Maintaining healthy boundaries with social media is crucial for your mental and emotional well-being in today’s 24/7 connected world. At a very basic level, it’s essential to set limits on the amount of time spent on social media platforms. Mindless scrolling for hours can lead to feelings of comparison, anxiety, and a distorted sense of reality, all of which exacerbate negative feelings and low mood. If you’re like me and doom-scrolled during pandemic lockdowns, you have had firsthand experience of how much it can impact your mood. Allocating specific time slots for social media usage can help prevent it from interfering with other important aspects of our lives, such as work, relationships, and self-care. Most phones allow you to set limits so that you will be automatically logged out of an app after a certain amount of time spent using it.

Next, be mindful of the content you consume and engage with on social media. It’s easy to fall into the trap of negative or toxic content, which can impact your mood and overall outlook. Cultivating a conscious awareness of what you’re absorbing and unfollowing accounts that don’t promote positivity and well-being can significantly contribute to a healthier online experience. Try going through the accounts you follow and unfollow/mute accounts that don’t feel uplifting and supportive. For example, if you struggle with body image or disordered eating, unfollow diet-y and food-focused accounts, and actively seek out accounts that promote body acceptance, health at every size and deconstruct diet culture. If you feel challenged by your relationship with substances, seek out some sobriety and recovery based accounts to explore how you feel when you engage with that content.

Lastly, separating your self-worth from social media metrics, such as likes, comments, and followers, is essential for maintaining a positive self-image. Seeking validation solely from these metrics can lead to feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. Instead, focusing on real-life connections, personal growth, and accomplishments outside the virtual realm can help build a strong sense of self that isn’t dependent on social media validation. You can turn off notifications or the ability to comment on what you post. Or take a break from all social media for a day or 2 (or even a week!) to experiment with how that changes your experiences.

Establishing healthy boundaries with social media involves setting time limits, being mindful of the content you consume, and not tying your self-worth to online metrics. Often we don’t know how something is impacting us until we remove it for comparison, and that often feels challenging initially, but many people end up feeling happier if they limit and curate their use of it.

Ilse Burton

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The Evolution Group Incorporated is a private counseling firm that has built its practice around the core values of integrity, authenticity, safety and honoring individuality. We work with individuals, couples and families to empower the wholeness that already lies within them

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Albuquerque, NM 87102

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