They say, you can’t pour from an empty cup. In my organization called Talang Dalisay, we believe that work is just as important as rest.
Mentally, this quarantine may take a toll on those working at home, as well as those who need to report to work when it might not even be safe to go out yet. I think we can all agree, that although present in different forms, our exhaustion has definitely increased, be it mentally or physically.
This quarantine caused students like me to attend online schooling. Although social media does a good job at bridging different communications, it has an impactful way of influencing our behavior.
In Facebook alone, we are informed of the latest news so frequently, that before we know it, our timelines are all filled with realities that may overwhelm us. Being an informed citizen is extremely relevant, as well as finding different ways to become active with our advocacies. However, there are things you cannot effectively give, if you have not received it yourself. One of them being care.
I came across this option on my phone that I have never bothered to click before—the screen time button. I ended up trying the feature that allows you to input a specific downtime for a whole week, wherein selected important applications such as messages and phone calls could only be accessed during a specific time. It did not turn out well.
The first week, I found myself tempted by different thought bubbles: What if I’m missing out on an update by my favorite artist? What if my friends are talking about something that I’ll be missing out on?
This led me to breaking my downtime hours every now and then and clicking the “15 more minutes” option on my social media applications. Being someone who wants to become more socially aware on different issues, social media is a beneficial tool, but I notice how it would emotionally drain me and how it would low-key prevent me from actively being engaged or actually help.
The time-limit setting is entirely up to the user and may vary for different applications. For example, if Viber is extremely needed for communication, you may include it in the exemptions. Or if you find yourself using social media a lot from 6 to 9 p.m., this specific time may be chosen.
I found myself unnecessarily checking my social media accounts from 12 noon to 4 p.m., thus I set the time limit to those hours. The gradual change in my perspective influenced me to try different hobbies I never thought I could be good at, such as painting, cooking and writing.
Setting a specific time to scroll past your news feed and stay updated with the news is something so simple, yet so important. Bombarding ourselves 24/7 with news won’t get us anywhere, since it can be emotionally frustrating or draining.
But I thought, how can I balance being both informed and socially active with being kind to myself? The effective solution for me was watching the news in the morning while eating brunch and checking reliable news platforms on social media for about 30 minutes in the evening.
In the long run, this option gives you more time to focus on action, rather than simply reading the news passively, which may give readers something called an advocacy burnout. This helped me become more present in understanding other perspectives and being informed of what other citizens are going through.
Change is a process, and that simple change of setting a time limit for my social media applications on my phone wasn’t a smooth road. In the back of my head, I would feel anxious, or guilty even, whenever I would miss out on things. It’s what my generation calls Fomo or fear of missing out.
But setting time limits could be more beneficial than it seems. Sometimes, the most selfless thing to do is to give back to yourself.
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