A study showed that 29% of people in the UK felt social media impacted their mental wellbeing in a negative way. Being in national lockdown for a large proportion of 2020, and this continuation within 2021 has made using social media as a way to stay connected during the crisis. People now spend an average of almost 2 and a half hours per day on social media platforms and added together, this is now 10 billion hours per day using social media across the UK. As humans, it is important for us to be able to communicate, even if it is via a phone screen.
However, spending an excessive amount of time on social media can exhibit more feelings of sadness, frustration, and loneliness, and it is time to re-examine online habits to find a balance that is healthier.
As much as spending too much time on your mobile devices is seen as quite negative for your mental health, especially amongst young people, there are many applications that have been made that can be utilised in such a positive way, to allow for less login time on social platforms. This is also vitally important for students to continue studying in a proactive way, and to make sure mental well-being is attained to the degree that it possibly can.
Headspace is a mediation and mindfulness application that the likes of Emma Watson are a fan of. This app teaches you how to live mindfully, and gives you lots of tips and tricks on stress management, happiness, resilience, and physical health. It also has sleeping techniques and music, as well as workouts. A lot of the techniques that are on this app can help deal with stress and anxiety, which is a common feeling amongst students at the moment, with the uncertainty of what will happen in the future for them.
Forest is another useful app for me to have as a way to focus on anything that I need to get done. If you feel you are getting distracted by social media, and you need something to physically stop you from using it, Forest is an app that enables you to grow a physical tree, as long as you don’t use your phone. You can collect virtual coins that enable you to spend via its partner organisation ‘Trees for the Future’ to plant a real tree. It is a great app for people needing a more visual approach to stimulate productivity and crafts rewarding benefits.
Evernote is a popular notes organiser application, that is great for taking notes and organising ideas into one place. It can capture writing, but also photos, audio, digital sketches, PDFs, and much more, and is perfect if you need to access things immediately and wherever you are. You can also search for particular words or phrases within your text, and it will flag it up. That means that if you are writing essays, and need a quick method to find words, it is super easy.
If you are struggling to stay active and fit during the winter months, Strava is the perfect app for this. Not only can you track your routes, but you can follow budding friends and followers, and show your progress. It doesn’t matter if you are new to the scene, or continuing to run, this is perfect for you to challenge yourself and push yourself.
Calm is also amazing if you are having problems with sleeping, or trouble relaxing. It approaches stress in such a brilliant way, via meditation and giving you a whole host of audio programs, stretching exercises, and breathing programmes, from mindfulness and wellbeing experts. It is also currently ranked as the number one application for Sleep, Meditation, and Relaxation. You can choose from music tracks to help you focus, relax or sleep, and audiobooks.
Reflectly is also an app that I would highly recommend. Journaling has become such an important way to write down thoughts and feelings, and this app does exactly this. It is named as the World’s First Intelligent Journal, which claims it will enable its users to deal with negative thoughts and more positivity. It allows you to track your thoughts by answering questions and saving them as stories.
Thrive is also a free application that uses games to track your mood and teach methods that allow you to control stress and anxiety. It offers a range of support in one app, from relaxation techniques such as mediation to thought training and sleep improvement. Not only is it NHS proved, but it provides help when you need it, at the simple swipe of your phone.
If you need any more help, visit the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/category/mental-health/