Managing traumatic stress while using social media is very important; 2020 alone has amplified that. We’re at home, things that “people never saw before” are being shown and shared faster than we can even imagine and it’s a lot to take in. We each have our own triggers and experiences, so 2020 aside, being able to be aware of those things are important for dealing with the traumatic stress that can come from being on social media.
One thing I learned at the beginning of my blogging journey was to use social media, don’t let it use you. It may seem redundant to talk about creating your lifestyle and being intentional, but I mean that so literally. Managing traumatic stress is part of the journey; only you know what causes you to feel tight in your chest or feel overwhelmed to tears. It’s similar to what I shared on my stories last week about not constantly sharing negative information regarding black women and childbirth. I don’t want my platform to be a place that triggers people, but should you experience triggers, whether it be from my content or someone else’s, there are great resources that provide options to those who may be struggling and looking for other alternatives. There are some great articles, such as those on CFAH, provided online that will help you decide what is best for managing your personal stressors and triggers. These articles discuss the benefits of products like CBD and how they can help those struggling with severe stress.
That said I have to keep that same energy when it comes to people I’m following. If someone’s content is triggering you, it’s up to you to remove and or reduce the amount of their content you see. That said I’m sharing 6 tips for managing traumatic stress on social media.
Validate Your Experience and Feelings
Managing traumatic stress begins with acknowledging that you’re feeling a way. I can only speak from my own experience and as a black woman, as a black human, ya girl is tired. I just truly don’t understand how people can have so much hate in their hearts toward other humans purely on skin color, but I’m not denying that I feel that way. This is my experience, this is my current state of living. It doesn’t have to be me directly for me to experience the feeling of what is being shared and shown. It’s also key to validate your feelings and experience because a lot of people will go out of their way to invalidate it. This is could be true for many, but it is especially true for black people.
Healing and managing traumatic stress comes from being honest about what you’re experiencing. Don’t let social media have you out here trying to be too strong.
Managing Traumatic Stress Happens Offline
It’s easy to say, “don’t be on social media,” but for some this is their full time job. There are no days off, but you can take time to log off when managing traumatic stress feels like it’s not an option. I know we feel like the world won’t miss us when we’re gone, but none of that really matters when you’re the one battling internally with all that is happening. You and your mindset are the most important. I struggled with this because I’m working on being more consistent and taking time off seems so counter productive, but my mindset and how I operate is much more important. If you need to take time off, take the time off.
It doesn’t make sense to pour from an empty cup.
Time Your Consumption
I definitely need to get back to this, but managing traumatic stress comes from managing how much time you allow yourself to consume. Consume news, consume stuff on TheShaderoom, consume the comments on CNN Facebook posts, whatever news source you choose, don’t over do it. Set time limits, set a timer. You don’t have to consume all that you can in one sitting. The habit of scrolling is so regular that we don’t realize how much stuff we have consumed in such a short period of time. It really doesn’t require much effort to over consume information.
Managing Traumatic Stress Allows You to Change Your Focus
Managing traumatic stress can be achieved from changing your focus. Whenever things start to get overwhelming on social media, I change my focus. I focus on something that I know is good and worthy to be paid attention to. I focus on what I’m working on and the personal goals I’ve set. I focus on something that goes contrary to what is being said especially about black people.
God provides a peace that surpasses all understanding, a peace that world cannot give; when I find myself feeling extremely overwhelmed, feeling like I just can’t put into words all that is going on, I remember that I don’t have to search for something that God has already provided to and for me. Peace can be achieved in the midst of chaos, in fact it’s crucial to tap into that peace, without it, managing traumatic stress will feel impossible.
I have a gratitude tracker in my planner and it definitely helps with managing traumatic stress. There are a lot of things that happen every day even while we’re at home apparently, but finding things to be grateful for is a way to change your focus and allow you to be in a happier state of mind. I used to struggle with this, I hype myself up over everything, I’m grateful for so much. Do I want to be in a certain place doing certain things, sure, who doesn’t, but finding gratitude in the right now is key. In fact every time I focus more on gratitude then circumstance, things shift and what I’ve been praying for starts to show up.
I used to be so iffy about affiliate marketing, didn’t think I would make sales (not the right mindset), but the reality is ya girl has been getting pay outs okay. Saying this to say, my moments of being grateful for other streams of income and having faith that is coming has shifted that in me. Gratitude changes your attitude.
What did you accomplish today? What did you realize about yourself this week? Did you hit a new record for views? Did a favorite blogger mention you? Did you drink water all day today? Give yourself grace and be grateful for what you could get done.
Journaling is my go to for managing traumatic stress. I don’t have to vent to social media, I can get it down on the pages in front of me and leave it there. In this social media era, it seems like everything needs to be shared on social channels and it doesn’t. Being vulnerable and sharing something that can help someone is one thing. Laying all of your challenges out online, however, isn’t always the best when it comes to managing traumatic stress.
I know personally for myself I experience it in phases. The first thing I do is process what happened, let my emotions have their place; I might think about it all at first and then write, or sometimes I grab my pen and notebook immediately and start letting it all pour out. I know we want to express ALL of our frustrations and trust me, I would like to tell a few people a thing or two, but is it necessary? Is it worth it? Is this what God would want me to do? Journaling is a safe personal space to get your feelings out without always needing to express it publicly.
This weeks newsletter will have journaling prompts that I use when I’m working on managing or moving through traumatic stress. Make sure you subscribe below!
How have you been managing traumatic stress during this time? What things have allowed you to tap deeper into your peace while chaos is running rampant? Let me know in the comments.
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