Our generation is one that understands the importance of self care. We are advised to carve out time to exercise, meditate, pop on a lush face mask and get our nails done, whatever we find healing. We are also reminded of the importance of boring self care; staying hydrated, taking our medication or vitamins and getting enough sleep.
There is another form of self care that is just as important as all the rest however it isn't as widely discussed and that's digital self care. Practicing digital self care should be a priority in all of our self care routines. Our social media accounts and online communities are an extension of ourselves and so it’s important to ensure that we are looking after our mental health and well-being online too.
Sometimes one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves is to take a step back, log out and switch off. Unfollow any accounts that make you feel low, are triggering to you or shame you. It’s OK to press the delete button on people who cause you harm. Fill your feed full of people who inspire you and lift you up, you have the power to create a more positive digital space for yourself I promise!
It’s important to make your mental health a priority in online spaces. If a place becomes toxic, leave! And please remember you don’t have to engage with online bullies and trolls. People who would post nasty comments, tweets or statuses with the intention to cause you harm or ‘troll you’ are nothing but bullies and you don’t owe them any of your time or your energy. Self preservation, self LOVE is key... so block, delete and move on to something more positive or even better log out, switch off and rest up, because your mental health matters and online bullying can have real world effects.
You can make small changes right now in order to practise digital self care. Follow some body positivity accounts, unfollow anyone who you 'hate follow' (honestly, just unfollow them, even if it doesn't feel like it, that negativity will be seeping into your life) Fill your feed full of people who empower you and remember DO NOT ENGAGE WITH BULLIES OR TROLLS! Do not do it. The emotional labour you have to expend just isn't worth it. BLOCK - DELETE.
One last act of digital self care that we could all do with practicing is the hardest one to do and that's switching off. Leave your digital space for at least an hour a day, try it! Listen to music, read a book, knit, paint, draw, walk your dog, have the best sex with your person (masturbate) do anything that keeps you out of the digital world and in the physical world for a little bit. Then when you turn on and log in you are refreshed and ready to engage with your online community, which will hopefully be a little bit brighter now you've taken out the trash!