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Social media and mental health

Photo: Social media can help us keep in touch with friends and family, but make sure it doesn't impact your mental health.

Social media can be a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, learn new things or find out about new places. But social media can also make us feel left out. Sometimes, it seems like everyone we follow on social media is having more fun than we are.

If you’ve been feeling low or anxious recently, it might be time to think about how you use social media.

Social media isn’t always real life

Most people only post on social media when something interesting or exciting has happened. People might post content which makes their lives seem more fun than they really are, or edit their photos to make their faces and bodies look different. Social media doesn’t show us how those people really feel, or what they do with the rest of their time. Even people who seem to have exciting lives online might feel sad or lonely.

Have a social media spring clean!

We don’t always realise it, but spending lots of time following people who lead very glamorous lives – like celebrities, actors or influencers – can make us feel bad about ourselves. We might feel pressured to look more like those people or buy the things they’re advertising. Try to only follow accounts that make you smile or feel good about yourself.

Have some time out

You don’t have to be online all the time. Think about whether you really need your social media notifications switched on, or whether you’d feel happier without them. You might find that turning your phone off or leaving it in another room when you’re eating, sleeping or talking to friends or family can help you to feel calmer and more in control.

‘Likes’ aren’t everything

Getting lots of likes and comments on our social media posts might feel good at the time, but spending a lot of time looking at about how many likes we’re getting can make us worry that we’re not good enough. Try to find other ways to boost your confidence.