Wed 25 Oct. 2023

MIINDFUL Manchester: Social Media Use

In today's digital age, our exposure to world events has become more immediate and constant than ever before.

The rise of social media platforms has made it easier for us to stay connected, but it has also exposed us to a constant stream of distressing images and news, particularly during times of conflict, extreme weather, or economic events.

We understand social media, as well as mainstream news items, can have a profound impact on mental well-being.

The Insurance Institute of Manchester’s Miindful committee members want to share some guidance on how to navigate the challenging experience of encountering distressing images, while protecting your mental health.

  1. Be Mindful of Your Media Consumption

Limit your exposure to distressing content. Be selective about the sources you follow and the content you engage with. Set specific times for consuming news and social media to prevent overwhelming yourself.

  1. Recognise Your Emotional Reactions

Understand that it is normal to feel a range of emotions, including fear, sadness, anger, and helplessness when confronted with distressing images. Give yourself permission to feel these emotions and remember that you are not alone in experiencing them.

  1. Practice Self-Care

Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it's a hobby, exercise, or spending time with loved ones. Maintain a healthy daily routine that includes adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise.

  1. Seek Reliable Information

Verify the authenticity of the news and images you come across to avoid misinformation. Follow trusted news sources and fact-check whenever possible.

  1. Stay Connected and Talk About It:

Share your feelings with friends, family, or a trusted colleague. Connect with support networks, both within and outside the workplace. Reach out to any member of the Institute’s Miindful Committee – please click here for more information:

  1. Use Social Media Responsibly

Be mindful of what you share and comment on. Your words and actions can impact others' mental well-being. Consider muting or unfollowing accounts that consistently share distressing content.

  1. Reach Out for Professional Help

If you find that images and/or content on social media and/or news channels, from things like conflict, extreme weather events, the cost of living crisis or any significant incident are severely affecting your mental health, do not hesitate to seek support from a mental health professional.

Likewise, remember that your employer is there to support you during these challenging times. If you ever need someone to talk to or if you have specific concerns, speak to your HR department.

In these difficult times, taking care of your mental health is a priority.

Together, we can support each other and navigate the digital landscape with empathy and resilience.

IIM Miindful committee