Is social media right now making us more anxious? Ally Carey shares her thoughts.


We are thinking of you all in these unprecedented times and hope you are taking care of yourselves and those around you. Your unwavering support of Marle through the uncertainty continues to lift us up and we are so thankful. We hope we can return this same feeling by offering a sense of escapism and inspiration through these challenging moments.

This week, we called on our friend, Ally from - Creating Substance - to share her thoughts around anxiety and social media. We hope you enjoy.

 
[Hello! It’s Ally here. It’s nice to meet you…from a distance].
 
The past three weeks have been turbulent to say the very least. I am struggling like everyone else to adjust to the pandemic.
 
Within such a small space of time, we have gone from working from home being ‘optional’, to sudden isolation. In three weeks, the world has been brought to a halt. Since this sudden halt, we’ve all been longing for a return to ‘normality’, a sense of something familiar; something we can control. However, for now, many aspects our lives as we knew it, will remain in limbo – a forced break.
 
I’ve asked my partner Will, "When will this be over?", so many times — It’s a rhetorical question though, because I know the answer. The answer is simple and obvious, yet incredibly hard to accept. The answer is never. The world as we knew it has changed. Because of the pandemic, the way we work, learn, travel and connect will be changed, forever.
 
I have found it hard not to succumb to fear in the face of uncertainty and unpredictability. I’ll experience five emotions in one week, sometimes in a day; anger, happiness, sadness, fear & hope.
"The world as we knew it has changed. Because of the pandemic, the way we work, learn, travel and connect will be changed, forever"


Over the past week, I have had a break from media, social media and life. This has been purely for my mental wellbeing and because in times like these when the world is rife with misinformation and negativity, I now realise I need to moderate my media consumption.  At first I thought the social media spiral was helping me feel less alone in my uncertainty; I guess you could say I thought it was making me feel connected to something bigger than the confines of my lounge-room. But then I recognised that it was having a negative impact on my mental health.
 
I have found it helpful to only touch base once or twice a day to stay up to date. I then leave it alone. I also don’t check it when I initially wake up now. It is also very important to make sure you’re reading facts from credible sources and be sure not to engage with the voluminous social media misinformation – it’s wild out there!!

 


Only three weeks have passed and change won’t happen overnight, but given time, your brain can, and will, reset to new crisis conditions. For now, the best we can all do is let go of the ideas of what we should be doing right now. Until we have adapted and reset, it is super important to just take things slow. Focus and engage in healthy practices (without putting pressure on yourself) and as hard as it is, try to sustain regular routines that bring you stability. That could be things like exercise or meditation or activities that have somewhat a healing impact – cooking, making things, sewing, art or journaling your thoughts at the end of the day. Don’t go overboard in thinking you have to keep yourself markedly busy; just begin with one thing which feeds your soul. In these tough times all we can do is learn ways to calm ourselves down and find peace from within. Let’s just live in the most simplistic meaning of that and see what happens.
 
Coronavirus has taught me three things:

  1. The importance of analysing and assessing what and how I consume both media and social media.
  2. It is okay to not be okay. It’s okay you didn’t exercise. It’s okay you were productive. It’s okay you finished the jar of Nutella in two hours. It’s okay you didn’t bake banana bread because you saw 20,000 on Instagram do it.
  3. Cut out the noise.


Please stay safe and take any precautions you can. Please know you’re not alone through this. My thoughts are with anyone experiencing anxiety, insecurity, and/or any other negative impact from the current state of affairs. 

 

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