MIND OVER MATTER
Mental health & social media in the equestrian world
Social media is an amazing platform and has become a huge part of our daily lives- but it has undoubtedly contributed to the rise in mental health issues over the past decade. Although theres no avoiding the occasional bout of FOMO when scrolling through your instagram feed, we all need to know how to take control and manage our social media properly when it gets too much. Read on to discover our tips to anyone that may be feeling the negative effects of social media.
" The reality is, we are all
SO MUCH MORE than a collection of images we share online and the number of likes we get doesn’t define us as a person"
With the world at your fingertips, it's tough being constantly reminded of somebody else’s perfectly clipped horse, brand new boots, expensive tack and impossible waistline- but it is so important to remember this isn’t the full picture, we often only see the highlights which can lead us to a warped sense of reality. Very rarely you see the real-life messy hair, falling off and terrible braiding skills!
The reality is, we are all so much more than a collection of images we share online and the number of likes we get doesn’t define us as a person. If you feel like you’re falling into the depths of social comparisons, put down your phone and quickly make time for the physical things you can do to make you feel grounded, here are some of our favourite suggestions:
Visit a Relative
Take a relaxing bath
- Do a gym Class
Clean your room
Go for a hack with a friend
Re-organise your wardrobe
Bake a cake
It’s the oldest saying in the book for a reason: ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’ In our experience- It never feels bad to be kind, so before you choose to make a comment, just ask yourself ‘by making this comment, am I doing something positive for myself or anyone else who will see this?’ if not, leave this one out.
We all know too well, us equestrians can be the worst for the 'constructive' criticism on riding position and a horse's slight overbend- but theres kinder ways to offer help than to call someone out publicly. You never know what someone else may be going through so why be a negative impact on their day when you can be a positive one?
BE REAL you can’t pretend it always goes to plan because it doesn’t. Pretending everything is PERFECT all the time not only affects your mental health but can also affect those who see your posts
- G R A C I E T Y T E ( P O N Y _ N U T S )
REMEMBER YOU'RE NOT ALONE
We spoke to the Gracie Tyte (@Pony_Nuts) about the effects she has experienced through social media. As a horse-crazy Instagram star with a huge following she explains how the pressures of social media come from all angles.
“There definitely is a lot of pressure that comes from social media. Whether its pressure to do well, to always be positive or even to be posting frequently enough. It has been something I have struggled with- especially because I am so determined and stubborn when things just haven’t gone my way in the past- the pressures from social media really made things feel 10 times worse than it actually was.
The best advice I follow to cope with this- is to be real, you can’t pretend it always goes to plan because it doesn’t. Pretending everything is perfect all the time not only affects your mental health but can also affect those who see your posts. I always aim to be completely truthful with my followers, sharing the ups and downs really takes the pressure off me, it stops people expecting me to be the ‘perfect’ person the whole time.
For me, spending a full day with the horses and not posting on social media is beneficial. It allows me to focus on why I love the sport without the pressure to share everything- I always end the day feeling more motivated and relaxed spending time surrounded by the animals I love.”
Many of us start to feel stressed, worried, anxious or annoyed by what we see online and it’s important we address these issues before it’s too late. Ask the question ‘How do the posts I’m seeing make me feel; Inspired? Happy? Angry? Sad? Bored?’ Take control and clean up your feed by unfollowing, blocking or muting any accounts that don’t have a positive impact.Its also a great idea to limit or track your time on social media, Instagram and Facebook have ways of doing this:You can find this on Facebook here: More > Settings and privacy > Your time on Facebook.
You can find this on Instagram Here Your account > More > Settings and your activity.
" I live by the saying, BE KIND or be QUIET- you never know what somebody else is going through. There is nothing to gain from being mean."
- J O R D A N M C C A B E , A Z T E C D I A M O N D
FINALLY, REACH OUT
There is always somebody to help. A parent, a sibling, a friend, and instructor or a helpline. If you feel like social media has impacted your mental health in any way, the best thing you can do is talk about it. The support is there for any issue big or small and we urge anyone who feels they may need it to reach out. Below are some of our wonderful mental health support services available in the UK.
Mind is a mental health charity and offers information and advice to people with mental health problems. 0300 123 3393
Samaritans are available 24 hours a day to help anyone who may be suffering emotional distress. 116 113
Worried about your mental health, or a friend's? Get support and information specially for young people from The Mix. 0808 808 4994