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Conquering Social Media Anxiety in PT School: Strategies for Success


Hey there, future physical therapists! Let's talk about something that's buzzing around our virtual world: social media anxiety. Yep, that's right. As PT students, we're not only juggling anatomy textbooks and clinical rotations but also navigating the often overwhelming realm of social media. It's time to shed light on how social media anxiety affects us in PT school and, more importantly, how we can tackle it head-on.

I. Definition and Prevalence of Social Media Anxiety

First things first, what exactly is social media anxiety? It's that uneasy feeling we get when scrolling through endless feeds, comparing ourselves to others, and feeling the pressure to constantly present our best selves online. And guess what? PT students are not immune to it. With the rise of Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, our generation is more plugged in than ever before, and it's taking a toll on our mental health.

II. Understanding the Triggers and Stressors

So, what's causing all this social media anxiety madness? Well, it's a mix of things. From FOMO (fear of missing out) on clinical opportunities to feeling inadequate compared to our peers' achievements, the pressure to perform both academically and socially is real. Plus, let's not forget about the not-so-friendly trolls lurking in the comment section, ready to critique every move we make. It's enough to make anyone want to throw their phone out the window!

But fear not, my fellow PT pals, because there are ways to combat social media anxiety and reclaim our digital sanity. First up, let's talk about setting boundaries.

III. Setting Healthy Boundaries with Social Media

It's time to take back control of our digital lives, starting with setting some boundaries. That means putting limits on screen time, unfollowing accounts that trigger negative feelings, and scheduling regular digital detoxes. Trust me, your brain will thank you for it. And hey, if you need some extra support, there are plenty of resources out there to help, like the American Physical Therapy Association's Mental Health Resources.

IV. Building a Supportive Network

They say it takes a village, and that's especially true when it comes to battling social media anxiety. Surround yourself with positive influences who lift you up and remind you of your worth, both online and offline. Whether it's joining a study group, reaching out to a trusted mentor, or simply venting to a friend over coffee, having a support network can make all the difference.

V. Balancing Social Media Engagement and Academic Success

Now, I'm not saying we should ditch social media altogether. After all, it can be a valuable tool for connecting with classmates, staying up-to-date on industry news, and even finding inspiration for our next research project. The key is finding that sweet spot between staying informed and not getting sucked into the comparison trap. It's all about balance, folks.

VI. Conclusion: Navigating Social Media Mindfully

In conclusion, social media anxiety is a real challenge for PT students, but it's not insurmountable. By setting boundaries, building a support network, and finding a healthy balance between online and offline life, we can conquer social media anxiety and thrive in PT school. So, let's put down our phones (after finishing this article, of course) and take the first step towards reclaiming our digital wellness. You've got this!

Remember, it's okay to take breaks, ask for help, and prioritize your mental health above all else. Together, we can create a healthier, happier online community for PT students everywhere.


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References

Morris PE, Goad A, Thompson C, et al. Early intensive care unit mobility therapy in the treatment of acute respiratory failure. Crit Care Med. 2008 Aug;36(8):2238-43.

Schweickert WD, Pohlman MC, Pohlman AS, et al. Early physical and occupational therapy in mechanically ventilated, critically ill patients: a randomized controlled trial. Lancet. 2009 May 30;373(9678):1874-82.

Perme, Christiane et al. “Safety and Efficacy of Mobility Interventions in Patients with Femoral Catheters in the ICU: A Prospective Observational Study.” Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal 24.2 (2013): 12–17.

Denehy L, de Morton NA, Skinner EH, Edbrooke L, Haines K, Warrillow S, et al. (2013) A physical function test for use in the intensive care unit: validity, responsiveness, and predictive utility of the physical function ICU test (scored). Phys Ther 93: 1636–1645

Kawaguchi YMF et al. Perme Intensive Care Unit Mobility Score and ICU Mobility Scale: translation into Portuguese and cross-cultural adaptation for use in Brazil. J Bras Pneumol. 2016;42(6):429-431

Perme C et al. A tool to assess mobility status in critically ill patients: the Perme Intensive Care Unit Mobility Score. Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. 2014 Jan-Mar;10(1):41-9.

Nawa RK et al. Initial interrater reliability for a novel measure of patient mobility in a cardiovascular intensive care unit. J Crit Care. 2014 Jun;29(3):475.

Hodgson CL, Stiller K, Needham DM, et al. Expert consensus and recommendations on safety criteria for active mobilization of mechanically ventilated critically ill adults. Critical Care. 2014;18(6):658.

Wang YT, Haines TP, Ritchie P, et al. Early mobilization on continuous renal replacement therapy is safe and may improve filter life. Critical Care. 2014;18(4)



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About Sebastian Stoltzfus


Sebastian Stoltzfus
I'm an ICU physical therapist practicing in Dallas, Texas. I love reading, lifting, hunting and the Pacific coast of Mexico.
@sebstol1

4 comments


  1. Clinton Boone

    Awesome article Seb! Thanks for all the info.

  2. Sebastian Stoltzfus

    Thank you Clinton. I hope it is helpful for all my colleagues out there.

  3. Katie Franklin

    Thanks for the article! Pending successful completion of the NPTE, I’ll be starting out as an ICU/acute care therapist in August. I’m so excited to be part of a mobility-friendly facility — I’ve seen the other side of the aisle as a student on rotation, and the overall QOC provided to those patients is vastly different. Way to encourage mobility advocacy!

  4. Sebastian Stoltzfus

    Thanks for your comment Katie. The ICU can be an inspiring place to work. I also know the other side of the coin exists where patients are pretty much chained to their bed. No matter where you end up, I hope you’ll keep fighting the good fight. Take care


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