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What You Need To Let Go Of In Your 30s

What You Need To Let Go Of In Your 30s

If you were to believe every Friends-like sitcom on television, you’d think that the day you hit 30 you’d automatically want to trade in your wild and crazy life to settle down and start taking life a little more seriously. While this might end up happening by the end of your 30th year on Earth, it’s more due to your biological clock than any conscious decision you’ve made on your own. Fight it as you might, time hurries on, and it takes you with it. I hope you enjoyed the ridiculousness of your 20s, because by the time you reach 31, you should have at least cut down on, or completely let go of, the following.

Let go of binging anything

Drinking. Eating. Netflix-ing. Gambling. Napping. The list goes on. In your 20s, moderation takes a backseat to excess. You only live once, right? (I refuse to refer to the acronym for that saying). By the time you’re 30, though, the novelty of binging on your favorite vice should start to wear off. You should be too busy actually doing something with your life to even have time for any of this stuff. Of course, if you get an hour here or there, you shouldn’t feel guilty indulging in one of life’s pleasures – but you should definitely stop allowing them to consume your life.

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Let go of toxic friendships

You might still have some friends from high school or college who linger in your life, and who you refuse to believe have not actually been your friends for quite some time. These are the ones who convince you to come out drinking all night, or the ones who only come around when they need something, or the ones who make excuses when you’re in need of some help and need someone to talk to. The older you get, the smaller your circle of friends will be. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The people you keep around should be the ones always pushing you to do better in life, and who truly care about you as a person. You don’t have to completely turn your back on the ones who are more pals than friends, but you’re under no obligation to make time for them either.

Let go of crappy jobs

In your early years of adulthood, you may have settled for any job you could get that would pay the bills. However, if you’re not happy with your current state of employment, you absolutely need to do everything in your power to change that before it’s too late. You might have been content enough working long hours for lame pay as long as you could afford a couple beers at the bar on Friday night, but you don’t want to continue that trend into your 30s. Soon enough, your 40s will come creeping around, and you definitely don’t want to be living for the weekends by then. There’s no getting around the fact that you’ll be spending 30-40 hours a week working;  so now’s the time to find a job you actually enjoy doing.

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Let go of excuses

Maybe you didn’t end up where you thought you’d be by now. Maybe things happened in your past that held you back from reaching your full potential. Maybe you wish things had turned out differently for you. I hate to be blunt, but everyone faces obstacles at different times in their life. Some make excuses and pass up opportunities when they come along, and others power through adversity and take advantage of every situation they face. Don’t be a “coulda-been.” Even if you haven’t done much with your life up until this point, you still have a long way to go. Don’t let it slip away.

Let go of caring what others think

Throughout our teenage years, we’re led to believe that people will stop being so judgmental as we get older. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. People are just as cruel as adults as they were as teenagers. While teens make fun of their peers’ clothing and haircuts, adults can actually be more cutting with their insults, pointing out a person’s true flaws and insecurities. While you can’t change the idiots who seem to exist only to put others down, you can control how you let their words affect you. As long as you’re living your life the way you want to live it, you don’t have to answer to anyone else’s comments. Who gives a #%[email protected] what they think, anyway?

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Let go of trying to control every little thing

When you graduated from high school and college, you were left with an empowering notion that your actions could change the world. While this notion isn’t completely wrong, it certainly is misguided. Unless you’re the next Mark Zuckerberg, you probably won’t end up accomplishing something which truly changes the entire world – no matter how great you believe your ideas are. However, your very existence changes the world ever so slightly, each and every day. By the time you hit 30, you should understand that there are things you have no control over which you’ll never be able to change, but you should also know that you do have the power within you to affect the world in some way. You should dedicate your time and effort each and every day to making this change, no matter how small it is.

Featured photo credit: GREG, MARISSA & SEAN – ALLIE WARD’S BDAY / Jared eberhardt via farm3.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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