Social media can be a wonderful tool for caregivers. It can connect you with other people caring for loved ones and provide you with support in your journey. It can introduce you to new research and teach you about local resources where you can meet in-person with experts and other caregivers. Social media can connect you with family and friends that you may not see often in your day-to-day life.
Use of social media can also cause stress and feelings of overwhelm. When you spend a lot of time reading and searching through different social media sites, you are bombarded with information. It can feel like you need to see and interact with everything that’s being posted. While it can be a wonderful tool for finding comradery, people tend to post their “highlight reels.” Comparing your life to another’s, especially when you’re struggling, can be detrimental.
What practices can you put in place to ensure you are taking care of yourself first while using social media? How can you practice mindfulness while navigating such a stimulating medium?
Here are a few ideas:
Quit Social Media Every Other Day |The writers of this article advocate for intermittent social media fasting. At the end of the day, log out of every one of your social media accounts, and do not log back in for 24 hours.
Track your time online | It can be easy to follow link after link for hours. To avoid falling in to a worm hole, set a timer for 10, 20, or 30 minutes before logging on. When the timer goes off, disengage!
Set limits | When you subscribe to a site, you are agreeing to spend time using it. Make a list of the sites you use regularly and think about the value you get out of them. How does the information you receive or the conversations you have on those sites make you feel? If the answer is not so great, it may be worth it to unsubscribe.
How do you feel about social media? Do you have ways of limiting your use? We’d love to hear from you in our comments!
Cassandra Van Dyck