Support your mental health by taking control of your social media

What does your social media feed look like? Are you using it as a great way to stay connected to your loved ones? For a lot of us, the amount of time we spend on social media has gone up as we’ve done our best to stay home and physically distanced from our friends and family.

Sometimes, spending extra time on social media can cause worry, anxiety, and a feeling of exhaustion. Here are some ways to adjust your social media habits to support your mental and emotional well-being.

Limit the amount of time you spend on social media

If you find that what you see on social media makes you feel anxious or frustrated, turn it off. Take a few minutes — or even a weekend — to step away and do something else. If this turns out to be a pattern for you, generally limit the amount of time you spend on social media and news outlets.

Follow things that make you happy

Although social media can be a “noisy” place, there are ways to control what you hear and see. Intentionally follow people or organizations that bring you joy. On Instagram, that might be hashtags such as #covidmentalhealth, #mindfulness, and #copingskills. They show positive and supportive messages from people all over the world who share their mental and emotional health experiences. Or maybe you prefer photos of birds, videos of goats doing yoga, or posts from your latest epidemiologist crush (#faucifan). Whatever works for you! When you begin following a few accounts that you like, the social media platform will begin suggesting similar content. You can adjust what you follow as you go.

Unfollow, hide, or mute accounts that upset you

We all have that friend or relative who posts things that we find offensive, untrue, misleading, or just plain infuriating. Yes, we love them, but when it comes to their social media presence, we just can’t stand them. Learn how to unfollow, mute, and hide your social media connections. We won’t tell.

Share what you would want to see

One of the best ways to make social media a more positive experience is to share the kinds of things that make you happy, or that you find meaningful, and avoid sharing the types of messages that you find stressful. One approach is to apply an “in-person” test: Before posting, sharing, or commenting, ask yourself, “Is this something I would say to a friend in person?” If no, maybe it is best to hold off.

Spread facts not fear

Misinformation or wrong information about COVID-19 creates fear and makes it harder for people to stay healthy. Misinformation about groups of people or communities also creates fear and bad actions that make it harder to keep everyone healthy. Paired together, they are even more dangerous. Use your social media presence to spread factual information from credible sources and help keep everyone in your community safe.

Practice compassion

Use social media for meaningful connections. Many social media platforms have features to help you find reading groups, cooking clubs, and other communities that share similar interests. You can also set up your own group and invite friends and family to join. Or, jump out of the crowd and connect one-on-one, even just to share a cute or funny meme.

More information

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Information in this blog changes rapidly. Check the state’s COVID-19 website for up-to-date and reliable info at coronavirus.wa.gov.

Answers to your questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Washington state may be found at our website. You can also contact our call center at
1–800–525–0127. Hours: 6 am-10 pm, seven days a week.

Department of Health call center: 1–800–525–0127, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m, seven days a week

Please check our website for the most up-to-date info on Washington’s response to COVID-19 at www.doh.wa.gov/coronavirus.