When ‘Top Tips’ Are Exhausting: A Mental Health Moment
In our latest Real People, Real Stories blog post, our founder Kimberley highlights her struggle with social media in these current times.
If you are a person 25 or under, we recommend The Mix, for mental health support. Free on the phone, by email or on their webchat. You can also use their phone counselling service, or get more information on support services you might need. Freephone: 0808 808 4994
Mind also has a great list of services for specific needs here.
In a spiral which I can only describe as a ‘descending digital dive’, I scour the internet for the main purpose of distraction from my thoughts. When my mental health is suffering, the internet shines in its all encompassing glory with memes, gifs, hashtags and snaps at the scroll of my thumb. An endless supply with a temptation for endless demand. 5 minutes easily turning into half an hour. But now I'm scrolling for news, news and news too. An endless timeline.
But then, I stop. I stumble across a mental health quote. A cute infographic on self care.
When I’m in that ‘digital dive’, I find it hard to come across quotes and words of wisdom, highlighting self care tips and things I need to do to feel better. A cup of tea or bath, quite frankly, isn’t going to stop me feeling uncertain and weird. Or push me to #selfcare and feel that #mondaymotivation.
Deep down, I know what I need to do to feel better. The quote before me feels like it is mocking me. I know what you’re trying to do…coming across as relatable. I wrinkle my nose up and scroll swiftly on. I don’t want to be given top tips, quotes of the day, or the classic ‘go take a relaxing bath or read a book’ suggestions.
Community Links discusses the power of social media and mental health, by highlighting that “Businesses and individuals have more avenues to promote their products, reaching a wider audience, allowing creativity and detailed targeting”. So sometimes, it feels like the quotes that jump out at me don't feel genuine.
The way I use social media has changed over the years. From seeking validation on Bebo, to obsessive posting through my first couple of years on Instagram, to now using apps to display my moments, events and promote Keep Real.
Sometimes, I forget to put my phone down. Sometimes, I have to admit that top tips hurt when my mental health does too. Even in these times.
Knowing what affects your mental health, is one step closer to coping better.
Go your own pace. These times ahead are strange, they feel weird and uncertain. For me, I feel a weird pit in my stomach waking up. It aint nice, and I know we're all going through it. Normally, I would turn to my phone/laptop for distraction, but sometimes it's just a bit too much.
Use your devices to fill you with joy. Keep informed and utilise your time now to know what works for you. If that means muting words or hashtags on twitter, then so be it.
I've been watching 'Architectural Digest' on Youtube which is proving to work for me in keeping my anxiety at bay. Sounds super not cool, but honestly - give it a whirl here!!!
Check out the Mental Health Foundation blog about social media and mental health here.