Ever even heard of doom scrolling?!
In fact, I have no idea if it’s a term I adopted or made up myself! It refers to the times when you are sucked into scrolling endlessly through social media posts when you’re feeling low/comparing yourself/wanting to escape or numb away from your real life & feelings.
Now, this isn’t a blog post to diss scrolling or social media. It’s an awesome thing. It’s recognising that this particular type of engaging with your social media doesn’t add to your deep health. It’s being used as a form of escapism away from difficult feelings, sucking you down into the doom.
It’s part of your environmental health: who you let into your world, what you listen to, the information and messages you absorb.
I used to feel it a lot around the news (but I now choose not to engage with that at all now), but I notice it the most when I see posts from other businesses similar to mine - that comparison subconsciously creeps in and it just starts a case of the feel-bads. Maybe yours isn’t around work, maybe your feel-bads start when you see someone else posting about their dogs, or babies, or their workout or pictures of themselves or their body.
I made myself a doom-scrolling toolkit that I’m sharing here today so that hopefully you can use it too.
The first part of it is, as with many other things: awareness
What am I seeking when I dive into the social media hole?
What need am I trying to fill?
What am I trying to give myself?
It’s a very real, and valid need.
I recognised that by doom-scrolling, sometimes, in a not-very-fun day, I was looking for joy, connection and escape. Other times, it was triggered by seeing a particular post that I compared myself with.
The first thing to do, once you’ve noticed the scroll, is STOP
Literally, hand on heart, deep breath - come back to yourself.
This brings you out of the scroll. And it’s going to take some practice to press stop. The pull into it is insane - and specifically engineered to keep you there.
Once you’ve pressed the stop button, try some different strategies.
With social media itself:
Work WITH technology to actively define your relationship with it. Use frequent breaks, a timer, an app-blocker: all things that allow you more control over where you spend your time.
Unfollow everything that pulls you into doom. And I mean EVERYTHING. Not, ‘I’ll keep that person because I think they might still be helpful something’. Nope. If there’s a hit of doom that you feel when you look at anything of theirs, it’s a sign. Boundaries. Your online world is your city. Carefully police who you allow into it. Boundaries. For me, that meant unfollowing alllllll the businesses and people doing similar things to me. Boundaries. Now, I watch ducks, and dogs, and follow people I find really inspiring (not necessarily work-related, but some are).
Then, try and substitute. Once you know what you’re looking for when you’re doom scrolling, find a different way to meet that need. If I know I am looking for fun and connection, options are:
Dancing to a song
Reading an actual paper book
Hobby e.g. making something.
Planning: rather than a ‘to do’ list, I also love a ‘to relax’ list that means I can be a bit more intentional about doing things I enjoy
Send a friend a message
Look at the sky
Stick your head out the window
Actually go outside for a walk
Shake and release
Remember, this is my tool kit, and yours could look very different.
Practice the stop button. Notice the need you’re trying to fill.
Give yourself that thing in a different form.
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