As universities and colleges prepare for winter break, many students look forward to stepping away for a few weeks to indulge in other activities, such as seasonal work, returning home to loved ones, or a well-deserved vacation. No matter where students find themselves during winter break, it is likely they are also perusing online websites or platforms for the latest news, updates and social media alerts. Some studies show that spending a significant percentage of time online, for one reason or another, can have negative effects on your mental health and emotional well-being. Continued use of technology has also been shown to lead to stress, depression, anxiety and a decrease in overall satisfaction.
To counterbalance the negative side effects of online usage, be sure to prioritize your well-being. One way to achieve this is by limiting online usage to a certain amount of time per day. If necessary, set a timer and once it goes off, close the application. Or, implore help from a friend. Together, you can keep each other accountable and reduce the amount of time spent on social media.
Additionally, be mindful of your bedtime routine. Are you increasing your social media and online usage before you go to bed? Rather than falling asleep to attention-grabbing headlines, focus on ending your day by other means. For example, begin journaling, reading books for pleasure, or starting a meditation program. Your well-being is just as important as physical health, so be sure to prioritize how you spend your time and remain cognizant of how your online usage leaves you feeling over time.
-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist