Media can be a powerful resource throughout recovery. The use of digital media and social platforms can introduce a person to new communities and interests, prompting each individual to continue exploring their identity even after having graduated from a treatment program, including a Hawaii recovery center.
However, the use of media also presents dangers that can negatively impact one’s daily routine and mental health. Managing the use of media while navigating one’s ongoing sobriety is instrumental in utilizing its benefits while mitigating its negative drawbacks.
The Dangers of Excessive Media
Digital news outlets, television programming, and even a growing online workspace mean that people are more exposed to online media. However, negative news stories and stresses of harrowing events on the local to global scale all affect one’s mental health. Constant exposure to these stories can fundamentally shape one’s worldview and mentality. Despite their negative nature, it can be difficult to stop scrolling through these stories, leading to a destructive habit known as “doomscrolling.”
Likewise, excessive media use also impacts an individual on a smaller, more intimate scale. Constant exposure to the pictures of peers and gauging one’s happiness on the number of “likes” a certain post obtains are all detrimental, unfair ways to measure one’s self-worth. Constant exposure to this kind of media creates a distorted view of reality, further affecting how one views those around them and how a person judges themselves.
The Dangers of Media and Recovery
Those in recovery from addiction can find media incredibly stressful. Media can present innumerable unnecessary stresses, including comparing oneself to others or seeing characters in a show head to the bar. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial, and the stresses of media and the emotional impact it carries can be a significant hurdle for those prioritizing a newfound sober life.
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Balancing Your Time
It can be effortless to lose track of time when scrolling through the vast media landscape. Managing time is crucial for getting the most benefits out of one’s time while avoiding media’s detrimental effects. Setting oneself a predetermined time limit, such as an hour a day, to engage in these media outlets ensures that one’s time is spent effectively balancing one’s media use with the other important aspects or interests in one’s life. These set times also make it difficult to get lost in unnecessary media use and causes an individual to be more mindful of how they use their time.
Setting Blackout Times
Blackout times are when all electronics and media devices are shut off, usually scheduled around family times such as dinner or before bed. Blackout times help an individual distance themselves from digital stresses and can also erect barriers between one’s work and personal life. By being unavailable for contact from one’s job, work stresses can wait until the following morning, guaranteeing each individual some time for self-care every day.
Utilizing blackout times before bed also ensures that one’s rest doesn’t become compromised due to media use. The use of media or electronics before bed can continue to stimulate the brain and induce any number of negative feelings, making it challenging to maintain a healthy sleep schedule and garner the necessary rest for the following day.
Always Have an Intention
While media is commonly used for entertainment – movies, television shows, streaming platforms, video games, and much more – approaching media with intention is necessary to manage one’s use and utilize its benefits in a healthy manner. Knowing one’s goals for media, whether it be to check email or to send a message on a social media platform, can help eliminate unnecessary or aimless scrolling. While having a goal to watch a movie with family is perfectly fine, as its use is still intentional, unintentional scrolling can create more negative consequences.
Keep Your Digital Spaces Clean
While one’s phone and computer contain numerous different programs or apps, keeping one’s digital space clean can prevent the impulse to check one’s social media throughout the day. Keeping apps like Facebook or Instagram off of the phone’s home screen can mitigate some of this compulsive behavior, forcing their use to be more deliberate and educated. This organization presents one’s most important apps upfront, such as phone contacts or supports, while mitigating the impact of other media platforms that may not be as conducive to one’s healthy lifestyle.
Delete Unnecessary Apps
Many social media platforms or apps can have negative implications. If someone finds themself stressed after using a particular one, deleting it may be the best option. This can mitigate the chance of additional unnecessary stresses in the future and promote the prioritization of other, more supportive programs. By deleting Facebook and replacing one’s social media with a more focused and supportive space, such as SoberGrid, an individual can constantly monitor the effectiveness and benefits of digital media while making necessary changes for a continued healthy life.
Despite the benefits media has, it can also be a dangerous source of stress, and managing the use of media in recovery is essential. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we are committed to helping you embrace recovery and transformation while mitigating unnecessary stress. Our Hawaii recovery center helps connect you to our community and culture, building an atmosphere that supports each other while helping to tackle the stresses of drug and alcohol recovery. Your time on the Big Island can be personalized to fit your needs and is ready to meet you wherever you are on your recovery journey. From detox to residential care, partial hospitalization, and outpatient care, we can create a plan to help you manage your sobriety, stress, and more. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us and support you in your recovery, call us today at (866) 390-5070.