Lately, with the COVID pandemic and all the self-isolation more than half of adults and two-thirds of young people have shown deterioration in their mental health according to NHS. Social media, though, has appeared as a helping hand once more, to help those in need. But does it really help?
There is a new trend on TikTok that allegedly helps individuals find their inner child, casting away the negative aspects of themselves and letting their light emerge, transforming them into their most spiritual selves. Normally, one would log into social media to entertain themselves but instead, you get hit in the face with existential, deep questions like “what made you start doubting yourself as a kid?” or “do you change your personality based on the people you hang out with?”
Those questions and many more make you take a step into the darkest depths of your personality and it is called “shadow work”. If you search the #shadowwork you will come across multiple videos that demonstrate how you can do your own shadow work. Some of them have simple tasks like writing “five things you love about yourself” and some seek answers to deeper questions. The goal of those questions and tasks is for one to be able to find that darkness within them and dispel it, so they can achieve a healthy “higher self”.
Apparently, every person has a light inside of them and where there is light there also has to be shadow. It is a self that fuels our insecurities and our mental health issues like anxiety. Doing your own “shadow work” appears to be some kind of self-care.
However, there is a trap to that that we might not be able to notice at first glance. Even though it is of high value to work on ourselves and if one desires, to become more spiritual, is it always safe to rely on social media to lead the way? With the abundance of content online, a misconception is created: that you have all the tools you need to heal yourself. We cannot deny the usefulness of the online tools provided but mental health is delicate and it should be handled accordingly.
Therefore, no matter how valuable it is to do your own spiritual work, one should bear in mind that mental health issues are better handled by professionals. Licensed specialists propose that you do, if you want, the shadow work, but if you are really suffering then you should seek medical help.
Find out more about shadow work here
Words by: Vasiliki Roussou