These days, young people like me face many challenges that impact our mental health. Personally, what affects me most is social media and stress. These factors impact my future, time management, finances, and more.
Social media can be positive or negative. In some ways, it has helped my mental health journey. Using Tik Tok or Instagram, I found friends who I can confide in when I need someone to talk to. It has also allowed me to easily find resources I need, whether it’s financial help, like grants and stipends, opportunities or work readiness. One opportunity I found on Instagram gave me the boost I needed for my future. Ever since I started high school, I knew that college wasn’t for me. And if I did decide to go, I didn’t know how I would pay for the remaining balance after scholarships and Fafsa, etc. I found an EMT certification course that would be free to me and they would also help with getting my drivers license. That was like a weight lifted off of my shoulders.
All throughout my senior year, I was so stressed and started to become depressed because I felt like a failure. I didn't know what I was going to do with my life and finding the EMT course changed it. I found many other programs like that for me to rely on, especially financially, as that was one of the biggest issues I had. Financial stress caused my mental health to deteriorate, because I was so worried about providing for myself. But social media gave me the leeway into plenty of stipend-ed and financial opportunities, which then led to me having multiple forms of income for a while. That made me more than happy.
In some ways, however, social media isn’t the biggest help. It can bring out insecurities. Scrolling makes it easier to see all the people you want to look like. It can make you question your appearance and what others think of you. That aspect of social media definitely has made my self esteem worse and I still struggle with it to this day. Every once in a while I would see somebody with a body like mine and that would bring me up a bit.
Oftentimes, my stress comes from social media. I became too focused on trying to live a life like other people. I had to stop and realize that my life is perfect just the way it is. Sometimes, when trying to get things done, I get sidetracked by things like tiktok. This made it difficult to get things done as efficiently as I’d like. Because of moments like that, I didn’t think I could continue to push through. I would procrastinate because I didn’t have the motivation in me to do the things I needed to do. That would also cause stress because everything is either done last minute or past date.
I would sit on my phone for hours sometimes completely forgetting I have something to do. I didn’t like the feeling of being late. It made me feel like a failure so in order to avoid feeling that way I had to just do what needed to be done and prioritized the real world.. It wasn’t the easiest but it definitely was the most rewarding. I realized that time management and stress are linked very closely. If I didn’t get things done on time, I would lose out on time used for self care, sleeping, eating, enjoying my favorite show or book, etc. Without proper time management stress will increase and it’s easy to jeopardize your mental health stability..
Overall many factors can play into having a good or bad mental health status. It’s up to us to decide how much power to give the noise. Whatever it is, better days are definitely coming. We got this.