linked with increased rates of anxiety, depression, and lack of sleep?

As this week is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, we thought we’d share our top tips and tricks for combatting the negatives that social media can sometimes bring, turning them into positives:

  1. Take regular breaks away from the screen – Whether you’re grabbing a quick cuppa or going for a walk at lunch time, it’s so important to have breaks during your working day. Explore different ways of adding physical movement and activity to your day and find something that works best for you, helping you to avoid that dreaded case of ‘brain fog’

  2. Reduce your caffeine intake – High doses of caffeine are proven to increase anxiety. Whilst it may not be bearable to stop all caffeine, try reducing your intake, particularly if you notice it impacting or heightening your anxiety levels

  3. Unfollow anybody who doesn’t add value to your feed – This is likely to be more relevant to using social media on a personal basis, but a valuable piece of advice that some of us have taken on board is to stay away from the ‘dark side’ of a scroll hole and tackle your social feeds with the ‘spark joy’ magic wand. In simple terms, avoid following any accounts that draw out the negative feelings of comparison, inadequacy or effect your happiness

  4. Turn off non-essential notifications – It’s so much harder to resist the temptation of scrolling through social media when you’re constantly receiving notifications throughout the day. Turn off those that are unnecessary and log onto your social media accounts as and when you have spare time to avoid that dreaded temptation and distraction whilst trying to get a task done

  5. Choose quality over quantity – Instead of subscribing to multiple social media sites, choose the ones that bring you the most joy and community. It’s also likely that the information you gain from these will be more valuable and relevant to you

  6. Talk to someone – And lastly, our most vital piece of advice is to talk to someone if you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling with social media. Whether it’s a friend, family member, colleague or helpline, it’s important to know that you’re not alone.

Some useful helplines:

ANXIETY UK: 03444 775 774
CALM: 0800 58 58 58
MIND: 0300 123 3393

Read our previous blog ‘7 top tips for combatting stress’ here.