By Jameson Holman, LMFT
I don’t know about you but social media these days seems to be a never-ending counterfeit euphoria of constructed reality where everyone else seems to be doing amazing things while you can’t even get out of bed. Despite the fact that you know deep down everyone struggles just like you and puts on their best self on social media, you still find yourself mindlessly scrolling through endless pages of self-proclaimed accomplishments wondering how you ever got there in the first place when you meant to simply check your email. Or even worse, with ever-increasing rifts in the great divide that is our nation, social media can seem like a cesspit of politically-charged vitriol showcasing the very worst that humanity can offer in the form of cyber-bullying, intolerance, close-mindedness, and other gross atrocities which can seem overwhelming, hopeless, and downright depressing. The good news is we all do it and we all fall victim to the trappings of social media and thus you are not alone in this self-inflicted misery. The bad news is still that we all do it because it is in our nature to pique the curiosity within us by “checking in” to social media just to “see what’s out there” without realising consciously the harm we are doing to our mental health in the process. You may be thinking to yourself, “What can men do against such reckless hate?” much the same way King Theoden thought when faced with thousands of orcs at Helm’s Deep. Well let me help shed some light on the situation by offering up three ways to decompress from overexposure and detoxify from the harmful side effects of social media.
- Kneel and disconnect – Not only is this the title of a song from the album The Incident by the band Porcupine Tree (shameless plug for a band that is truly underrated), but this is also really solid advice to regain peace of mind. Kneeling in a safe place to meditate or do yoga or even to commune with a higher power can help you disconnect from your smart device, laptop, or desktop and really cleanse the mind with peaceful thoughts and meditative mantras.
- Reengage with family and friends – Nothing helps ground you in reality quite like well…reality and that is when you are with your family and with your friends who can help you remember and refocus your energies on what really matters in life.
- Service – I have found that nothing helps me feel better about life than when I’m actively trying to help others feel better about life. There are countless opportunities to serve your fellow man whether it is through donating your closet full of clothes you haven’t even looked at let alone touched in the last year or your time by volunteering at your local food bank to facilitate those who are less fortunate…the world is truly your oyster when seeking out service.
If you take on at minimum one of these things or all three you will begin to see how you can dismantle the bomb that can be social media and learn to increase your sanity overall and be better at life for it. Ramble on True Believer in this journey and embrace the adventures along the way.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Therapist