A Social Media Cleanse for Type 2 Diabetes
Could a break from social media be just what your diabetes needs? Social media has its time and place. It helps you connect with others personally and in the diabetes community, learning from those with shared experiences and expertise can provide emotional support. However, if you find yourself spending hours a day just scrolling, a social media cleanse may help you clear your mind and refocus energy on neglected areas in your life.
Pros and cons of social media on life with type 2 diabetes
There is no doubt that social media has taken over our lives, bringing with it both positives and negatives. Social media has become an outlet for support, diabetes management tips, and a news source for many. On the other hand, some platforms can present misinformation or lack individualized advice. If you spend a lot of time on social media, it is essential to understand both the pros and cons of these apps with diabetes:
- Online community and support
- Meal prep ideas that are diabetes-friendly
- Fitness advice and stress management
- Easy to reach out and communicate directly with others in the diabetes community or with experts
- Can be used as a direct news outlet
- May lead to other helpful resources (books, articles, blogs, etc.)
- Personal and valuable insights from a community who shares your challenges
- Easy to compare yourself and be influenced by others. What works for someone else might not work for you
- Non-expert medical advice
- May make you feel bad about your diagnosis
- Potential food triggers creating cravings
How to break from social media
This can vary from person to person but generally means you log out or inactivate a social media app for some time. Social media apps can include but are not limited to Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, YouTube, and Reddit. If you do not want to delete or entirely refrain from such apps, you can set screen times on your phone to limit the amount of time you spend each day on the apps.
How a social media cleanse could help your diabetes
A social media cleanse could help you:
Be more present
Allow yourself to live in the present. Be more in tune with your body and how you feel throughout the day without automatically scrolling through social media when bored, tired, lonely, etc.
Improve mindful eating
Mindful eating helps you to be more conscious of what and how much you are eating, especially if you tend to eat in front of the screen. Keep technology out of the kitchen, your phone will still be there after your meal is over.
Less distraction throughout the day
Social media can be distracting, especially when it comes to prioritizing necessary tasks. If you are less distracted and more focused, you’ll likely remember important things to manage your diabetes, like checking blood sugars or packing your supplies and equipment before you leave for the day. While giving your social media apps a break, you may consider signing up for blood glucose monitoring apps such as Glucose Buddy, Diabetes Connect, Diabetes:M, and mySugr to help manage and control your diabetes.
Embrace yourself and avoid comparisons
Prevents you from continually comparing yourself to others. A cleanse will allow you to focus on what foods, lifestyle choices, and exercise routines work best for you without considering what other people are promoting online. This may also lead to better body positivity.
Catch better zzz’s
Help you get a better night’s sleep, and relax more before bed. Put your phone outside your room and invest in an old fashion alarm clock. For some, social media can add feelings of negativity before bed. Try other things to wind you down at night like reading, meditating, or journaling.
Experience less stress
Social media can be stress-inducing for many with diabetes, mainly due to the “fear of missing out” (FOMO) of specific lifestyles and diets.1 Stress and anxiety can also impact your blood sugar, so it is important to minimize both as much as you can.
Allocate your time better
Frees up your day, so you have more time to do things you actually love. The time you spend on social media can be devoted to coffee dates with friends, diving into the book you have talked about reading, or starting that new hobby you have been thinking about. Whatever it is, you now have more time to do it!
Have you previously tried a social media cleanse? Are you going to give one a try for the first time? Let us know how it went in the comments below.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your diabetes?