Some years ago, way before the digital era, I once intelligently incorporated one of my efficiency skills when I wanted to write to 20 friends. I drafted one letter with the latest update of my life, and then I made multiple copies. Switching titles accordingly, licked the stamps, and off they went. As I am writing this, it just occurred to me I was already doing email marketing then.

Three weeks later, I received a letter from these friends that had me laughing uncontrollably. It turns out they were excited to receive letters from me and decided to share...with each other! It took them less than a paragraph to realize they were getting the same content.

You can only imagine the thrill I had when Facebook came out. Instead of writing another 20 letters, I can share my life, thoughts, or even an epiphany—all in one place.

Friends and family who give a damn can post their comments. The introverts can simply show their support by hitting that thumbs up emoticons. One solution suits all.

That, however, was ten years ago.

I cannot recall when, but social media started posing mental health risks. It began to bring the worst in people. And most recently, it becomes a convenient tool and platform to publically shaming others as a form of claiming their right to the free speech.

Introverts no longer rely on the thumbs up or down emoticons. After all, voicing their opinions through typing is a lot easier and less intimidating. Respect each other's differences is out the window.

There were days I would find myself being upset over a comment posted by another person. And that comment would rule my entire day. It was then I realized I needed to plan out a special diet for my mental health.

The recipe is rather simple:

Instead of going through each text first thing in the morning, I disable all notifications, except for my son's account, and moved the text messaging icon to page 4 on the phone.

Instead of going through emails first thing in the morning, I disabled email notifications and moved the email to page 4 on the phone.

When reading messages, if any content appears negative, filled with hatred, I immediately delete the message.

Unfollowed all Facebook friends except for the ones whose posts often offer good laughs. Instead, I follow pages such as Tiny Buddha, Fort Worth Foodies, Fort Worth Foodies Home Chef, Chopstick Travels, Show me Something Funny.

I would spend no more than sixty seconds going through news updates.

Distant myself away from people who are anger-driven.

Decline some social gatherings to do things I truly enjoy, such as reading and drawing.

I give myself gifts in learning using platforms such as Coursera and Udemy.

On the days I feel down, deflated, or sad, I no longer tell myself these feelings are wrong and immoral. Instead, I sit quietly and acknowledge these feelings. Sometimes I'd intensify these feelings, so I understand how they are triggered.

Dance off.

My before bedtime choice of snack is stand-up comedies or an audio chapter from one of the metaphysicians such as Florence Scovel Shinn, Joseph Murphy, or Alan Watts.

Just like all the other diets, a mental diet is a form of self-care and self-love. My mental diet is about as strict as vegans. It is also the most successful diet I have ever been on.

Copyright © 2020 Diana Y Chang        Texas, USA