Looking after your self-ie: A guide to finding your balance on and offline

In 2018, RSPH launched the first Scroll Free September campaign – the world’s first large-scale campaign aimed at encouraging people to have a healthier and more meaningful relationship with social media. The campaign was a huge success, with an estimated 300,000 people taking part internationally and significant traction from the world’s press. 

Building on the research undertaken for the RSPH Status of Mind and New Filters reports, RSPH has developed the Online Learning course Looking after your self-ie: A guide to finding your balance on and offline, which aims to help social media users to build a meaningful, more balanced relationship with platforms. 

Looking after your self-ie explores social media’s impact on the following topics:

  • Loneliness and relationships
  • Self-image and self-esteem
  • Sleep
  • Online bullying
  • A new section about the effects of COVID-19 on social media usage
    1 of 3

    Which social media platform has the biggest impact on loneliness?

    2 of 3

    Explore social media's potentially positive impacts on relationships

    3 of 3

    Learn about online trolling and cyber-hate


Aims of this course

Looking after your self-ie: A guide to finding your balance on and offline aims to help social media users build a meaningful, more balanced relationship with platforms.

The programme focusses on awareness-raising; encouraging meaningful use by educating users on the potential harms and benefits of social media. You will learn about how social media platforms affect your health and wellbeing and understand how social media is changing the ways we communicate with others. 

Is this course for you?

This online course is relevant to all members of the public of all ages and in particular for:

  • People who want to learn more about the effects of social media on their mental and physical health
  • Anyone who has seen their social media usage affected by increases in stress or anxiety and wants to know how to develop a healthier balance with social media. 
  • People who feel that social media is affecting other parts of their life, including sleep, self-esteem and financial health

Pricing and Options

This CPD accredited course can be purchased for £26.50 and includes a certificate of completion and 3 CPD points to recognise your learning. Alternatively, the course can be accessed for free, without accreditation. 

Access and Duration

The course is accessible through RSPH LearnFree, our LMS platform for free public health courses and resources.

This online course is split into six topics, with revision quizzes to test your knowledge. It can be paused and restarted whenever you like, and you have six months to complete the course. The entire course involves roughly three hours of study.

Sign up to RSPH LearnFree

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All free RSPH online courses are accessed through RSPH LearnFree, our online learning platform for free courses, which can be used across all devices.



Purchase the CPD version of the course

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Register your My RSPH account to purchase your course and access RSPH Learn.



Course Contents

The course is split into six key sections - with interactive elements to maintain your attention and make learning easier. At the end of each section, you'll find a Revision Quiz to help boost your learning.

Part 1: Introduction

  • An introduction to the need for this online course
  • An introduction to the potential harms and benefits of social media use 

Part 2: Loneliness and Relationships

  • An introduction to loneliness and relationships
  • Groups affected by loneliness
  • How social media has an impact on our relationships and feelings of loneliness
  • Older people using social media
  • Tips to reduce the impact of social media use on our relationships

Part 3: Sleep

  • The importance of sleep
  • The different stages of sleep
  • The relationship between sleep and mental health
  • The impact of sleep deprivation
  • The impact of FOMO on sleep
  • The compulsive nature of social media
  • The impact of blue light emission on sleep 
  • Tips to reduce the negative impact of social media use on sleep 

Part 4: Self-image and self-esteem:

  • An introduction to social comparison
  • How 'likes' impact self-esteem
  • How social media impacts body image 
  • Mindfulness and distraction from the present moment
  • Wellness and misinformation
  • Identity formation
  • Social media and self-care
  • Body positive content
  • Tips to reduce the negative impact of social media use on your self-image and self-esteem

Part 5: Online Bullying

  • An introduction to bullying, online bullying and trolling
  • Impacts of online bullying
  • How to respond to online bullying as a target and a witness
  • Anti-bullying and the law
  • Tips

Part 6: COVID-19 Update

  • An overview of some aspects of life that have been affected by COVID-19
  • Tips on looking after your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Useful resources


Once you have completed the CPD accredited version of the course you will receive an electronic RSPH CPD Completion Certificate and 3 CPD points.