What constitutes a mindful social media presence? Ever go online to check your social media “really quick” and end up mindlessly scrolling for 45 minutes? This would be the opposite of a mindful social media experience.
We’ve all been there.
It’s easy to get sucked in and crave that dopamine hit we get from likes and comments on our posts. But it can quickly become too much and too pervasive in our lives, leaving us feeling lacking or not good enough.
So how do we cultivate a more mindful social media practice in a way that’s sustainable and has a more positive affect on our mental health? Keep reading for our best tips!
Mindful Social Media Presence Cultivates a Healthy Relationship with Social Media
While there are downsides to social media, it can also have some really good upsides. Social media can help us connect with friends and family who aren’t geographically close. It can also create a sense of community amongst people with like interests.
There are tons of online groups for things like yoga, motherhood, and so much more. You can find support for any phase of life and even find mental health help from psychologists and mental health counselors.
Of course, social media also opens tons of doors for entrepreneurs and anyone wanting to start a side hustle!
Ready to start?
Keep reading for the how-to of cultivating a mindful social media practice and five healthy habits!
Practice This Before and After Check-in for Mindful Social Media Use:
Check In With Yourself Before Checking in on Social
Pause before opening the app, take a deep breath, and consider how you feel. Check in on your emotional state.
Sometimes we use social media as a way to check out and numb our feelings when things aren’t going well. Make sure that you feel grounded and at ease before engaging in social media.
Check In With Yourself After You’ve Been on Social Media
Notice how you feel after you’ve been online for a time. Do you feel inspired, uplifted and happy? Or do you feel lacking, envious and lonely?
What we consume can have a powerful impact on our mood and mental health. If you feel worse after scrolling, it’s time to consider redesigning your online experience.
Neck Hurting After Scrolling Social Media on Your Phone? Check Out: 7 Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Neck Pain
Try These 5 Mindful Social Media Habits:
1. Set a Time Limit
Don’t let yourself get carried away.
On Instagram, for example, you can select the Your Activity tab on your profile, scroll to “Time” and see how long you’ve spent on the app each day.
You can even set a daily reminder to pop up once you’ve been on the app for a set amount of time. Determine the amount of time that works for you and set that boundary.
2. Be Intentional With Your Time on Social Media
Before you even open the app, know what your intention is and how much time you’re allotting to it. Maybe you want to make a post or check in with some friends.
Whatever it is, decide ahead of time so you have a plan to follow and don’t get sucked into the mindless scroll.
3. Be Social!
Social media is designed for interaction and, well, being social. Studies show that there are more positive mental health effects to posting and actively engaging in other’s content versus mindlessly scrolling.
Use your time online to interact and contribute in a positive way, instead of just passively consuming.
Want to See How Social Media Can Affect Your Yoga Practice? Check Out: How Social Media Can Help & Hurt Your Yoga Practice
4. Design Your Online Experience
Remember, you have a choice in who and what to follow online. If you notice someone’s content repeatedly leaves you feeling lacking or triggers big emotional responses, you can unfollow that account.
The social media we consume can have a powerful impact on our mood and mental health.
At the same time, actively pursue content that makes you feel good. Hit follow on that super positive account that leaves you feeling inspired and empowered.
5. Take Responsibility for the Energy You Bring
Online spaces are just as real as the in-person physical spaces. You are responsible for the energy you bring.
Consider what you post, how you comment, and what type of mood you’re creating content from. Try practicing non-judgement as you scroll and see how it affects the way you respond to other people’s content.
Bonus Mindful Social Media Tip: Hide Your Likes
Facebook and Instagram will now allow you to hide the “likes” of a post, so you don’t see how many people hit the like button on yours and others posts.
As an experiment, hide those likes and see if it affects what you post or how often you post. How much of what you post is fueled by thinking about how many likes you’ll get?
Mindful Social Media Use Includes Logging Off
Make a habit of regularly logging out of social media.
Maybe you decide to log off for the weekend or another day or two during the week. No matter what days or amount of time you choose, make a regular habit of closing the app. You can delete the app from your phone if it’s too much of a temptation or hide it in a folder.
Bonus Tip: Turn off your notifications. You do not need to be accessible 24 hours a day. In order to be mindful and intentional with your social media use, you need to be in control and not reactive.
One great way: to turn off the notifications for your social media apps. You can respond to the messages and comments at your scheduled time.
Want More Tips on Taking a Break From Social Media? Check This Out:
How to Do a Social Media Cleanse in 4 Steps
Try one or two tips listed here and see how they work for a week. Then try a few more. Get creative and come up with your own!
Try not to be too hard on yourself as you experiment with what does and doesn’t work for you. Remember, cultivating a mindful social media practice is here to serve you. Make it your own!