self-care

Social Media and Mental Health

Taking a break from social media is sometimes extremely needed for your mental health. But what do you do when social media is part of your job? Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay and that is something very close to my heart. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for about 7 years now and I have had extremely close friends struggle as well.

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Content creators, social media managers, and entrepreneurs spend their days scouring the internet and digging through content, reviews, and blogs. It can be hard to unplug and get away from the triggering and depressing news or comments. I wanted to put together a list of five ways to handle social media while taking care of your mental health.

Meditate Daily

Meditation can help clear your mind, reduce blood pressure, and help with your anxiety. There are several apps that you can download to help with this. Carly from Carly the Prepster put together a great post on the effects the app Headspace had on her. I have not had the chance to try it but meditating on my own has been very effective as well in making me more productive and resilient.

Set Limits

It is important to limit your screen time and limit the accounts you are seeing. Instagram has a new feature that lets you see how long you have been on the app and how many hours you spend on it a week. Take control of that. Set reminders to put your phone down. If you take baby steps in the right direction, you will start to notice a freedom you havenโ€™t experienced before. You can also set limits on comments. You can change your settings so that no one can comment on a specific post or you can block certain phrases and words. This will help keep the negativity off your feed. You can add words that trigger you to this list and no longer see comments from trolls and bullies. Also, make sure you are limiting yourself to only follow accounts and hashtags that bring you joy. If an account makes you doubt yourself or feel less than happy, hit that unfollow button.

Give Your Brain a Break

Take a break and take a workout class. You cannot be on your phone while your spinning or lifting weights. You wonโ€™t be able to check the apps and that will help clear your head. Your feed will still be there an hour later and your endorphins will have risen. Elle Woods said it best, โ€œ Exercise gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy, happy people just donโ€™t shoot their husbands!โ€โ€ฆ. or their phones? Not sure how to close that one out but you get the point.

Self-Care Goals

Set goals for yourself to accomplish. Your goals can be simple like an exercise class weekly like I mentioned above, or picking up a new hobby like journaling or painting. Writing them down and keep rack of them. I personally have set goals to drink more water and take my medicine every day. They are simple but definitely things I need to work on. I will even be your cheerleader if you want to tell me your goals. I will keep up with you and check in now and again to see how you are doing. Just leave a comment or shoot me an email. Letโ€™s do this together.

Ask for Help When You Need It

Well shit. Easier said than done, I know. Little by little it is something that we can work on. It is also important to recognize those around you that wonโ€™t ask for help on their own. You should make sure to reach out. It can be as simple as grabbing a coffee or asking if they are okay. Open the door for conversation if you recognize the following; difficulting concentrating, exhaustion, stomach issues, difficulty sleeping, or muscle tension. A change in mood is also extremely common. Be there for your friends, family, and coworkers and they will be there for you in return.

It is safe to say you all know I am not a doctor so remember if you are feeling depressed, the best choice would be to reach out to a doctor, a loved one, or even me. I am here to talk to any of you at any time. This is a safe place to speak your mind.

Seven Ways to Practice Self-Care

I originally had planned to write about another topic today but after an incredibly inspiring weekend at the Grander Summit, I wanted to talk to you all about self-care.  It is so important to take care of yourself.  I think that people get so busy with life, their work, and their loved ones that they forget to take a second and listen to their bodies and their own minds.  I have a few takeaways from the summit and just a bit of experience with anxiety and needing to take a breather so I came up with this list of seven ways to practice self-care.

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  1. Meditate. Easier said than done, I know. During the summit, Nastia Liukin (Grander is her company) asked about how we can stay out of our own head while mediating. What I learned was that you should breathe in through your nose, counting to three. Then breathe out through your mouth, counting to four. Focus on that. It is okay if thoughts creep. Act as if they are clouds passing by. Acknowledge the cloud and then let it continue on its' way.

  2. Drink enough water. Most people do not drink nearly enough water throughout their day. This could lead to things like dehydration, headaches, tight muscles. Use a fun cup with a reusable straw. I always feel like if I am using a straw, I drink more.

  3. Create a ritual that brings you joy. It could be making the bed, lighting a candle, hugging a significant other, or diffusing essential oils. Whenever T and I get home from work, we always make sure to give each other a hug before doing anything else. It makes me happy that he knows that I will always need a hug at the end of my work day, good or bad. Simple and joyful rituals help us to stay grounded.

  4. Exercise. This one is something that I dread but it truly does help. After I retired from gymnastics (aka graduated), I was a bit lost on the whole working out thing. I will write a post about that another time but when I do get into my groove in the gym, it feels so so good. I often find that working out clears my mind and refocuses my energy on what I am doing instead of what is running through my head.

  5. Forgive yourself. Holding things against yourself is never a good thing. You need to learn to let. it. go. Anger and grudges hurt no one other than the person holding them.

  6. Let go of people and things that don't bring you joy. These things are holding you back from living your happiest life.

  7. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you are feeling. If you hold onto something, those feelings will persist. If you are able to feel those feelings and get the tears or anger out of your system, the sooner you will be able to move on.