The internet can be great for sharing news, posting pictures, staying in touch with friends and finding excellent cat videos.

However, at times it can be an overwhelming and pressurising place. So it’s important you know how to look after your mental health when you’re online, and what to do if you’re struggling. Here are our Activists’ top tips:

Our Activists give their top online tips

Know your limits

Know what to avoid and be firm with yourself. If you know that certain content is going to trigger difficult emotions, avoid accounts where you might come across that content.

Everyone’s coping strategies are going to be different, so just make sure you do something which works for you.

Know your settings

Look at the settings on the social media platforms you’re using and make sure you know how to change your privacy settings, or block and report people if you need to.

Don’t compare yourself to others

Instagram posts are selected highlights of someone’s life – they don’t show the reality of what someone’s going through. Think about the friends you follow on social media that you know offline too, chances are you know that the pictures they post are only a glimpse of their life.

Turn off notifications from time to time

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, turn off your notifications. You can always switch them back on later, once you’re feeling better.

Do an activity – and don’t post about it

Sometimes, when we do something and post about it on social media, the quality of what we have done is measured by how many likes you get. The way we remember or enjoy an activity is often determined by what others have said. So how about doing something you really enjoy and just leaving it at that. Plus it will give you something to talk about when you next see your friends – something they don’t already know!

Find a positive space

There’s some really great stuff happening on the internet. Why not check out our Instagram account (@youngmindsuk) for positive posts for your wellbeing and mental health!

I follow tags on Tumblr, so every ten posts or so I get a picture of a puppy. It means that no matter what else I have seen on social media there’s always something positive.

Have some screen-free time

Rest those eyes and remember that a world exists outside of Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

When I don’t want to get distracted by the internet I will leave my phone purposefully at home or in my bedroom so I can’t even look at it.

Leave on a good note

If you see something on social media that brings you down, or makes you sad, try to then look at something you know can make you feel a bit better.

After I’ve seen a difficult topic on Twitter I tend to go onto YouTube and listen to music because it makes me feel happier.

Think about what you say

Remember that what you say online still counts in the real world. Don’t do or say anything you wouldn’t to someone who was in front of you.

Be careful what you write on social media because you never know how someone is going to take it.

Talk to someone

If you’re struggling with social media, talk to someone about it. It could be a friend, family member, teacher or helpline – but remember you aren’t alone, you can speak to someone about what you’re going through.

Check out our guide on online pressures for more information on looking after yourself online and dealing with peer pressure or cyberbullying. 

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