Sometime in the summer of 2020, as the name of this post suggests, I took the Instagram app off my phone.
That timing is incredibly important. The pandemic started earlier that year, and I spent hours and hours scrolling, wasting my time staring at my phone screen. I started following many new accounts to swipe through, from influencers to artists to educators and everything in between. Though they made me happy at the time – and I can’t stress enough what a time that was – Instagram quickly became an ongoing source of stress and more mentally tiring than I thought it would be.
My social media use has changed drastically during quarantine. As I’ve spent more time indoors, on my couch, doing nothing, I’ve also found myself mindlessly scrolling on various social media feeds now more than ever, even if everyone else is just at home, on their couches, doing nothing as well!
I’ve made lots of changes to the way that I use my phone and social media, both before and during quarantine, in order to reduce the amount of stress that they trigger. Many of them are very small changes, but all together, they’ve saved me a lot of anguish – and I hope they can be helpful to you too!
Taking better care of my mental health isn’t really a “new year’s resolution.” It’s more of a thing that I’ve known I had to take care of for years but didn’t, for many different reasons. Like finances, it’s become important to me to be more open about my mental health because it currently isn’t something that I talk to anyone about.
For example, I only told my mom that I was going to therapy after nearly 5 months of seeing my therapist – and even then, I was nervous to tell her! Nervous! I am very proud to work with a lot of mental health providers, and I respect their work immensely, but I’m still a bit shy to discuss my own mental health with others. Why am I so nervous about talking about mental health?
There’s a ton of reasons – social judgement being the big one – but part of my mental self-care has been adopting a “fuck it” attitude, and this feels like a great place to start.
I’m planning much more in-depth posts throughout October about my mental health care journey, but there are a couple of lessons that I’ve specifically learned during quarantine that I want to bring with me into the rest of this “new year” – read about them after the break!