Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tech Wellness Guide

A guide for productivity and tech mental-wellness during remote coursework.

Apps for Mental Health

Apps can help keep your mental health afloat. Neuroscience images and studies have found that mindfulness meditation has a neurological impact on the brain, creating a network of activity in your brain that enhances attention and reduces stress. Authors like Sharon Salzberg write that 20 minutes of mindfulness practice a day has the potential to make your head a more peaceful place from a neurological perspective- but even a quick five minute guided meditation can have a huge impact on your sense of calm.  
 

If you're feeling overwhelmed, try one of the apps below for some relief through a guided meditation.

Calm Free app with paid content for guided meditation, breathing exercises and calming soundscapes.
Headspace  Free app with paid content for guided, themed meditations and relaxation. 
Plum Village Completely free app from Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and his monastery. Guided meditations, mindfulness lessons, and deep relaxation.

Sustainable Social Media

Social media has a reputation for being potentially bad for your mental health. While you can use social media as a way to stay connected with the people and things you care about it's also easy to get overwhelmed or spiral with negative feelings. Here are a few tips for making social media work for you, not against you.

Basic Social Media Cleanup: 

  1. Look through the list of people, brands, and pages you follow, and remove anyone that makes you feel not great.  Think of this as social media spring cleaning. 
  2. If you see a post that makes you feel badly, as yourself  "Do I like looking at these posts? Could I unfollow?"
  3. Harness the algorithm that makes social media tick. Limit things you don't like. Engage with things you do. 

Instagram's Algorithm: Just Simple Enough.
1. Comments, Likes, Shares and Views Impact feed ranking. 
2. Your profile gets assigned interests based on what you like, comment, and share. They may or may not be accurate to your actual interests.
3. UItra-popular accounts get shown most because of the number of engagement it clocks. 
4. Engaging with the same accounts regularly, like every time they post, will boost that account to the top of your feed.

Curating Instagram: 

Unfollowing pages is the first step to honing in content that feels good. A smaller pool of profiles helps Instagram's algorithm to target things you actually engage with, making feel good videos and images more present on your feed. 

  • Make your explore page more "you friendly." When scrolling on the explore page, click on any picture that you're not interested in or that gives you negative feelings. Tap the three dots in the top right corner and choose "See fewer posts like this". This will adjust your the "interests" Instagram has assigned your account, bringing posts you're more likely to enjoy to the page.

Twitter's Algorithm: Just Simple Enough.

  1. Recency impacts feed ranking.
  2. Engagement through Retweets, clicks, and favorites influence the number of people who see it, and where it is on your feed.
  3. Rich Media: images, videos, and GIFs get boosted in feed ranking.
  4. Active users get more views. The larger number of followers, number of tweets, the last time they were on the site impacts what you see.

Curating Twitter: 

Like Instagram, regularly cleaning by unfollowing people that make you feel less than hot is the best way to go. However, Twitter has other features that can help mute unwelcome content. 

  • Turn off Retweets for a specific account if you don’t like what they share. That way, even following people you care about, will not accidentally trigger unwelcome content. Select Turn off Retweets from an account profile page to stop seeing Tweets they've Retweeted (tap the gear icon on iOS or click or tap the overflow icon on web and Android).
  • Muting allows you to remove content from your timeline without unfollowing an account, giving you more control of seeing specific users when you want. 
    • Muting from a Tweet:
      -
      From a Tweet, click the upside-down carrot icon. 
      -Click Mute.

    • Muting from a Profile:
      -Click the overflow icon.
      -Select Mute.

Most importantly, take breaks when you need to. 
 
There's nothing wrong with taking a break when you need to. When you feel overwhelmed, pressured, fear of missing out--think about if a social media break can give you some peace of mind.