November 17, 2020

By Tayler Shaw, Staff Writer

This year has been a rough ride in bringing a lot of stressful emotions into our communities. The nature of fear and grief has drowned out the peaceful nature of life as we once knew it. Dealing with the election, COVID-19 pandemic and the many traumas created from racial injustice and wildfires can make it hard to maintain a healthy mental state.

These many issues have swept all over social media and have created an atmosphere of division and hate. Not everybody is into having an account on Instagram or Twitter and there are many valid reasons people stay off these platforms. What happens on social media can mess with anyone’s mental health, and can have a significant influence on how people take care of themselves. It can be an escape for some and overwhelming for others. My personal experience with social media hasn’t been pleasant, and I’ve found the virtual enviornments to often be very toxic and hateful. Everyone feels obligated to share harsh opinions on social media, and with this global pandemic, it has been the go-to lately for everyone to express their feelings. 

With all of this chaos, I’d like to encourage anyone to take a mental break and distance themselves from negative energy. Over the last several months, I have felt overwhelmed and unmotivated. With the tragic death of George Floyd, I feel my people of color are being torn down which has messed me up mentally. The people who run this society are really cruel and disgraceful, and not being able to trust our own police bewilders me. I try to avoid Instagram and have steered my thinking away from any negativity. Every now and then, I go back online and take the time to repost important information that is useful to others. It makes me happy to share information from Black Lives Matter and movement leaders who focus on bettering the world.

The main tip I’d like to share is to avoid a negative mindset and spirit. Stay away from conflict with others, especially online, and if you can, try to be a voice for the voiceless. I have a very calm aura when I meet new people, because how you treat others can affect their mental state. Although I am a student taking classes online, I do my best to stay positive, welcoming and happy. 

When I want to feel better or need easier ways to sleep at night, I listen to Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) content on YouTube. It really helps my sleep cycle and is actually very soothing. A couple of ASMR channels I’d recommend are Chynaunique ASMR, mads ASMR, and Nite Shift ASMR

Another thing that frees my mind is reading books and writing short stories. My short stories are often spontaneous ideas influenced by my readings. These hobbies of mine really soothe me and give me peace.  

You should do what makes you happy. Avoid the negativity on social media and take a break from these platforms when needed. I’ve distanced myself from these platforms to escape the negative spirits and influence that they have had on my mind. The clarity I obtained from avoiding such negativity has been refreshing. Maintaining sound mental health is a priority in times like this. We can all function better having peace of mind and space to think clearly. 

My hope from writing this is that at least one other person will take something positive away from my suggestions. Feeling isolated and unloved can be very painful; it’s a common theme right now, given the social struggles each of us must confront during isolation. We will overcome this chaos and grow stronger from it.