Hi, Are You Doomscrolling?
At the beginning of April, I’d just started a new job and needed to establish better sleeping habits. I was spending too many late nights glued to the news on Twitter. So I started tweeting nightly reminders to stop doomscrolling. I was partly thinking out loud to hold myself accountable, but I figured maybe someone else might find these reminders helpful, too. I never imagined I would keep it up for more than 500 reminders or that they would help thousands of people remember to take care of themselves.
Maybe they can help you, too.
Hi, are you doomscrolling?
Sometimes we forget about our own well-being due to stress about work or a high volume of news. Right now is a great time to think about if you need a glass of water, several deep breaths, or extra time to rest. You are worthy of this consideration.
What does taking care of yourself look like? Is it exercise, reading more books, more time to eat breakfast, extra time to write, talking to friends, or additional rest? Would that help you more than doomscrolling?
What do you have planned offline today that will help you rest, become reenergized, or simply make you happy instead of doomscrolling? A bike ride? A great book? An afternoon nap or overdue time with a hobby? Seeing a friend or doggies in a park?
I hope you drank a big glass of water today and ate something that made you happy. I encourage you to log off of Twitter and Facebook and reach out to friends you haven’t talked to in a while. Consider setting time limits for your social apps.
Doomscrolling might feel like an act of agency when so many activities aren’t available due to the pandemic. Why not use that agency to take care of yourself through a screen break, going to bed early, and/or doing another activity that makes you happy?
Are you slouching or crunching your shoulders?
Stress can make you contract your back and other muscles. Gently lift your spine up, slowly turn your head left and right, spread your arms and hands out, pull them back slightly, then give yourself a big hug. Feel better?
Have you taken time to stretch your back and neck today? How about standing up, taking a few deep breaths, and slowly reaching down to touch your toes?
Maybe you are also going through a deeply stressful time. How about doing 10 or 20 deep breaths before grabbing a glass of water and tackling more work?
Stress manifests itself in many different ways. You might be clenching your jaw, slouching, fidgeting, or forgetting to eat. Give yourself five minutes to lift your spine, roll your shoulders back, gently stretch your neck, and get some water.
I know you’re working hard and things are really tough right now. How about unclenching your jaw and giving yourself a screen break?
Wait, are you still doomscrolling?
If you are, I totally get it! Staying up late might feel helpful right now, but a screen break will help your mental health much more. Sleep is still important for your body to recover from the day’s stressors.
Taking care of yourself through sleep, reading a book, or gentle stretching can help you better tackle the week ahead. And you deserve time to recover.
How to Deal With ‘Coronabrain’
A daily exercise to calm your anxious, distracted, and overwhelmed mind
Self-care can be small acts, like talking to a friend, watching a favorite show, or logging off and going to bed early. Remember to show yourself the same kindness you do to friends and loved ones.
It’s okay to be tired and overwhelmed. It’s reasonable to be sad, frustrated, and angry.
You still deserve nourishing food and adequate rest as well as screen breaks for your mental health.
I know you’re trying your best. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and your mental health. A full night’s rest is always a good idea.