The Social Media Game - How Taking a Break Can Help Your Mental Health
from Your RAFT Counseling Team in Parker, CO
In our current age, it's difficult to imagine life without social media. For many of us, social media is how we stay in touch with our loved ones, how we get our news, and how we stay connected to the world. But all this constant connection can come at a cost to our mental health. That's why it's so important to take a break from social media every now and then, even if it's just for a few days. Here's how it can help.
Overwhelmed and Stressed
When we're constantly bombarded with images and messages from social media, it can be overwhelming and even stressful. Just think about the last time you scrolled through your Facebook feed or Instagram feed and came across something that made you angry or upset. That stressful feeling is caused by cortisol, which is released by our bodies when we're under duress. And too much cortisol can lead to a whole host of mental and physical health problems, including anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.
Social media can also lead to feelings of envy and jealousy. When we see our friends constantly posting about their amazing accomplishments or happy relationships, it's only natural to compare ourselves to them. And when we compare our real-life selves to others highlight reels, we often come up short—which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Disappointed, anxious, and even down about our physical appearance can all happen when we’re scrolling. All of these negative emotions can take a toll on our mental health. In fact, studies have shown that there is a correlation between time spent on social media and increased levels of anxiety and depression.
Sleep Better without Social Media
We've all been there—you finally get into bed after a long day only to spend the next hour scrolling through your Facebook feed or watching cute videos on YouTube. But here's the thing: using screens right before bed can make it harder to fall asleep. The blue light emitted by our devices suppresses the production of melatonin—a hormone that helps regulate our sleep cycles. So, if you find yourself tossing and turning at night, try putting away your phone an hour before you go to bed and see if that makes a difference.
The Importance of Taking a Break
When we take a break from social media, we give our bodies a chance to recover from all that stress. We give ourselves time to breathe, relax, and rejuvenate. And as a result, we come back feeling refreshed and recharged. We're able to better deal with the everyday stresses of life because we've taken some time for ourselves. So if you're feeling overwhelmed by social media, try taking a break for a few days. You might just find that it does wonders for your mental health.
Spending too much time on social media can also take away from face-to-face interactions—interactions that are crucial for maintaining strong social relationships. When we're constantly looking at our phones or computers, we're not really present in the moment—and that can make it difficult to connect with others on a deeper level. Taking a break can give us more time to focus on the relationships right in front of us. And feeling more connected supports not only our relationships, but our mental health too.
Taking a break from social media is definitely not easy in our current age. But it's so important for our mental health. If you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed out by social media, take some time for yourself and disconnect for a few days. You'll come back feeling refreshed, connected, a