How to Create a Social Feed Designed for Better Mental Health
Social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have changed how the world interacts and communicates.
While social networking sites have brought many positive transformations in how people learn, connect, and share ideas, they also have some serious downsides. For example, studies from the National Institutes of Health link the use of online social networking sites with poor mood, low self-esteem, and other emotional challenges.
Regardless of the downsides of social media sites, they appear to be here to stay. So how can you protect your mental health while still engaging in social media? One method is to curate a feed full of uplifting and engaging information that makes you feel better, not worse.
Cultivating a positive social media feed is one way to protect your mental health in the digital age. You can also make your unplugged time meaningful by meditating, exercising, or enjoying the outdoors. And you can reinforce your body’s ability to manage stress and your mood with Quality of Life’s PureBalance™ Serotonin.*
PureBalance™ Serotonin gives your body 5-HTP, which serves as the raw materials necessary to produce serotonin.*
5-HTP, along with other ingredients found in PureBalance™ Serotonin, like L-theanine, vitamin D3, Rhodiola rosea, and Relora®, supports mood, stress management, stress-induced eating control, and quality sleep.* This unique Quality of Life blend helps solidify your mental defenses so social media doesn’t bring you down.*
Here are other ways to make sure your social networking sites feed your mental health instead of deplete it.
Consolidate Your Accounts
Unless you need all of the social media accounts for your business, then you probably don’t need to have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat account. Instead, determine which apps you enjoy and then cut the rest. You can limit your scrolling time just by giving yourself fewer options.
Set an Intention Around Your Social Media Time
Why did you log on? To check in with friends and family? To check out info on a hobby or work subject? Stop scrolling mindlessly by knowing why you’re on social media in the first place. Instead of choosing social media as a method to fill downtime, make it a purpose-driven endeavor.
It’s easy to scroll social media sites without noticing how specific posts make you feel. Keep your social media time mindful by checking in with yourself as you go.
When you see posts from a specific account, are you actually interested in what they’re saying? Do these posts make you feel better or worse? How does your energy level, frustration level, or self-worth change when you look at a specific account?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can begin the next step in creating a better social media feed: hitting unfollow.
Free Your Feed from Negativity
You can train the algorithms on social media sites by actively using the unfollow, hide, or mute functions to rid your feed of accounts that make you feel bad or don’t serve your social media goals.
Nobody checks social media to feel bad about themselves, so when a post causes your emotions to turn negative, make sure you won’t see it again. Instead, you'll begin seeing more compelling and uplifting options as you consistently supply the social media algorithms feedback on what you do and don’t want in your feed.
Don’t fear the unfollow button. You can always go back and follow that account again. Additionally, if you unfollow a friend or family member, you can always check out their account when you’re emotionally ready to take on their posts.
Lift Others Up
You may hit the “like” button as you scroll, but the chances are that you don’t always take time to comment or engage with the poster. Try going out of your way to leave positive comments on others’ posts. Let your friends know you’re proud of them, compliment an artist's work, or share your enthusiasm for a small business.
Not only will your kind words make social media a better place for those you compliment, but you’ll also experience a little boost by spreading positivity.
Turn Off Push Notifications
You probably don’t need a reminder to check social media. Turning off push notifications allows you to control when you see stressful news or when you’ll engage with other people’s feedback.
If you’re the type who consistently checks for likes and updates after you post, force yourself to close the app and engage in something else so that you don’t catch yourself always looking for updates.
Focus on What You Want to See
Instead of just cutting negativity out of your social media feed, you can replace accounts that cause anxiety and stress with accounts that make you feel happy and calm.
Whether you love animals, gardening, reading, sewing, painting, roller-skating, or anything else, there are inevitably a dozen accounts you can follow to feed your hobby and your mind positively.
If you find yourself going onto social media to check one quick thing and then wondering where the time went an hour later, it’s time to set your parameters before logging in. To keep your scrolling in check, try some of these limits:
- Schedule a time once or twice a day to check your social media accounts
- Set a timer before logging on so distractions don’t eat away at your productivity
- Leave your phone in another room when you need to be productive
- Log out between scrolling sessions
- Delete apps on your phone so social media is out of sight, out of mind
If some of these options sound too extreme, you can take smaller steps to limit your social media exposure. For instance, instead of deleting an app, try moving it to a less-accessible folder.
Protect Your Mental Health
Taking the time to unplug, incorporating screen-free activities into your daily life, and maintaining balance in the hormones required to stabilize your mood and handle stress can help protect your mental health.
Supplements like Quality of Life’s PureBalance™ Serotonin can help you to protect your mental health regardless of what’s on your social media feed.*
However, you'll feel your best online and off when you make minor tweaks that allow you to scroll mindfully and with intention, in addition to caring for your mental health IRL.