How I Mindfully Approach Social Media
We all know how incredibly powerful social media can be, if used mindfully. It connects us with people we love, introduces us to like-minded people, creates community, spreads awareness for causes, and sometimes it changes lives, launches careers, and gives anyone who wants it the chance to be a creator. For me personally, social media has given me so much, and I'm very grateful to have a kickass tribe and a career that I love because of it.
With that said, there have definitely been days when social media left me feeling empty and alone. It can drain you of your own self-confidence, keep you from being truly present in reality, and provoke negative patterns of thinking. But, it doesn't have to be this way. It's truly a mindset shift we internally need to make and a boundary we need to enforce.
As someone who speaks about wellbeing, I'm dialed in enough with myself to know when it's time to step away from the 'gram and reassess. So, that's what I did walking into this past season.
I let go of the pressure to keep up and started tuning back in to what was realistic for the life I wanted to lead.
And you know what, this summer has felt substantially different. It feels healthier, more lucrative, and I no longer question the longevity of what I do. I've multiplied my creativity, my sense of self, my inner peace... and it's because I started re-evaluating my priorities and started focusing on my own path while tuning out the coulds and shoulds.
It's something I have to continually practice and be mindful of, because it's easy to slip back into old ways. But, I want to share with you what has been working for me and the shifts I made to become a more mindful social media user. Give it a try, and let me know how it goes.
Don't treat social media like an all-you-can-eat buffet.
You have to set boundaries to find a flow that best serves you. When I really need to buckle down and focus, I put my phone in a drawer, turn off all laptop notifications, and go at it. Think of social media like refined sugar. It can be addicting if not controlled. Download the Moment app to track how much time you're spending on your phone. It actually keeps me from mindlessly reaching for my phone, because I don't want it to count against me (hah)! Gotta be more intentional rather than logging in on impulse.
Live in the moment now, post later.
I love sharing my day-to-day on stories. It is such a fun way to connect with you guys, and I get to peek into the lives of my friends I don't get to see as often. As much as I love documenting, I love experiencing my day first. So, I highly recommend quickly capturing the moment, saving it, and posting it later when you have downtime. No need to fumble around trying to tag friends and write text in realtime. Enjoy the moment. The post can wait.
Limit social media usage on the weekends.
Since I moved to Austin in May, I’ve taken either one or both days of the weekend to detox from social media, and it has been so healing. Unplugging is really good for your mental wellbeing, and we've got to do more of it. I used to feel pressure to post every day, but that was a silly expectation I put upon myself. Once I realized I'm in control, I let go and started living my weekends hands-free. I specifically invested in an Apple watch with cellular service, so I can leave my phone at home, but I am reachable if needed. So, how about it? Get outside, enjoy your weekends, and truly live without feeling like every moment has to be publicized.
Curate & edit down who you follow.
Sorry to be Captain Obvious, but it needs to be said again and again and again. Curate who shows up in your newsfeed. Unfollow people who don't make you feel good. If you're worried about burning bridges, you can opt to 'mute' them until you get the courage to unfollow. I've definitely muted people who I used to love seeing, but now find their content inauthentic, angry, or just recycled from other creators. One day I'll muster up the courage to hit unfollow, but hey, your girl is human too.
Always keep it real.
Always be real with yourself about how social media makes you feel. The more self-aware you are, the more mindful you will be. Also, understand that when you see someone's post, you're only seeing a fraction of their life. Everyone is battling something, so keep reminding yourself that if you start to feel down about yourself. Whether your feed is filled with beautiful, inspiring content or raw, vulnerable selfies, it's your choice what you want to consume. If you're feeling triggered in a negative way, remember you're in control, not the creator - it's your mindset that needs to shift. As Eleanor Roosevelt has said, "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
It doesn't matter if you're an influencer or just using social media for fun, no one is immune to the negative emotions that sometimes surface from too much screen time. At the end of the day, we're all human. We all want to be heard, appreciated, loved, and valued.
I hope my content triggers nothing but feelings of joy, hope, and empowerment. I want you to want your life, not mine. And I hope you feel like what I share is attainable and excites you to try new things, live more mindfully and find fulfillment through simplicity. Love you guys!