Social media plays a big role in our lives, especially for college students who had to make connections online during virtual learning. Many young women use social media to stay updated on their friends’ and families’ lives, learn what’s new with their favorite influencers, or as an entertaining break from the outside world. However, social media can also drain energy and can affect how you feel on a daily basis. This is why it is important to extend self-care practices to your social media use. Actively practicing self-care on social media can encourage motivation and boost self-confidence!
It’s easy to get carried away on social media, and a few hours can quickly pass by scrolling on your phone. Long periods of time on social media have been linked to loss of sleep, which can also lead to side effects such as memory loss and depression. To prevent this, it can be helpful to set boundaries on the time spent on social media. For example, staying off of social media platforms half an hour before you go to bed is a good boundary to set as you relax and prepare for sleep. You can also choose another form of entertainment to become part of your nighttime routine, like reading a book or listening to a podcast.
Another way of preventing social media from negatively affecting your energy and productivity is by dedicating specific times for no social media use. Creating times in a day for yourself when you don’t use social media can help you focus better on other tasks you want to get done. This can also open up more opportunities to do things you haven't found the time for -- whether it's trying out the new coffee shop, catching up with an old friend or listening to your favorite artist’s new song!
The most important thing, however, when you are using social media is that you filter your feed to what inspires and motivates you. Don’t be afraid to unfollow accounts that cause you to feel more negative feelings than good ones. Finding and following people who share identities and interests with you is a great way to use social media to connect with people. Knowing that there are other women who are facing the same challenges as you or who get excited over the same things you do can be extremely rewarding; it can even help increase self-confidence as you further embrace what makes you who you are. Also, finding the social media accounts of organizations like The Women’s Network that are geared towards women empowerment is an amazing boost of motivation to get you through the day.
The application and practice of self care on social media is an individual process as everyone knows what works best for them. Healthy self care practices are built over a gradual amount of time and it is okay to have occasional setbacks. What is most important is that you are able to better recognize when you might need to take a step back and adjust your social media habits. Developing these self care skills can help in creating a healthier and more confident version of yourself!