Social media doesn’t have the best reputation, and there are some good reasons for that. It’s the perfect breeding ground for negativity, hurtful opinions, fake news and unrealistic body standards. But it’s here to stay, so why not try to make the best of it? In fact, when used correctly, social media can be a very helpful tool when it comes to managing and improving our mental health.
Unfollow everyone that triggers your mental illness
There’s no reason to be around people who cause negativity, or who make you feel bad about yourself. You can’t always mute people in real life, but you can on social media. If someone triggers your anxiety or shares hurtful content, unfollow or mute them. And someone leaving mean comments on your blog posts, Instagram pictures or YouTube videos? Block them and delete their comments.
Tip: You can block people from commenting on your WordPress blog based on their name, email, url or IP address through General > Discussion > Comment blacklist.
Surround yourself with positive people
After unfollowing all the negativity, it’s time to follow people who bring joy to your life, who make you smile or inspire you. These can be accounts of people you know personally, celebrities, mental health advocates or just anyone with a voice online. And don’t forget to check out accounts sharing cute cat-gifs (such as @CatOfTheDay on Twitter).
Talk about your problems and ask for help
The nice thing about the internet is that almost everyone has access to it. We’re not alone anymore, and if our family or friends don’t understand or support us, someone online will. There are many subreddits, blogs, twitter accounts and Facebook groups dedicated to mental health and happiness. So don’t be scared to reach to and ask someone from help, or just share what you’re dealing with. People will respond and support you.
Mental Health subreddits: Mental Health, Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Eating Disorders, Mental Health Blogs, Anxiety Blogs, Self-Help, Meditation, Zen Habits, Feelgood, Raised By Narcissists, Survivors of Abuse, Need Advice.
My favorite Twitter accounts raising mental health awareness: lavenderlifeco, TimetoChange, mblog101, lambertsmarc, hannahrainey_, thriftyvintage_, TSIGolden, nospaceformilk, kay_ska, LittleRhiRhi_, poppiesinoct, Mike_Douglas_, beccaxjayne, geekmagnifique, MentalMovement, Rethink_.
Take a break when things become too overwhelming
Make sure to schedule in enough offline-time as well. Go to the toilet without your phone or turn it in flight mode an hour before going to bed. And if it all gets too overwhelming, group chats are blowing up your phone or a controversial tweet is filling your inbox with negativity, turn off the notifications.
Tip: ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode on your phone will not send you alerts when receiving new notifications, but you can still receive calls from people you choose.
Use social media as a platform to share your story
Talking about mental health in real life can be hard or scary, but doing so on social media is often way easier. You can slowly introduce the people you care about to you your mental illness, for example by adding information about it in your bio or by retweeting someone else’s experiences with it. And when you’re ready to open up and share your story, you don’t have to share it with everyone at once.
Tip: On Facebook you can limit the people who can see each individual post. If you share something personal you can hide it from people you don’t feel comfortable with.
Get in touch with people who are similar to you
I knew no one else who suffered from anxiety before I joined Twitter, and now I’m part of an entire community of people who are going through the same things as me. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, I can help other people, or receive help from them. And seeing how other people deal with their problems is giving me strength and inspiration when it comes to dealing with mine as well.