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DOH offers tips to support mental health by controlling social media use

Whether physically, economically, socially, mentally, or otherwise, everyone has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in some way. The Washington State Department of Health shared a few tips and reminders about social media use during the pandemic.

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While social media is a great way to stay connected to our friends and family from a distance, these platforms can also cause worry, anxiety, and exhaustion. The DOH recommends limiting the amount of time you spend on social media, especially when you start feeling anxious or frustrated.

Health leaders also suggest following accounts that make you happy, whether it’s people or organizations, and unfollowing, muting, or hiding accounts that upset you.

If you’re sharing a post to social media, DOH says to share what you would want to see.

“One of the best ways to make social media a more positive experience is to share the kinds of things that make you happy, or that you find meaningful, and avoid sharing the types of messages that you find stressful.”

Ask yourself, is this something I would say to a friend in person? If the answer is no, rethink posting that content.

The DOH also warns about the spread of misinformation, reminding everyone to spread facts as the wrong information can be harmful to the community. Make sure what you’re sharing comes from a credible source. The state’s COVID-19 website has up-to-date and reliable information online here.

Luckily, there is a lot of meaningful connection to be made over social media, which we all need in a time where we’re separated from our families and friends. Consider finding a new group or community with similar interests (like Rachel Belle’s Quarantine Cooking Club), or set up your own group. Reach out to friends and loved ones to connect and check in, or even just to share a silly photo.

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If you or someone you know needs help, Crisis Connections has a 24-hour crisis hotline and offers support and resources.

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