Tips from medical professionals to keep you mentally healthy

Tips from medical professionals to keep you mentally healthy


Ever wonder how your social media activity affects your mental health? While social networks continue their efforts to reduce screen time, how much of their efforts are aimed at improving your mental health? In an effort to reduce online bullying, Instagram recently discontinued their user’s ability to view follower activity. As we’ve become more reliant on social media to communicate, keep up with trends and stay in touch with current events, it takes a toll on our mental health. A recent study by The Independent shows that the average adult checks their phone up to 28 times a day. What this statistic shows us is that we are constantly looking for instant gratification. That said, we are constantly exposed to perfectly filtered pictures of friends online, which impacts the confidence and self-esteem of a person living with a mental disorder. Here are some tips to prevent your mental health from taking a beating as you scroll those timelines.

  1. Limit when and where you use your social media
    One of the key factors of social media is that it has the ability to take you to a different version of reality, which limits your in-person communication potential. Instead of constantly checking your social media, interact with friends and family, which allows you to build meaningful relationships without interruption. In addition, it allows you to focus on your actual work, without any distraction.
  2. Have a social detox
    Schedule some time to take mini-breaks from social media. This reduces stress, which is a severe trigger to mental disorders such as schizophrenia and ADHD. Several studies have shown that a 5-day break can lead to lower stress levels and higher life satisfaction. By limiting your social media usage for between 10-15 minutes daily, you lower the chances of depression as well. While this may be difficult initially, speak to friends and family to help you by declaring you’re taking a short break.
  3. Approach social media with a mindful “why” mindset
    As you sip on your morning coffee and scroll through your timeline, ask yourself “why”? Is it to read breaking news and stay informed or a mindless habit that has become part of your routine that serves as an escape from reality? Try being brave and brutally honest with yourself. If the answer leads to the latter, it’s time for that detox and to engage with people IRL instead of URL. This will prevent you from isolating yourself and bringing forward the onset of schizophrenia with stress.
  4. Stop social media from replacing real life
    While social media has the benefit of checking up how your friends are doing, it could prevent you from actually spending facetime with them. Human interaction is of utmost importance when living with a mental disorder.

While the various timelines we scroll have an impact on your life, you should take the time to make sure you put yourself and your mental health first.

References

NHS. Psoriasis overview. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psoriasis/ Accessed: June 2020.
National Psoriasis Foundation. Guttate psoriasis. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/types/guttate Accessed: June 2020.
British Association of Dermatologists patient hub; Psoriasis: an overview. Available at: https://www.skinhealthinfo.org.uk/condition/psoriasis/ Accessed: June 2020.
DermNet NZ. Guttate psoriasis. Available at: https://dermnetnz.org/topics/guttate-psoriasis/ Accessed: June 2020.
National Psoriasis Foundation. About psoriatic arthritis. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriatic-arthritis Accessed: June 2020.
WebMD. Skin problems and treatments: psoriasis. How severe is your psoriasis? Available at: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/how-severe-your-psoriasis Accessed: June 2020.
Walsh JA, et al. Psoriasis (Auckl). 2018; 8:65–74.
GP notebook. NAPSI. Available at: https://gpnotebook.com/simplepage.cfm?ID=x20121104114703605084 Accessed: June 2020.
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