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Managing Digital Consumption to Improve Mental Health

We are living in a world and time where it almost seems impossible to not check our phones, the news, or our social media accounts throughout each day. With the current climate of our world and all of the different things happening it makes sense why people are constantly consuming media, but too much media consumption can have effects on our mental health. This is why it is so important to be aware of how much time we are spending on our phones and computers.

Here are a few things you can do to help manage your media consumption which will help improve your overall mental health.

– Set time limits on certain apps on your phone. Most smart phones have the options for time limits for each app, specifically social media apps. This will allow you to be able to set how much time each day you spend on each app.

– Practice a moment of mindfulness. Before you pick you up your phone or computer become mindful of the current moment. Ask yourself why you are picking up your phone and focus on what you are going to gain from the time you are about to spend on your phone or computer.

– Do something different. Not all of the time, but a lot of the time, we are looking at our phones or computers out of boredom. The next time you find yourself bored instead of picking up an electronic device, try and do something different. You could read a book, journal, or go for a walk outside.

– Have a digital detox. If you find that even after doing the things mentioned above you are still spending too much phone time consuming media and staring at screens, then you could always take a digital detox. This will look different for everyone. For me I like to delete social media apps from my phone for a one-week period. This always provides me a refresher and I always feel my mental health improves. The key is figuring out whatever might be causing you stress in your life, whether it would be social media or the constant influx of news articles coming your way. Find your source of stress and try to detox from it if at all possible.

These are just a few different suggestions and ways we can all work to manage our media/digital consumption to improve our mental health. Being aware is probably the most important thing we can all do and the tips mentioned above are different ways we can discover that awareness.

Katie Zimmerman, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profit organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.