Doomscrolling. Mental Health. Winter Blues and Pulling Through.
After endless days of looking at my computer, starting work at 6AM , even before my coffee is ready, and turning the screen off at 10PM just to start scrolling through the social media feeds, I realized today that as a society the pandemic is not the only problem we are facing. As an owner of an advertising agency, my world revolves around social media and quarantine time offered the best engagements this industry has seen since the very beginning. People spend more time on social networks but yet, there is a true and very dangerous cost to their engagements.
Pandemic called it “doomscrolling” or “doomsurfing”. You turn to social media every few hours during the day and it’s the last thing you see at night. You fall into the abyss of videos, news and coronavirus stats, making yourself more uncomfortable with each message you consume. Each day might be slightly different but yet it is more of the same. Our mental health is heavily affected and although the social network tends to throw in some funny memes to give you a quick laugh, the overwhelming amount on negative information you’ve been consuming via combined digital sources starts to weigh on you.
While the late-night surfing is not new, the content you are absorbing very much is. We used to get a sneak peak at the Game of Thrones spoilers, football game recaps and parents sharing their kids’ sports achievements. Today, the world revolves around politically charged messages, protest updates, and death statistics.
In all of this, nobody is able to tell us what comes next. This uncertainty for the future pushes our metal state into even more fragility. We all like to feel secure and define our own future, but what the last few months have taught us is that nothing is in our control. Luckily, that is just a feeling and as long as we stay healthy, everything else will fall into place.
That is why you need to take a step back. No matter what your situation is, there is a light at the end of this very dark and unusual tunnel. Start with treating yourself as an investment. Unplug. Unwind. Pull yourself out of the daily doomscrolling. Look into your strengths and find what can shape you going forward.
By now, you most likely organized every closet in the house and your pantry is immaculate with these freshly delivered Amazon plastic storage containers for every dry food known to man. Maybe you repainted all of the walls, cleaned and washed every pillow in your apartment.
What comes next? Invest in yourself. If your career suffered from downsizing, think about ways to start fresh and new. Think about how the past few months will shape our world and how you fit into that new equation. It might be a completely new career, interest or a person in your life. Practice self-care, and find balance in the news and local community that surrounds you.
Don’t let the winter blues get to you. We know that the long dark days will affect us in a negative way. Wrap up, step outside, take your puppy for a walk. The new normal is not what society will create for you, it’s how you face the adversity. Yes, we all hope to sit on the sidelines of our kiddos soccer game or scream at the top our lungs cheering on your favorite football team. We all want to chat again with our coworkers and mingle with parents at a school event. We all want our kids to enjoy their gymnastics practice and not stay glued to a screen most of the day. And we want to take that vacation or a cruise we missed this summer. No, you cannot do all of the things today, but think about all of these times you were complaining about not having enough time for your family, or to read, or to take extra courses to be able to apply for a better job. This is the time for you to prepare for tomorrow.
And me, as an advertiser, a mom, and a representative of many brands across many states, I promise you that I will stay true to focusing on our audience, on you, and making sure that at the end of the day, we care more about each other.