5 Tips to Help Your Social Media Addiction

Social media can be bad for your mental health. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (and whatever other social media platforms you’re on) are breeding grounds for comparison, self-esteem issues, and negativity.

A recent survey showed that people spend 2 hours and 23 minutes on average on social media each day. That’s a lot of time. If you’re following people who live and breathe negative energy or even just people who make your self-esteem plummet, you’re subjecting yourself to a lot of negativity for a good chunk of time.

Furthermore, studies have shown that as time spent on social media increases, self-esteem decreases. Not good.

Over the past several months, I realized social media—Instagram, particularly—was taking a toll on my mental health. I knew I had to take action.

I made the following changes to the way I use social media, and I’ve noticed a big difference over the past couple of months. I challenge you to make these same changes to use social media in a healthier way.

‍1. Limit your screen time

Tracking screen time can be extremely eye-opening. If you have an iPhone, enable screen time and see how much time you spend on each app, or download a tracking app like Screen Time for Android. Little check-ins throughout the day add up, and you might be surprised at how much time you actually spend on social.

Set a goal for a max time limit to spend on each platform each day. You can wean yourself down, too. Try starting at an hour maximum a day and then work your way down to a goal of 30 minutes max.

‍2. No social media after 8PM

Cutting yourself off of social media, or just the app that’s most problematic for you, after 8PM (or somewhere around there, depending on your bedtime) can make time for you to do more constructive things in the hours leading up to bedtime, instead of endlessly scrolling through all that extra negativity (and not to mention, blue light). We have a great app that you could use to help improve your life, it may be a great way to retrain your app habits.

‍3. Use the mute feature liberally

The mute feature is a blessing in disguise. First off, not a lot of people know about this feature, especially on Instagram. Secondly, nobody will know that you’ve muted them. Win-win. You will still be following the person, but their posts won’t show up on your feed. Use this if someone who you ~can’t~ unfollow is constantly posting negative, toxic things that are getting to you, or if you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to them and feeling inadequate.

‍4. Unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself

This could mean a lot of different things. Is there a celebrity you follow who makes you feel nothing but jealousy when you see their body, lavish vacations, or possessions? Unfollow. Is there a brand you follow that isn’t inclusive or diverse, which makes you feel unrepresented or less than? Unfollow. If seeing your ex’s posts makes you relive your breakup over and over, unfollow! If these accounts only make you feel jealousy, anger, or defeat, what’s the point in following them?

‍5. Remind yourself social media is an illusion

Social media isn’t real. For the most part, social media accounts are simply highlighted reels. They are only showing their followers the happiest, most beautiful moments of their life. They aren’t posting the hard times, fights with significant others, or health problems. Comparing yourself and your day-to-day life to somebody else’s highlight reel is setting yourself up for defeat. Even the people with the most perfect feeds have imperfect lives.

Even just making a few of these changes can make a big difference. So what are you waiting for? Don’t let social media mess with your mental health any longer. For more info on how to improve your mental health check out my free e-book here.

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