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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - With the recent events at the capitol and the latest COVID-19 numbers circulating social media, health experts want to remind people to take a break from social media platforms.

Heritage Behavioral Health Center said while social platforms are great for connecting with friends and family, they are also a place where images and videos circulate that can create trauma for some people.

"Seeing all of it and not necessarily having the connections to someone or a support system to process can leave you with aftermath of confusing feelings and not a lot of know-how on how to cope with it," said Chelsea Mueller, MS, LCPC, director of outpatient services for Heritage Behavioral Health Center.

The negative and really heavy events going on in the world can create different reactions for people. Mueller said sometimes images and videos can create trauma.

"We really encourage people to monitor that trauma input and it's perfectly OK to put it down," Mueller said. 

In the last year, Mueller said social media has been a topic of conversation with clients. She wants to make sure people are finding a responsible balance of staying informed and staying emotionally OK.

"Knowing sometimes the best way to take of yourself emotionally and mentally is taking a step back from it, the world is still going to be there and you will be able to catch up on it later," Mueller said.

COVID-19 created a bind for many when it came to social interactions. Mueller explained many people turned to social media to stay connected with family and friends. She continues to encourage that, but wants people to understand that it is OK to put the phone or computer down and step away.

Heritage Behavioral Health Center said another challenge social media poses is when people compare themselves to others they see on Facebook or Instagram. Someone posting photos about their life and how happy their life is can cause an emotional stress on a person who isn't having a great life. Mueller suggested for people to step away and find something that makes them happy and focus on that.

Anyone who needs assistance or feels they need emotional support can call 217-570-0900 or visit heritagenet.org.

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