Strategies to Cut Down on Social Media and Screen Time

In our tech-driven era, where social media dominates our daily lives, it’s crucial to address the impact on our mental well-being. Did you know that, on average, Americans spend 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media each day? We will be going over the effects and exploring reliable strategies for achieving a healthier balance in our screen time.

Understanding Social Media’s Effect on Your Mental Health 

Social media brings undeniable benefits, facilitating connections, information access, and community building. Yet, it’s crucial to acknowledge the challenges it poses to mental well-being. Comparing our lives to curated versions on social media can lead to feelings of inadequacy and envy.

Cyberbullying, fueled by the platform’s anonymity, can have severe emotional consequences, especially for young individuals. The addictive nature of notifications and likes may result in excessive screen time, neglecting real-life interactions. Social media’s portrayal of an idealized life can trigger FOMO, contributing to anxiety and depression. These are just some of how social media can leave a lasting impact on your mental health.

Tips and Tricks to Make Social Media Work For You 

It is important to implement certain strategies into your daily life to achieve a more balanced screen time. Some great ways to cut back on your social media and screen usage include the following:

  • Using Timers: Establishing clear boundaries is paramount, and the use of screen time trackers, coupled with setting timers, is a practical approach recommended by experts. Digital detox challenges, involving intentional disconnection from screens for a set period, offer a strategic reset for your mental well-being.
  • Find a Screen-Free Hobby: Cultivating offline hobbies is not just a leisurely suggestion but a recognized practice endorsed by psychologists. Allocating at least an hour each week to screen-free activities, such as reading or engaging in physical activities, promotes a well-rounded lifestyle and a much-needed break from social media and screens.
  • Enjoy a Screen-Free Meal: Dedicate at least one meal a day to be enjoyed without the presence of screens. This intentional break can lead to a more mindful and enjoyable dining experience.

The journey toward balanced screen time is about integrating reliable strategies into our digital lifestyles. By incorporating these professionally endorsed practices, we can foster a healthier relationship with technology. It’s not about saying goodbye to screens forever—it’s about finding that sweet spot to live with and without them. Change can be slow, but it’s worth it!

For more resources around social media, check out our school outreach resources, our Life Support Podcast, and our last article: Navigating Social Media and Mental Health.

Anthony LeonStrategies to Cut Down on Social Media and Screen Time

Navigating Social Media and Mental Health

We’ve all been there: five minutes of scrolling through social media turns into an hour. It’s difficult to keep in touch, be part of community, and plan events without the use of social media but using it too often can significantly impact our mood and our mental health. So how do we find a balance?  

How Social Media Can Impact Your Mental Health 

While social media platforms offer many benefits, like connecting with loved ones, accessing information, and fostering a sense of community, they also pose significant challenges to mental well-being. Here are some of the ways in which social media can impact our mental health:

  • Comparison and Envy: One of the most common negative effects of social media is the tendency to compare our lives to the curated, highlight-reel versions of others’ lives. This constant comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy, envy, and low self-esteem. Remember that when we see posts and videos from others, they’re often highly curated and edited – they don’t often reflect reality. 
  • Cyberbullying: The anonymity provided by social media can sometimes encourage cyberbullying, which can have severe emotional and psychological consequences, especially for young people. No one has the right to harass or intimidate you, even online. If they do, block and report them. 
  • Obsession: The constant notifications, likes, and comments can be addictive, leading to excessive screen time and neglect of real-life interactions and responsibilities. Make sure you’re seeing people in person and use social media and other technology to fill in gaps and keep in contact with those who might be far away. 
  • FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): Social media often portrays an idealized version of life, making it easy to feel like you’re missing out on experiences and opportunities, contributing to anxiety and depression. 
  • Negative Self-Talk: Reading hurtful comments or comparing oneself to others online can exacerbate negative self-talk. Make sure you’re following accounts that make you feel good and unfollowing those that don’t. 

Tips and Tricks to Make Social Media Work For You 

Yes, social media can be hard to navigate and we often hear a lot of negative news about social platforms. However, social media offers us the opportunity to learn what is happening around the world, meet new people, and keep in contact with those who might otherwise fade from our busy lives. Here’s a few ideas to keep your social media usage in check:  

  • Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries for your social media use. Decide on a daily or weekly time limit and stick to it. Avoid using social media during meal times or right before bed. Having a hard time sticking to this? Set a timer on your phone and stick to it. 
  • Curate Your Feed: Unfollow or mute accounts that consistently make you feel negative emotions or promote unrealistic ideals. Instead, follow accounts that inspire, educate, or entertain you in a positive way. 
  • Take Breaks: Regularly take digital detox breaks. Disconnect from social media for a few hours or even days to recharge and focus on real-life experiences. Make a list of things you can do, activities you’ve always wanted to try, and adventures you can go on to have a ready-made, personalized list at your fingertips when you need a break from your phone. 
  • Practice Self-Awareness: Pay attention to how social media makes you feel. If you notice it’s negatively affecting your mental health, take a step back and evaluate your usage. 
  • Engage Mindfully: Before posting or commenting, consider the potential impact of your words. Be mindful of the content you consume and share, and think about how it aligns with your values. 
  • Seek Support: If you’re struggling with mental health issues exacerbated by social media, don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or mental health professionals for support and guidance. Here at C-WHO we offer behavioral health consultations for anyone who is looking to improve their mental health. They’re confidential, are less than 30 minutes, and designed to help you get on the right track.  

Social media is not our enemy but we need to make sure it’s working for us instead of us mindlessly consuming and scrolling. Need some help getting there, we’d love to help. 

  • mental health
  • behavioral health
  • social media
  • facebook
  • instagram
  • snapchat
  • pinterest
  • twitter
  • tiktok
Linda CardwellNavigating Social Media and Mental Health

Burnout and Stress for Healthcare Professionals

Our lives look vastly different than they did two years ago. We have lost friends, family, and neighbors to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have experienced severe social and economic disruptions. Yet we have also learned a lot about what it means to take care of ourselves, to make space for small acts of joy, and dream of how we can do better.  

Healthcare professionals know this better than anyone. You have been on the frontlines of some of the most challenging circumstances of generations. You see patients everyday experiencing symptoms of stress and burnout. You know the very real consequences of stress on the body. And yet it is so often the caregivers who struggle the most with setting boundaries, reducing stress and burnout, and developing plans for wellness. You do this work with your patients, let us help you do it for yourself.  

Here at C-WHO we have partnered with Master’s level trained clinicians that will help you identify your stressors. Together, you will create a plan to reduce stress and burnout so that you can look forward to a better future. Our consultations are not therapy. We are not here to diagnose mental illness. And we are not a crisis line. But we are 100% confidential – we’ll never share information with your employer – and you can speak to one of our clinicians over Zoom. 

Burnout is different from stress. We often characterize stress as being over-engaged, reacting with urgency, anxiety-inducing, and taking a physical toll on the body. Burnout creates symptoms of confusion, apathy, depression, and is emotionally draining. Burnout is not going to get better with a week-long vacation or catching up on sleep over the weekend. It requires sustained and consistent habits of mindfulness, boundary setting, and support.  

Mental and emotional health does not happen overnight. It takes practice. And let’s be honest, practice does not make perfect, but it can make things better. We will work with you to develop plans for building resilience, finding tips and tricks to re-center yourself when things feel like they are overwhelming, and make sure that you are equipped for wherever your career takes you.  

Here at C-WHO we work to inspire and create radically innovative solutions across the health spectrum. We could not do the work we do without healthcare professionals like you. Let us help. Call 208-812-4999 to schedule your virtual consultation today. Not a healthcare professional? Our virtual consultations are for you too!

  • mental health
  • mental wellness
  • behavioral health
  • healthcare professionals
Linda CardwellBurnout and Stress for Healthcare Professionals
Translate »