We live in a world where social media has become a way of life.
We use it for everything, everywhere and all the time. When used mindfully, it can be a very powerful tool. But it can also become a source of distraction, stress and anxiety. You may feel pressure to keep up with it, or get into unhealthy comparisons – and of course – it can be a big waste of time.
I think it is time to be very clear and mindful about how social media is affecting our lives and wellbeing. This is something I’ve been working on recently. I became very conscious of my own social media habits and made some changes to use social media more mindfully.
I’m a private person and kind of an introvert. So, sharing my life online doesn’t come naturally to me. That's not to say I don't love social media anymore. It helps me share my passion and I met some of my best friends through Instagram. But still, there is a part of me that wishes social media just disappeared from the world.
Imagine how much simpler and more peaceful our lives would be without Instagram, Facebook and all of that stuff. Recently I did a poll on my Instagram. Turns out most of us have mixed feelings about social media and want to use it less. Here'a a few things I'm doing to be more mindful and at peace with my social media usage.
1. Fill yourself up first.
I have the best days when I don't start my mornings with my phone. It's a really bad habit of mine to check emails and Instagram as soon as I open my eyes. When you do that, you fill your mind with other people's business instead of having a fresh start to the day. You may feel like you're already left behind and everyone else is doing better than you - which is NOT true. So, my rule is not to check social media before breakfast. Especially if you tend to get anxiety, don’t look at Instagram first thing in the morning. Fill yourself up first.
2. Get honest & take action.
Who you surround yourself with, you become. This is true for everything around us including who we follow on social media. What do you consume each time you log on? Does it make you feel good or bad? Is it inspiring, boring, or triggering? Choose what you really want to see on your feed. Mute or unfollow the accounts that are no longer helpful. You know that unfollow button can be so freeing. Use it more often!
3. Create before consume.
I used to think because social media is part of my job, I should be on Instagram all the time. But honestly most of the time I was just mindlessly scrolling or stalking people who I don't even know or care about lol. It was a huge waste of time and a constant source of anxiety.
When I got really honest about how Instagram was affecting my mood and productivity, I decided to change my relationship with it. Now my rule is "create before consume". Before I even start looking at other people's posts, I post whatever I want to say and reply to my DMs. This helps me stay authentic and genuinely connect with my friends without feeling burnt out.
4. Set your boundaries.
You know those little notifications you get when someone likes or comments on your posts? Turn that off. :) I turned off all my social media notifications & it was one of the best decision I've made. I recommend this to anyone who wants to improve their productivity and have a healthier relationship with their phone. If you don't set boundaries, you can never get a break from looking at your phone. Remember these apps are designed to be addictive and distract you from whatever else you're doing in real life. So make yourself a favor, turn off all social media notifications.
5. Go on a social media detox on the weekends.
When you keep your weekends to yourself and family, it can be so much more enjoyable. You don't have to share it online. I happily take a break from all social media every weekend. Come Friday night, I put my phone away and even forget where my phone is. We do Friday movie nights at home with my husband, go on hikes and make healthy pancakes on Sunday mornings. I enjoy every second of those activities without worrying to take a photo every time.
My reason to be on social media is to feel connected and inspired & to help you feel the same. I hope my content only brings you pure joy and inspiration and none of the negative emotions.
What actions are you going to take to have a better relationship with it? Have you ever gone on a digital break? Give it a try and see how healing it can be for your mind and soul.
Lots of love!