By Sara Saeedi, adjunct faculty, Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy
This time of year, many people look to tidy their homes or external environment as part of their spring-cleaning efforts, often neglecting their social environment – but we shouldn’t look to only cleaning our physical environment. We must also look to clean our virtual one. Mental Health Awareness Month is a good reminder that where we spend our time matters.
This spring, focus on cleaning up and curating your social media feed. Today, a big part of our social environment is our “virtual home” or social media platforms – and it’s just as difficult to focus and feel good about yourself with a demotivating social media feed as it is with a messy home. From Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok, our social media presence has an impact on our mental well-being. Don’t be scared to use functions like ‘mute’ and ‘unfollow’ on accounts that don’t make you feel good and lead to unhealthy comparisons, and pay special attention to your media consumption.
- Try to curate your feed with diversity – from diversity in appearance to diversity in opinion.
- Be a careful critic of what you consume – remember social media is a highlight reel and does not represent actual life.
- If you find yourself drawn to accounts that trigger unhelpful thoughts and behaviours – be curious with yourself and ask why. Think of these as weeds around your home that need to be pulled from the root. This may lead to deep introspection and a better understanding of some of your maladaptive core beliefs and unhealthy thinking patterns.
- At the same time, notice what content makes you feel good or motivates you to reach your goals. These are your flowers, plant more of them around your home. ‘Follow’, ‘like’, ‘repost’ and repeat.
By following these simple rules and approaching your feed with curiosity and compassion, you can curate a virtual home that you can learn and grow in – just in time for spring.