Here are some signs you might need to take a break from social media and some tips to make your use of it more healthy

Scroll down on Instagram and exit. Open Facebook, scroll, exit and repeat. Open Twitter, scroll, 

enter and repeat. Open TikTok…

Many of us have made social media a habit. We use it daily, whether awake, asleep, or bored.

Research shows that social media can have an impact on mental health. Experts recommend a balanced relationship between our doom-scrolling devices.

Social media is excellent for connecting with friends, family, and the community. But, users can be left vulnerable to negative comments and judgments from the public,” Melissa Dowd, licensed marriage therapist and therapy leader at PlushCare, says.

How do you understand if you need a break from social media? These are the signs experts recommend you look out for:

It makes it feel bad: Social media, like in-person interactions, can hurt our emotional health.

Dowd states, “when we feel bombarded by posts, comments, or conversations that aren’t in line with our morals and values, it can negatively impact our emotional well-being.”

Alyssa Mairanz is a licensed mental counsellor and Empower Your Mind Therapy owner. “If going on social media makes you feel down, or worse than usual, it’s probably a sign that you need a break,” she says.

It’s a game of comparison: Mairanz states that if you compare yourself to others on social media, it’s a sign that you need to take a break.

Dowd says that in a world of Photoshop and filters, the pressure to look perfect and conform to narrow beauty standards is more significant than ever.

She says, “While it can be inspiring and fun to follow others’ journeys, it could also lead to harsh comparisons or feelings of shame and inadequacy.”

It consumes all your time: “If you feel that social media is preventing you from spending quality time with your loved ones or changing how you prioritize your day, then it may be time to make a change,” Dowd advises.

How can social media help you build a better relationship?

Avoid scrolling too much: “Limiting your time reading news articles and scrolling through social networks is essential. Dowd warns that these activities can be time-consuming and draining on your emotional energy.

She suggests limiting your consumption to 30 minutes at night and focusing on self-care throughout the day.

She suggests that you turn off notifications on personal devices. “You have control over what and when you receive the information.”

You can take a break if you find it too restrictive. BuscaTV Colorado reported that a recent study showed that just three days of social media use significantly improved teenage girls’ body images.

Be careful about who you follow: “Don’t be afraid of setting virtual boundaries,” Dowd says. “If the person/organization isn’t someone you would want to spend time with or associate in person with, there are better ‘follow ‘choices than this.

Instead, follow positive accounts that add value to your life.

She says, “This could be as simple as following an account that you are passionate about, or supporting an account that gives you healthy new perspectives, optimistic messages, a sense community, or some much-needed humour throughout the day — all of these are super healthy options to choose from.”

Not everything is true: Social media tends not to represent reality accurately. It focuses on the best moments and, according to Dowd, the “most positive aspects” of people’s lives.