Do you feel like there is little hope for the future in America? Do you feel like your sense of happiness is being pushed down into the ground? Are you scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed in disbelief at the posts everyone is sharing?
If so, first and foremost, know that you’re not alone!
We are still in the middle of Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) season. This is the time of year when a lot of people experience a spike in their feelings of depression and sadness. But as a country, we have been going through very difficult transitions and traumatic events which is making depression sufferers feel worse.
I was surprised by the number of people who reached out to me for therapy just because of the difficulty they were having dealing with the results of last year’s election and the holidays. For them, hope was pretty much gone.
In working with them, I found that it was important to start setting up some boundaries. Not as a way to isolate or avoid, but as a way to dial down the negative input coming from sources like social media. Underneath the feelings of depression and sadness were deeper feelings of anxiety and anger which were being triggered as reactions to posts on Facebook & Twitter.
Nobody wants to be THAT person that starts unfriending half their Facebook friends because of things that they are posting. But Facebook and Twitter do give a couple of options to filter your newsfeed.
On Facebook, If you click on the down-arrow on the right side of a post in your newsfeed, you’ll see a list which includes:
- Hide Post: This will remove the post from your newsfeed and show fewer posts like it.
- Unfollow: This will stop posts from that person from appearing in your newsfeed, but it won’t remove them as a friend.
On Twitter, there is also a down-arrow on the right side of a post that gives several options, including:
- Mute: This is similar to Facebook’s “Unfollow.” Selecting this keeps their posts from showing up in your feed and you can always Unmute them later.
- Block: This will remove you from that person’s list of followers, and you won’t get their tweets anymore.
The approach I took with Twitter was to turn off notifications for everyone under my Twitter settings on my phone. Then I could go back and turn notifications on for those people I really knew I wanted to hear from. And on Facebook, I unfollowed several people. But when things calm down or when I feel like I’m in a better place, I can go follow them back. No hard feelings.
Setting up boundaries like these are important for those of us prone to depression, sadness, anger or anxiety. We need to take care of ourselves first. But that’s hard to do if we’re constantly subjected to things that stress us out.
If you feel like your depression or sadness are consuming you right now, and you feel like you need individual help in working through them, I would love to work with you. You can call 479-709-9880 today to schedule an appointment with me! You don’t have to let depression and sadness consume you, and together we can work through it.