Social & Digital Update: A Guide To Self-Care Social
As we continue to navigate our current climate, the role of social and technology has intensified in our lives. This week, we take a look at some of the most popular self-care trends on social media. Along with the rise in popularity of fitness apps there has also been an increased demand for mental health support whether through various apps or connecting with our online communities on social platforms.
Some of the most popular hashtags on Irish Twitter in 2020 show exactly the kind of camaraderie these online communities can garner as #actsofkindness, #selfisolationhelp and #CovideoParty all became part of 2020’s most engaging online banter.
The role of social media and technology in this area, while to be approached with caution, provides a space for awareness and understanding. It has often been associated with the de-stigmatisation and normalisation of numerous disorders and issues, yet there is still a job to do on ensuring an educated approach so that negative habits aren’t formed.
WHAT IS SELF-CARE SOCIAL?
Across the variety of social media platforms and apps that we use on a daily basis, there exists an audience (and communities) for almost anything. Self-care is no different.
In recent times we’ve seen ‘edu-social’ posts increase via Instagram, these take the form of text-based images featuring educational quotes, stats and general educational focused content, aimed at providing insights and development. The carousel posts (i.e, swipe through photos and videos) have become the creative option of choice for these as they offer a simple means to get the message across, in a way that is very similar to creating slides. Pages such as Real Depression Project have taken to this style massively and share educational posts daily in this format.
People also take to social media to share stories, tips and techniques to inspire others. Most recently this trend has happened on TikTok and Reels as people share life-hacks, inspiring stories about personal journeys and tips on how to get through lockdown and beyond. Caroline Foran is an excellent example of how sharing your journey can not only be beneficial to you but to numerous others. Most recently she was commended for sharing the anxieties around being a new mother.
There is generally a huge amount of support from fans within the community. Most of the content shared is relatively harmless and often beneficial to the average viewer, but it’s important to note that this message may not be suitable for everyone. Certain content may act as a trigger i.e. cause an unwanted reaction, which is why in recent self-care trends Creators have started tagging the content with ‘Trigger Warning’, marking it as sensitive material which may trigger an already fragile mindset.
Fun and Participatory Content (functional light-relief)
TikTok and Reels have brought us back to a place of creating fun and inclusive content which in itself has played a role in aiding people on their self-care journeys. Whether it’s joining in on a trend or being endlessly entertained and inspired, the huge increase in participation and the inclusive nature of these platforms has helped people feel involved, entertained and, of course, challenged during an isolating time of our lives.
An example of this is the #thetidyroom challenge. Inspired by the Marie Kondo effect, challenges such as this encourage people to clear out their homes, and by proxy their heads, by showing the effects of a room going from messy to clean. This is shown visually through TikTok with the ‘click of the fingers’ effect, adding to the visual satisfaction.
There’s also a huge amount of fun content available with lots of people sharing their everyday life learnings. An example of this is the #iwastodayyearsold challenge where people share the random life hacks and learnings they uncover on a daily basis.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE SOCIAL & GETTING YOUR DIGITAL NUTRITION WISELY
Social media self-care trends / communities and the multitude of self-care and wellness apps have an increasingly important role in young people’s lives and, with that, are here to stay. While they can offer a lot of support when used correctly, learning about best practices is necessary to ensure a healthy mindset.
What’s right for you may not be right for a friend, whether it’s the apps you use or how you use the platforms. For someone who loses track of time while scrolling through social media, tools are available which set a limit on how much time is spent on certain apps. It’s also an option to block apps during certain times of the day.
Many people benefit from peer-support groups, whether through private Facebook groups, or most recently Clubhouse, but it’s very easy to fall down a rabbit-hole while not actually being presented with the best and most accurate information. Taking things with a pinch of salt, checking references and sources is a necessary step in using these platforms responsibly.
Some people may find guided meditation apps beneficial, but others might find a reflective journaling app the most suitable. Finding the right support, whether through networks or apps, is a process of trial and error and one to be carefully monitored and consulted with by a professional if required, as technology is never a treatment substitute. It’s also important to carefully review the relevant FAQ pages to learn about confidentiality policies etc.
POPULAR SELF-CARE APPS
Headspace is a wellness app designed to help with anxiety, sleep, motivation, and more. Guided meditations, sleep casts, and the user-friendly design help you ground yourself, while also giving you the opportunity to meditate with others, or link up with a buddy through the app.
- Mood Tracker Journal
This does exactly what it says in the title, a journal that offers prompts to inspire reflection, log your thoughts and moods in the diary, and daily reminders to help you keep your self-care practice in check.
- Insight Timer
Insight Timer offers 70,000 free guided meditations, yoga classes, and music tracks to help with sleep, anxiety, and stress. It offers a chance to set your practice as you like by offering functions to set the duration, number of intervals and ambient background sound to create different presets for your meditation sessions.
Recently voted by Apple as one of the best apps of 2020 this self-care app is focused on a mix of meditation, alongside offering a support network and content recommendations based on your current mood.
Filled with hundreds of meditations, sleep stories and soothing soundtracks, some even narrated by well-known personalities, the Calm app is a must for anyone interested in brain training, confidence building or simply in need of some extra zen in their life. It also has a children’s section for a variety of age-groups.
- Moshi - Sleep and Mindfulness for kids
This award-winning kids’ sleep and mindfulness app has a mixture of meditations and stories, aimed at helping soothe your child’s mind before bedtime. Moshi’s constantly growing library of stories and meditations even includes exclusive stories narrated by very special guests, including Goldie Hawn, Patrick Stewart and Brian Blessed.
WHAT DO BRANDS NEED TO KNOW?
There are important conversations happening online on a daily basis. It’s not always relevant for a brand, and shouldn’t be a focus if that’s the case. Being sensitive to certain trends and topics is of the utmost importance, and being aware of the conversations your audience are having amongst their peers will give you a sense of their headspace which could have a knock-on effect to your content.
In the current climate, technology is one of the only means of socialising and connecting with others, but it’s not a substitute for real-life engagement. With such a technology-focused work and social world right now, encouraging your audience to take a break from screens, or providing some respite through entertainment or education are just some ways you can consider digital wellbeing, as this will no doubt be a consideration with audiences into the future.