A simple way to ease social media anxiety, use it as a positive, healthy distraction

I live in the U.S. and I am the most anxiety ridden and frequently demoralized about our current state of affairs than I have been in my adult life. Already a little overweight before the election, I’ve gained 10 pounds since November.

Social media has been an overwhelmingly negative influence, but I recently had an idea for turning it into a positive tool. It’s helped me a decent bit. Maybe it can help some of you too.

It’s a simple idea: find accounts, hashtags, and channels on various social media that focus entirely on positive, helpful, or simply entertaining content. Create lists and bookmarks, or just do your thing to keep them within easy reach. They can be a soothing reprieve for the times when you don’t want to disconnect, but the current state of affairs is utterly draining. Tumblr and Reddit are my tools of choice here.

A strong driving force in both is the idea of focusing on a topic, which makes it easy to curate a feed around just the stuff you want to see. Tumblr makes it easy to create multiple blogs on a single account, which encourages users to spin out single-serving topical blogs instead of jumbling everything in a single place. Reddit is entirely based on communities, called subreddits (much like forums), all of which are laser focused on just about any topic you can imagine. No, seriously.

Recommendations

If you could use a head start, here are a few I like:

  • ARCHatlas – A Tumblr of gorgeous, unique architecture, design projects, and art. One of my favorite Tumblrs ever
  • We Rate Dogs – A Twitter of cute, funny, great dog photos
  • City Landscapes – A Tumblr of beautiful city scenery
  • ZandraArt – One of my favorite Tumblr illustration artists
  • r/Get Motivated – A subreddit of generally motivational quotes, stories, discussions, and community help
  • r/Real Life Doodles – A subreddit where people anthropomorphize and GIF objects and food for humorous effect
  • r/Animals Being Bros – A subreddit of uplifting, cute, and endearing pet and animal photos, videos, and GIFs

I know it’s a simple thing. But those can sometimes be the best solutions. When I need a break from our daily horrors, or want to switch gears from work but don’t need to see Trump’s daily stupidity, accounts like these have been a great alternative for me. I hope they can help you too.