Speak Up. Reach Out is Freshered's mental health initiative.
Let’s be honest, we’re all using Instagram. Whether it’s to see cute pictures of dogs, stalk your ex’s new girlfriend or to post a cheeky thirst trap, we’re all doing it. But, with us scrolling on social media for an average of two and a half hours a day, we need to make sure that the content we are consuming is empowering us and not deflating us.
Who Are You Following?
The best way to take a positive step towards taking care of your mental health online is to make sure that the people you are seeing every single day make you feel good. If you take a look on your ‘most shown in feed’ accounts on Instagram, you will see the accounts that hit your feed the most often. To quote Marie Kondo, if these accounts don’t ‘spark joy’ within you, then you need to let them go.
Imagine you had a friend that called you ugly every time you saw them. Or who flaunted their wealth around you, to make you feel inadequate. Someone who made you feel stupid and worthless. Well, you would simply stop seeing them and cut them out of your life (I would hope). So, why would you allow someone to make you feel like that through a screen? Just because people are not saying these things to your face, it doesn’t mean that the feelings you have aren’t real.
As much as we love (or hate) the Kardashian’s, they have unrealistic bodies and frequently promote weight loss products. This kind of content can really make a dent in your mental health if you see it everyday. Even subconsciously, you may begin to think that your body is ugly or wrong becuause it doesn’t mirror what you are seeing online. But what we need to remember is that these unattainable body types in magazines and online are just that: unattainable.
Following accounts of people who look like you and who hold the same fundamental values as you can really make a difference to your mental health. If you start populating your feed with positive and encouraging content, you will come away from your afternoon binge on Instagram feeling better than before.
Just Unfollow Them
People do not know when you unfollow them. Quite frankly, they don’t care. So, just unfollow them. Kim Kardashian is not going to cancel you on Twitter because you unfollowed her. And that girl from high school who posts bikini pictures every time she goes on holiday, won’t notice that you have stopped liking her pictures. One click of the unfollow button on those few accounts that make you feel inadequate could be the catalyst to a happier you!
Try to find a few accounts that make you feel happy and empower you. Then see who they are following and follow those people. You will soon find that you have a whole new timeline, fillied with bodies that look like yours and people who make you feel comfortable. Interacting with these kinds of accounts everyday will truly reshape your outlook on the world and hopefully, on yourself.