How to use social media in the best way – top tips for protecting your mental health

Social media can be a tricky place to navigate, even in the best of times. If you are struggling with your mental health, Instagram can be a complete minefield. As part of our Mental Health Awareness campaign, we’ve put together some easy tips and tricks for protecting your mental health when online.

using instagram for protecting your mental health

Protecting your mental health on Instagram

1. Schedule time to use social media and times to step away.

Scrolling through social media for hours on end can very easily be done, but prolonged periods spent on a screen can ruin your sleeping pattern, lead you to obsessing over the app and even affect your personal/work life. If you find yourself overusing social media, try checking your screen time and aim to reduce it by an hour a week, or even download an app that lets you know that you have been scrolling for too long!

2. Be clear about what your purpose is when logging onto a social media site and stick to it.

We’ve all found ourselves in Twitter holes and deep into the depths of Youtube, however if you do this whilst you are supposed to be working or socialising, it’s easy to guilt trip yourself. If you are simply going on to check the news, or see an update from your fave celeb, then remember your purpose and close the app when you’ve finished!

3. Use other people’s posts as inspiration rather than comparison

It’s all too easy to compare ourselves to people on Instagram. Whether we obsess over their ‘seemingly perfect’ relationship posts, their Kardashian-worthy bodies or their endless supply of designer handbags. Always remember when you are on someone else’s profile, they only post the 1% of their life that they want the rest of the world to see. Instagram is never the full story.

4. Think before posting

Social media is a place for self expression and sharing your favourite moments with friends and family. However, it can be a cruel place. Think about whether your post or comment will upset someone else before you publish it.

5. Put your mental health first

Social media should be a fun addition to our lives, not something to make us feel sh*tty. Use the apps as long as they make you happy, but as soon as they start to have a negative impact, consider taking a break or limiting your usage. You and your mental health should come above anything else!

If you or a loved one needs professional advice regarding their mental health, take a look at our list of helplines and contact numbers.