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Self Care / Self Preservation

Having decided to join this group, please do not feel under any pressure to respond to all types of negative comments you see. Your own wellbeing is important. If you only want to comment on particular types of online conversations (e.g. you don’t have the energy for conspiracy theorist climate deniers, or you don’t want to have anything to do with a thread where people are being aggressive) that’s fine. Set your own limits based on what you feel comfortable with.

Even then, if the scope of the online negativity becomes too much and you find yourself becoming irritable or depressed, you might need to take further steps to set boundaries around online outreach. It can seem quite obvious, but it’s really important to do this. Here are some suggestions:

  • If you find yourself getting a little bit compulsive, try setting limits on your phone. Most phones let you set time limits for particular apps. Iphones are more fiddly than Androids, but you can do it in 'Screen Time'. There are various ways to achieve this on the desktop as well. Turning all your devices off for a bit is a simple one!

  • Practice conscious time management. For example, you could use the pomodoro method to commit to 25 minutes of online outreach every day, and then walk away from it for the rest of the time. It doesn’t have to be 25 minutes of course- the important thing is that you create a dedicated time for it and try not to let it bleed into other areas of your life.

  • Practice good sleep hygiene and put your screens to bed at the end of the day, about an hour before you plan to go to sleep. Don’t keep them in the bedroom. Don’t check them if you wake up in the middle of the night, especially if you are already having trouble sleeping.

  • Rinse your brain and reset. Read a novel or collection of poems. Go for a walk in nature. Go for a walk in town. Talk to someone face to face. Ride a bike. Do yoga. Listen to a nice audiobook. Do whatever is necessary for you to clear your head.