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Don’t ditch your social media, curate it!

October 7, 2020

We all know that social media can be toxic. From procrastinating to scrolling out of boredom for hours upon hours, social media has a bad rep. But what if it didn’t have to be so toxic? What if we could curate our feed so we are taking in more of what we need, improving ourselves one post at a time?

Instead of ditching all those social media apps, change them, make them work FOR you, after all, that’s what they were intended for! To get you started, I’ve outlined some of my favourites on YouTube, so if you’re interested in how to better your mental health while still enjoying some social media time then just keep reading. 

Let’s start out with how we feel about ourselves and how to start increasing our confidence. 

Amy Cuddy - Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are (TED Talk)

Watch 19:18 to 19:32

Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist, in her TED Talk Amy speaks on the power and influence our body language has not only over our thoughts and how we think about ourselves, but how it can truly change your life in a meaningful way. Amy introduces the idea of the power pose, essentially a pose where you are taking up space and asserting yourself. This pose increases your testosterone and lowers cortisol levels. This combination can reduce stress and allow for more assertive and confident behaviour to take its place. Best used before an interview, a speech, or a very nerve-racking event. Lastly, Amy explains how this pose doesn’t just help us “fake it until you make it”, it helps us to “fake it until we become it” defeating imposter syndrome which can quickly creep in after attempting something new. 

As a student, this tip has been incredibly helpful, struggling from intense anxiety myself this pose has helped me to take risks and apply myself in ways that I normally never would have and to truly prove to myself that I can do things regardless of my struggles with anxiety. I relate strongly with Amy and her struggles with school and imposter syndrome, I was introduced to this video back in 2014 when I was in high school, and it has been my go-to video whenever my confidence dips! 

Once you’ve gotten yourself in the game, it’s time to embrace your rumble with vulnerability!

Brené Brown - The Power of Vulnerability (TED Talk)

Watch 15:51 to 16:48

Brené Brown has a PhD in social work, is a professor, podcast host, and author to more than 10 novels – all surrounding the topic which she has spent years researching – shame. Brené boils down shame in her TED talk to a sense of worthiness, and those with a stronger sense of worthiness feel less shame in their everyday lives. Leading us to wonder, how does one feel worthy? Well, you need to be courageous - have to be willing to rumble with vulnerability. Vulnerability is something we have all avoided at all costs, however, as detailed by Brené, vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, creativity, and belonging – the antidotes to shame. Brené’s life mission has been to help teach how to let yourself be seen, vulnerable, and believe that you are enough! 

As students we are all well aware that university is full of situations that leave us feeling vulnerable, whether that be preparing for presentations, taking a really hard course where the potential of failure is high, and entering the workforce just hoping to be accepted in the field we have worked tirelessly for years to join. Being students, it is more important than ever to dare greatly and embrace vulnerability in order to reach our true potential. 

Now that you’re rumbling with vulnerability, let’s take a look at how we can cope with the anxiety associated with that.

Olivia Remes - How to Cope with Anxiety (TED Talk)

Watch 13:13 to 13:32

Dr. Olivia Remes is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge with a focus on anxiety and depression. In Olivia’s TED talk she shares what it means to have anxiety, the symptoms associated with, and how drastically this can impact one’s life. Olivia continues to explain three ways individuals with anxiety can actively fight to take back control of their life with tips she’s discovered through her own personal research. Outlining the importance of feeling like you’re in control of your life, forgiving yourself, and lastly having purpose and meaning in life. As a student, these three tips are especially important, as they help you learn how to take control of your life in school, forgive yourself for past mistakes or bad marks, and help you to find meaning in why you are working so hard. 

If those weren’t enough, here are 25 MORE ways you can cope with your anxiety. 

Kati Morton - 25 Amazing Coping Skills Everyone Needs 

Watch 0:53 to 1:11

Kati Morton is a licensed therapist, specializing in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD), however, has worked with all types of patients. Kati posts videos weekly and has hundreds of videos touching on just about anything you can think of with respect to mental health and mental illnesses. Kati is especially great at giving a therapist’s perspective on how to help yourself, others, and understanding various illnesses. This specific video is great for understanding what positive coping mechanisms are as well as jumpstarting the brainstorming and trial-and-error process of finding positive coping mechanisms that work best for you. 

Having struggled with anxiety and depression for years, I can attest to the importance of having a large repertoire of positive coping mechanisms. This is because depending on the source of anxiety, severity, and current situation, what is needed to cope might be different – more so, it is incredibly important to understand how to create new positive coping mechanisms as new and novel situations happen to us all the time. We must try and try again, as something eventually will work and with each error you learn more about yourself and your anxiety – making future encounters slightly more manageable. 

While we’re working on our own mental health, it’s also important to keep in mind others’ struggles and how we can best support them without being disrespectful or harmful. 

Psych2Go - 5 Do’s and Don’ts with Others’ Mental Illness

Watch 0:21 to 0:31

Psych2Go, much like Kati Morton, is another channel where just about any question you might have about mental health and mental illnesses has either already been answered in one of their hundreds of videos or will be with their multiple uploads on relevant topics per week. This channel offers a slightly different presentation, with animations it keeps the content interesting and fun to watch. This video specifically is something everyone should watch, as understanding how to appropriately treat and respond to others’ mental illness is pivotal in not only effectively helping them but maintaining their trust so when a loved one needs help, they will feel more comfortable coming to you. 

Social media can definitely be toxic; however, it doesn’t have to be. Actively seek out what is going to be most beneficial to you and those around you. With these videos and a new outlook on social media, how will you change your feed to curate a healthier platform for yourself to learn and grow? 

By Aspyn Morrison