Today, I bring you a guest post from Charlotte, who gives advice on balancing your mental health when it comes to the use of social media. Social media can be an amazing tool for mental health advocacy, but to make the best of it, you need to acknolwedge when and how to turn off and focus on your own wellbeing. I’m sure this post will be of use to you all- Much love, Rhi. X
(P.s If interested in writing a guest post for my blog, regardless of your previous experience with blogging, be sure to contact me via my blog or through social media. Xo)
Charlotte’s Blog Post:
I live with mental illness, I have done for as long as I can remember. I don’t actually remember a time when I wasn’t the way that I am now. However, in the last year, I have become a mental health advocate of sorts; it’s something I had never planned but I now wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve finally found my passion and purpose.
But like everything in life, we need to remember to balance our mental health and ensure that we are not giving too much of ourselves away. Sometimes, It can be easy to obsess over Instagram or Facebook, it’s easy to compare yourself to others and overly push yourself to be better. There is nothing wrong with self-improvement but at the end of the day, trying is what counts.
Blogging is something I am passionate about, luckily it’s not a competitive industry but there are times when I can feel my mental health failing because of running my blog. It’s very easy for me to look at successful bloggers who are younger than me or who have only had their blog a short while and wonder why I am not as good. It’s easy to look at the stats and think that your writing is terrible or ineffective. You can see here how easy it is to get wrapped up and take away from something that is supposed to be fun.
I started to write because I found it to be a form of therapy. I liked that it helped me manage and understand my own thoughts and feelings better. When I found out that my words were helping others, it seemed like something so special; and it is. We need to remember that no matter what we do, if it started as a passion, you need to remember why you started because, at the end of the day, it was never meant to be a task.
I mention often on Twitter about how much I feel like a failure and how I am not doing enough for others. I get very insecure on some days and even angry at myself for not being as amazing as other mental health advocates on Twitter. Jealousy is a basic human emotion for sure. It seems that I am so desperate to make a change, that I inadvertently live in the past where I was often overshadowed; it’s funny how much of our past can influence our personalities.
So, it’s incredibly important for me to manage social media as well as my mental health, because, like many of my followers, friends, and family, I suffer too.
Learning to put my phone down and eat is a big thing for me, or when I have a conversation, I get so scared that I won’t be there for someone in need that I am completely detached from the real world; in moments like these you need to remember that the world can’t be helped if you are not living.
Allowing yourself time off has been a major recent discovery, the last year I have been basically working on my writing and blogging and helping others 24/7 for free. I literally did not have a holiday until over a year into this new world of mine and when I finally let myself have time off, I remembered how nice it was to smile and take in my surroundings. We often miss some of our best memories because of our phones.
Balancing my workload is also a new thing, I used to get so excited when I had months worth of work to do in a week. I liked to be busy and there is nothing wrong with it. Except, I got very tired and my motivation went, I literally felt like a sim on low energy. When you are asked to do things for others online, it’s easy to agree and drop everything but remember that you have needs and sleep, rest, and actually doing something else are incredibly vital for your mental health.
At the end of the day, I know I have an addiction to social media, I think that most people in my generation do. We were raised into this new world and we know very little outside of it.
You need to ask yourself, has your phone replaced your friends? Your identity? Your education? Your basic needs? Because if it has, even just a little bit, then you need to take a step back and adjust. You do not need to sacrifice anything, just learn that the world will not stop because you have not checked your phone overnight – I mean, why don’t you try turning it off before bed? I’m sure the sleep will be much needed. 🙂