In the present climate of self-isolation and social distancing, many of us are turning to social media as a way to communicate or to enable us to feel part of the wider world.

There is no doubt that it can be an important tool that lets us connect with friends and family now that we can’t have physical interaction with them. However, there is a danger that we can be sucked into using it more than we should, scrolling until the early hours of the morning and sometimes getting hooked on sites full of mis-information or ‘fake news’.

Various studies have confirmed that self-esteem has a direct relationship with our overall well-being, and that using social media to excess can lead to anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. This is particularly true in these unprecedented times where just turning on the news channels on the television can leave us feeling full of doom and gloom and totally overwhelmed at what is going on in the world.

There are ways to use social media positively,

Although we don’t know how long we are going to be in this coronavirus lockdown, there are ways to use social media positively and for the betterment of our mental health. Finding things that interest us or that we can engage with in a positive way can ease stress and boost our self-worth.

Find sites that appeal to your creative side or hook up with like-minded people to discuss your favourite books or films. Now is the time to start pursuing those hobbies or interests that you didn’t have time for before. Learn a new language or find tutorials that will help you start a new pastime.

There are numerous art galleries and museums that have made their exhibitions available through social media links at no cost, as well as a huge selection of online resources and tools.

Engaging on social media in a positive way will increase your self-esteem and lessen those feelings of loneliness.