Quitting Social Media Can Positively Impact Your Mental Health

If You're Really Serious About Your Mental Health, It's Time To Quit Social Media

Social media is starting to get out of hand, and it's good to take a break every once in a while.

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Technology is now present in every aspect of our lives.

From the moment we wake up to the sound of our alarm, to the moment we lay our heads down, it rules our day. Since the emergence of Instagram and Snapchat, higher standards have been structured for teenagers and young adults. The pressure to look a certain way, to have a certain amount of followers, to have enough likes or views to feel like you're special, has started to affect our mental health.

A study from the University of Pittsburgh found that the more time young adults spend on social media the more likely that they have trouble sleeping and show increased signs of depression. A separate study also done at the University of Pittsburgh found a connection between the amount of time scrolling through social media and negative body image. Social media has many negative impacts on mental health and more often than not, studies have found that increased use leads to more symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Constantly counting likes, having fake friends, no face-to-face communication, and cyberbullying are just of the few destructive effects of using social media constantly.

A new national study showed that there was a significant rise in depression and mood disorders in 2011- right when social media began its climb into people's lives. The group that was studied were born in 1995 or later, and all experienced a sharp increase in negative psychological symptoms. No symptoms were reported in older adults. Other evidence shows that the rate of young adults with suicidal thoughts increased by 47% from 2008-2017. This time gap is right around the time that Instagram became popular, and the idea of Snapchat started to become a reality.

What can we do to help our mental health and not be so glued to our phones?

It's time to offload the apps.

I know it may not be ideal, and some people will think I'm crazy, but the evidence is undeniable. One of the best ways to help your mental health is to simply delete the apps. Just by not using Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook for a month you'll be happier, feel more present in life, and can gain up to 10 hours of time that you didn't have before. Your mental health is at stake with scrolling through Instagram, and it isn't benefiting you positively. At first I didn't realize it, but it's time for a change. I'm going to challenge myself to use social media less and set my time limit to only one hour a day. After that, I plan on deleting one app at a time, and I hope you're inspired enough to join me.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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10 Podcasts That You Should Have Started Listening To, Like, Yesterday

Podcasts are the new Netflix, and you better catch on if you haven't already.

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Honestly, who doesn't love a good podcast? They're almost like Netflix, without the commitment and you can indulge in them while driving. I'd like to consider myself as a podcast fanatic, so here are 10 podcasts that I've been obsessed with recently.

1. "My Favourite Murder"

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For those of us who love true crime, this one is for you. Georgia and Karen discuss crime, funny stories and life in the most comedic, heartfelt way possible. This podcast has gotten me through exam stress, the five-hour ride home from school and some of the toughest parts of my undergraduate career so far. Plus, who doesn't love to hear all about unsolved (and solved) murder cases?

2. "Hidden Brain"

If you're more interested in podcasts that teach you all about real-world issues, societal norms and how to address them or just want to hear in-depth discussions about the world at large, this is for you. While my description may seem less like a binge-worthy extravaganza, and more so like your worst 8 am lectures- Hidden Brain is far from that. This podcast deals with everything from Hook-Up Culture (episode 61, my personal fave) to the science of fear and what drives our emotions to the edge (episode six). So, if you want to learn something from your podcast, give this one a go.

3. "You Can't Sip With Us"

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Who doesn't love best friends getting drunk and talking about real life? Sounds like a Friday night for me and my roommates (or this amazing podcast). From chats about love to comfort shopping, you can't sip with us sounds like coming home to your best friends to talk about life.

4. "The World At Six"

Even if you're not Canadian, "The World at Six" should be at the top of your list of things to listen to. This podcast takes half an hour to tell you everything of interest that has happened in the world, the news you need to know and the news that no one knows. This podcast was introduced to me by one of my journalism professors who told me that he listened to it religiously in order to keep up to date. For those of you who love the news or just want to get more into listening to it, give this podcast a try.

5. "Souls at Sundown"

This wonderful listen is created by Meghan Hughes, who is a Youtuber. Meghan talks about sustainable living, music, sex, social media, society and everything in between. All while having short breaks in her chat to play music she has been loving. Her upbeat, positive personality makes me so happy and is probably the reason she is one of my favourite content creators!

6. "Revisionist History"

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This podcast is similar to "Hidden Brain" except it discusses historical issues and concepts. I've just started listening to this one so I can't say it's one of my ride-or-die podcasts yet, but it's definitely working its way up there. History buffs, this one is for you.

7. "Call Her Daddy"

If you have a Tinder, Twitter or just go to any post-secondary institute, you've probably heard of this one. Two friends sit and talk about hookups, dating and just funny stories that are bound to happen while you're figuring yourself out. If you like to laugh and want something relatable, give this a go.

8. "Who? Weekly"

If you're interested in celebrity and pop culture this one's for you. "Who? Weekly" is pretty much Us Weekly in podcast form. It talks about pop culture's greatest and worst moments and everything you need to know about Hollywood's icons.

9. "Dark Poutine"

On trend with much of the previous listed, "Dark Poutine" tells folk tales, true crime stories, legends, history, folklore and then some, and all from real Canadians. If you're like me and grew up hearing tales of haunted cabins in Muskoka or how your local hockey rink was definitely haunted, you'll love this. Even if you grew up, or live outside Canada, you'll love hearing crazy stories all about the spooky side of Canada.

10.  "Food Busker's Cult Food Stories"

If you're obsessed with food and culture like I am, give this a listen. John Quilter discusses (and eats) amazing dishes from around the world and tells us about the rich history behind his meals. He also talks with locals, friends and food fanatics all about these dishes, where to get the best versions of them and how to make them. To be listened to on a full stomach or while cooking.

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