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Can't Look at Social Media on Bad Health Days? Try This Instead.

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In my last post, “Why I Cry When I Open Social Media on Bad Health Days,” I talk about how social media has gained control over my illness and myself. We, as a society, have become so reliant on social media. I do not remember what life was like before checking my phone multiple times a day became a thing.

Having a chronic illness, I feel I check social media more often than I should. The confession I shared in my article explained that social media has the power to make me cry on a bad health day. Simple posts, pictures, achievements, or stories from friends and family, can cause me to lose control.

No matter how upset I am, my anxiety kicks in and I feel the need to continue scrolling and reading. Until I have made myself sick to my stomach. My pity party I throw has become my new obsession. I have no one to blame but myself.

I am learning that social media is not a place for me to be on bad health days. It has become a place many of us cannot handle. Instead, I have found other things to do to help steer me away from the obsession I have created:

1. Personal Development

Personal development books have become more of an obsession that I can handle. I do not know what I would do without them. When I am in my head bringing myself down, I close off my electronics and sit with a book. There is nothing better than criticism from a personal development book. They always remind you that life is not perfect, but it also is not that bad. After reading, I always feel as though I have a new look on life. I let go of all my whys, and begin to ask myself, “What?” What can I do to make my life more enjoyable? Personal development erases my sadness from what I’ve seen on social media. Instead it creates an, “I am going to do big things with my life,” attitude.

2. Write

Writing has always been my happy place. For me, it helps me let out all the emotions and feelings I have bottled up inside. It allows me to feel like I have a clean slate to start my day all over again – with a more positive mindset.

3. Yoga

Another obsession that is easier to handle. Yoga helps me physically, mentally, and emotionally. The moment I feel like I am about to spiral into another dimension, I take out my yoga mat and practice a few of my favorite poses and breathing exercises. Shutting off my electronics and finding my inner-self through yoga has begun to bring me back to life.

4. Going Outdoors and Walking

There really is nothing better than heading outside and getting a fresh breath of air. Nature is one of my most favorite things to sit and stare at. It constantly reminds me just how beautiful life truly is. Light walking also allows me to clear my mind. Some days I cry the entire time, talking to myself about what it is I saw that made me upset. By the time I finish walking, I feel so much better.

5. Group Therapy

Knowing that you are part of a group where you can share everything and not be judged can really help you when you are feeling alone.

6. Music

There is nothing better than blasting music and singing until my lungs are sore. Another confession. I love to put on concerts in my basement, in front of my invisible guests, with my karaoke machine. Pretending to be a rock star makes me feel like one and I totally forget why I was upset.

7. Light Activities

This could range from crafts, adult coloring books, to playing with my dog. These activities help keep my mind occupied and bring me back to life.

These seven ideas have been what I rely on when I feel I can’t look at social media. It is not always easy to shut off everything and take a step back, but it is important to try. Try to do these things daily, if you are able to. You may be able to find a sense of balance and control. My ideas may not be helpful for everyone, so I would love to hear what you do instead of social media on bad health days.

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Originally published: October 27, 2017
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