I took a social media break, now I’m afraid to go back. Lessons I’ve learned in the stillness.
Three months ago, I decided I needed a little social media break. I didn’t put a time frame on the idea. I truly wanted it to feel right when I decided to pick it up again.
I was hoping the time away would reignite a passion and creative juices that seemed to be flowing through everyone but me.
I was overwhelmed; mainly with feelings of comparison, depression, and exhaustion in general.
The feelings of never enough-ness was seeping into my life like mold in the shower that appears out of nowhere. You ignore it until one day you can no longer stand taking a shower.
A New Chapter
I was getting married and taking a few vacations. I thought this would be the perfect time to disconnect and really focus on this new chapter in my life. But honestly, as I look back now, I realized I just wanted to remove myself from this terrible feeling I experienced when on the apps.
I think it’s important to note that my go-to coping strategy in life for when things get hard is to withdraw. I would rather flee than face problems head on and I knew this is what I was doing with social media as well but a break was the only action I was strong enough to take.
After about a month and a half in, I realized I couldn’t live my life making excuses for my thorns.
This idea that we all have imaginary thorns is from Michael A. Singer author of The Untethered Soul. He explains these are trigger spots in our emotional lives we protect no matter how much energy and absurd posturing it forces us into.
The amount of energy I put into hiding my emotional wounds from the world is wearing me out. I was at my wit’s end as they say and finally ready (well, not sure if we are ever fully ready) to face the root cause of the pain.
Admitting to myself that my self-worth was basically non-existent was hard.
I’d been pretending to be confident for so long that my low self-worth was hidden under a mask. Finally seeing for the first time that I’d been hiding my true self, feelings, thoughts from everyone including myself was a huge step.
You can’t make a change until you accept where you are.
I didn’t want to look at my situation. I didn’t want to acknowledge that how other people saw me was more important than how I saw myself.
current mood board
*All images are sourced from Pinterest
This need to be liked, seen and accepted, was killing my voice which in turn was killing the best part of me. The part that made me special.
Taking a break from the constant onslaught of everyone else’s options has given my brain and soul time to reconnect with me. I don’t know how long it will take but here is what I have learned so far and maybe this can help you if you’ve been feeling lost in a feed of everyone else’s perfection.
3 Things I’ve Learned/Gained During My Social Media Break:
Scrolling is addictive. Looking outside of ourselves is a very easy and comforting distraction from the real work; the work of figuring out who you are, what you want, and how you feel about it all. Less time on the app means more time in my head, which has been given a bad rap because everything that is magic in life starts in your head.
I can see my triggers much more quickly than ever before. I notice how something (a post, a comment, an image) made me feel and without judgment I can look at it head-on.
This one makes a lot of sense and a side effect that most can see a mile away.
Without all the ideas and opinions of others, making decisions was easier and quicker. I went with my gut. No second guessing because of what others might think. Over time this boosted my confidence little by little and I was starting to trust myself and see how my differences were the best part of me.
Authentic Personal Style
I love being inspired. I love making mood boards and looking at photo books. I love IG for this reason but I didn’t realize how it was killing my personal style until I took this break.
Constantly seeing exquisitely edited images of bodies at the right angle in the newest clothes was making me second guess my personal style choices. Feeling like I would never be enough lead me to give up on trying. I think I was over-inspired if that’s possible.
Why Don't You Try...
Editing … what you consume emotionally and physically. Seriously, we edit our Netflix better than we do our social media. I go through my feed every few months and unfollow accounts that no longer make me feel good or align with my current intentions. Do the same with your time commitments, clothes, and morning habits. Just because you pick up a habit, doesn’t mean you can’t put it down.
Pay closer attention … to your feelings while you’re on social media. If being on the app feels good and inspirational, awesome! But when that feeling starts to change, notice it ... Stop scrolling and move on to another activity that feels right. Social media above everything else is supposed to be additive.
Try some gratitude … I know it sounds trite, but appreciating what you have changed your emotional state faster than any other technique I’ve tried. This practice has never failed me. It takes a minute and nothing more than the willingness to see things differently. It’s not always easy but it’s simple and feels amazing.
i’m never gonna be perfect
My new social schedule is simple. I post Monday, Wednesday and Friday (for now) and no weekends. The posts are written out ahead of time, usually during a moment I feel really creative and passionate about what I’m feeling. Not at 8AM when I’m staring at the app thinking, oh shit! I need to do this fast.
I’m also toying with the idea of doing stories on Tuesday or Thursday, but still on the fence. Which, if I know myself, might never happen.
I do really love the creatvitiy of editing the stories, it feels like an art project sometimes, but it also feels like a chore. Stay tuned…
OK, now you go. Tell me if anything I said landed for you. I’m curious as to where everyone else is on this topic. I can’t be the only one feeling the pain. Hop over to my Instagram (@polishingup) and leave me a comment.
I think it’s really important we start conversations over there that are better reflections of our realities.
P.S. If you want to share and are afraid, please email me at email@example.com. I would love to hear your story.
All the love,