Recently, at the practice we’ve been reflecting a lot on the role of social media in our own lives and how it makes us feel. We use platforms like Instagram and TikTok to build a like-minded community around the values of our practice and encourage one another, but we also can get so very stuck in the comparison trap and what feels like shouting into the critical and judgmental void. Ironically, too much time online (even if to promote therapy and recovery!) pays its toll on our mental health.
It’s no secret, from the mainstream media coverage, that social media has drastic negative impacts on mental health from our body image to self-esteem. And more simply it can also just make us feel exhausted and burnt out. In an effort to feel connected we find ourselves feeling more detached, confused, alone and wondering what we’re doing wrong. It also doesn’t help that during stay-at-home orders and COVID-19 lockdowns, social media and scrolling online were one of the only ways to “connect” with others. Now, with lockdowns lifting we’re waking back up to the world around us, and wondering how to rejoin it, with trepidation but also hope.
And in times like these, where we have the sinking feeling that social media isn’t giving us all we need, I offer the following reminders: You are enough. Just as you are, in this moment. You’re not “broken” for feeling the way you do or looking different than people online. It’s time to get really intentional about limiting social media (setting aside the thing that feels good in the moment, but icky in the long run) and focusing on what fills you up, genuinely.
If you’re ready to start reflecting on your relationship with social media and changes you can consider, try out the following journaling prompts:
- In what circumstances do I usually reach for my phone? Why?
- How do I feel after scrolling on social media?
- What am I missing in my life during the moments I’m scrolling on social media or thinking about how something will appear in a social media post? Based on how much time I spend on social media, what else could I be using that time toward?
Put down the phone. Take a deep breath. Relax your shoulders. Feel the earth beneath you. Remind yourself of what’s true and present right here and now. As you become more intentional about stepping away from social media and waking up to the world around you, you may even just be surprised by what you find waiting for you out there.
By: Maddy Weingast, Assistant for Wildflower Therapy LLC