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Midterm Anxiety & When to Take a Social Media Break

As the midterm elections approach and the volume of ads and content surrounding the candidates, their positions and what is at stake can be downright overwhelming. Viewing and interacting with content can be addictive and anxiety provoking. It is important to know when your conversations and content consumption have tipped the scale into an unhealthy range.

US Political Landscape, Mental Health and Social Media

Several important topics are on the ballot this November, including abortion rights, marijuana legalization, voting policies, and bail reform, just to name a few. Many states have put measures on their ballots to address many of these and many other issues that matter to people’s lives. Polling and watching political commentary can feel like a rollercoaster of emotions.

One minute it looks like the polls are in your favor while the next moment the outlook looks dire. Viewing and interacting with political content on social media often feels important and in line with one’s own values ​​and beliefs.

Furthermore, social media provides a platform for you to express your opinion and encourage others to get involved. However, the contentious nature of politics and social networking Can make for a combination that can be harmful to your mental health. Seeing and interacting with politicians whose platforms feel so far from your own core values ​​can be extremely anxiety-provoking.

Furthermore, when those politicians appear to be voting ahead, a sense of existential dread It involves looking into your future as well as worrying about what will happen if that person is given power and can cause unimaginable amounts of stress.

Not to mention, seeing friends or family members you thought were “on the right side” suddenly reposting or advocating for policies or politicians you believed were “on the wrong side” , can feel devastating. It may be difficult for many to stay away from social media apps at such a crucial time; However, it’s important to know when to take a step back and give yourself a break from social media,

How to Know If Your Midterm Worries Could Use a Social Media Break

knowing when to choose the ideal anxiety turns into lossy scrolling And trolling can be hard to determine. It is normal to be concerned when such important issues are up for debate and on the ballot. Furthermore, the many election ads and social media account pages on this topic aim to make us anxious. The goal, often, is to make us feel concerned enough to get out and vote and encourage others to do the same.

However, it is important to know when to take a break from social media. If your social media habits and screen time have increased significantly in relation to your consumption of political content, it may be time to take a step back. You may also notice that you have begun to develop an unhealthy relationship with social media, constantly checking social media in a way that negatively affects your social life, productivity at work, and personal self-care. Is. Spending large amounts of time anxiously scrolling through social media can put your health at risk.

increased anxiety translates increased cortisol which can mean decreased immune system, difficulties with digestion, memory problems, weight gain, and fatigue. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms it may be a sign that your body is in fight-or-flight mode and it may be a sign to limit the time you spend on social media.

Additionally, if you experience a high heart rate, difficulty sleeping, or racing thoughts while scrolling through social media, you should immediately disassociate. These symptoms are a warning that your body perceives you are in danger and has activated your fight-or-flight response.

Tips for Taking a Social Media Break During Midterms

social media deadline

Limiting your time spent on social media may be the first and most important step in taking a social media break. Social media platforms are meant to be addictive and so is political content. It’s no wonder so many of us are scrolling endlessly as the midterms approach. If taking a full time-out from social media seems too much, it can be helpful to give yourself a time limit.

Give yourself permission to scroll 1 to 2 times daily for 15 minutes or 30 minutes, but break away for the rest of the day. Assign a trusted friend to check in and hold you accountable.

delete, delete, delete

If taking a break from social media use doesn’t work, it may be time to ditch it. If you’re glued to political content and you can’t look away, this seems like a good time to delete or unfollow those pages. Unfollowing can give you much needed relief during this time. If that doesn’t work, it might be time to remove the apps altogether. Delete apps and give yourself a timeline of when you’ll download again, if ever.

You can wait until election night or after the election when all the post-election social media fights have calmed down.

be busy in real life

If you feel inspired to engage with political content, there are plenty of real life ways to engage and make a difference. Joining phone banks and door knocking during these last few weeks before the election could have the same effect, if not more. Connecting with like-minded people to channel a healthy amount of midterm stress into action can feel incredibly beneficial.

self care

don’t forget to join self care, Take your social media detox to the next level. get a massage. go for a walk. Invite a friend over, but leave politics out of the conversation. Importantly, knowing when to seek medical attention can be helpful.

If you’ve done everything you can to reduce your stress levels to no avail, it may be time to explore group or personal medical,

Political elections can bring forth a great storm of social media trolling, existential anxieties and despair among others. Taking a social media detox can improve your quality of life and allow you to focus your attention on healthy coping and supportive relationships.