Technology and mental health| Advice for young people | Jigsaw Online

Using technology to support your mental health

We hear a lot about the downside of technology, and how we should try to spend less time on it but the pros of technology have become prominent.

We are all aware of our need for connection and fun. At present our usual routines have been disrupted and everything is a little bit out of sorts.

The term ‘social distancing’ may lead us to feeling increased levels of isolation. The phrase ‘physical distancing’ would be more apt in describing our current situation. We have to adapt to the way the world is at the moment, and reach out in ways that we can. We need to restructure how we do the things that help us with our mental health and technology can help.

Listen:

Jigsaw clinicians Vicky, Sarah, Valerija and Aoife discuss how they use technology to support their mental health during this time.

Connect

Feelings of loneliness and isolation may be a new experience for us, and we may be struggling with how to manage currently. It’s not easy, however, there are some things that we can do to support our need for connection.

Video chat is a great way to feel close to our families, partners and friends. People are social creatures so try schedule at least one chat in every day as part of your self-care routine.  You could try to schedule in group video chats with friends at similar times to when you would normally see them, for example on Saturday evenings.

There are many apps out there now that have made it possible to play online games and quizzes through video chats which may add some variety to conversations.

Stay active

Exercise can support us in managing our mental health . A good option is to do a live or pre-recorded class in whatever takes your fancy. By doing this, there is real engagement with another person, and the feeling of being part of a wider community also completing the same class. Insta and Youtube provide lots of options.

Or you could schedule in a phone call with a friend, and go for a walk at the same time, two birds with one stone!

Get involved

There are plenty of online campaigns to take part in, such as cooking and music challenges. Getting involved in a bookclub could also be a good idea at the moment. This provides some motivation to read which can be hard at times!  See if you can take up a Tik Tok challenge! All of this can help us feel part of a wider community and that we are all in this together.

Keep learning

Technology has given us several options to try to occupy ourselves through engaging in something we enjoy. For example online courses, Youtube tutorials, apps. This could be a good time to explore some interests that we used to have or want to evolve.

Take notice

There are a lot of things outside of our control but there are also some things that we have influence over. Responding to your emotions, and being aware of what you need is important. Mindfulness and meditation apps can help when trying to check in with how we are doing. See the Jigsaw Insta account for live sessions with Jigsaw clinicians.

There are many other ways that technology can support us at the moment. Lots of people are reaching out, supporting each other and finding creative ways to get through this in whatever way works for them.

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