For the Record – Mental wellness in a digital age

Marwa Elgabry  – March 2nd, 2020

Schmitt encouraged social media users to take control over their feed by selecting the content they want to see. She recommended removing things that can ignite feelings of insecurity, and instead choose content that promotes self-love and positivity.

(Hannah Schmitt / Wholistically Hannah Nutrition)

A recent study by Canadian researchers found a relationship between technology and mental well being. The report, titled: “Smartphones, Social Media Use and Youth Mental Health”, suggested that technology contributed to mental distress and insecurity among young people.

Ahead of International Women’s Day, a local wellness expert explained how she enjoys surfing through her favourite digital hubs in a way that fosters positivity.

Hannah Schmitt, wellness blogger and Registered Holistic Nutritionist, said the key lies in curating social media feeds.

“This means either unfollowing accounts that are triggering to me or who maybe post photos that make me feel self-conscious. If you’re not able to unfollow someone, you can always use the Instagram mute button which is a new thing. I think it’s fantastic because that way you can really just create a feed on Instagram that makes you feel good when you log onto the app.” – Hannah Schmitt, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

“It’s a Highlight Reel”

Schmitt explained that being selective about the content that appears in news feeds will prevent users from falling into unhealthy habits of comparison.

“It’s very easy to compare yourself. Whether you use social media just for fun or as a business platform, it’s kind of a highlight reel. So you’re constantly looking at people’s feeds who are posting all of the highlights of their life. It’s just really easy to feel like you are inadequate when you see these sorts of things.” – Hannah Schmitt, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Schmitt encouraged people to be mindful of unhealthy comparison habits. She explained that surfing through social media apps like Instagram can make people feel inadequate in comparison to others, as users often showcase the highlights of their lives.

(Pixabay)

Schmitt said that over-consumption of social media can lead to a false sense of connection. She reminded that online-connections are not the same as in-person ones, and encouraged people to invest time in feeding their real-life relationships with loved ones.

(Hannah Schmitt / Wholistically Hannah Nutrition)

Dealing with Loneliness

Beyond comparison, Schmitt pointed to disconnection as another pitfall of heavy social media consumption.

Growing up before the age of social media has made her seek deep relationships with the people around her. Schmitt said nowadays people often mistake online connections for in-person ones, but reminded that they’re not the same.

To conquer this disconnection, she advocates for the prioritization of in-person relationships.

“I know that we’re all so busy these days, but I think that if you have loved ones or friends in your life, you really do just have to make the time in your schedule to actually see them in person and go for an actual walk or a coffee date or a girls’ night or whatever you need to do. I think that we just need to start prioritizing that a little bit more for our emotional health.” – Hannah Schmitt, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Unplug to Unwind

Schmitt said the last piece of the puzzle to cultivating healthy digital consumption habits is putting down the technology from time to time.

“Just set boundaries for yourself. Put your phone away at night and just sort of create those clear boundaries so that you can really enjoy social media, but also enjoy being present in your real life as well.”

Finding this balance is at the core of Schmitt’s ability to achieve mental wellness in a digital age. Today, she uses technology as a vessel to help others on the same journey maintain a healthy relationship with their body and mind.

Although Schmitt uses social media as a platform for her business and a virtual tool to spread positivity, she makes time to unplug from technology. She explained that staying off smartphones and social media at night can help people reconnect with the present moment.

(Pixabay)