Mentally, I was hanging over the edge, two fingers away from falling. All I could see were angry red bubbles demanding my attention at all hours of the day.
I thought this is what I wanted. I was starting to share the “ugliest” parts of me on social media and people were liking and following me even more for it. But then the “vulnerability fatigue” took over and I couldn’t keep up. Being myself on social media was exhausting.
So, I decided to take a break from social media for the week.
I know a week doesn’t sound long and believe me, I could have used longer. Unfortunately, social media is relied on for communication in both my personal and professional life. So, I settled for a week.
At first, I felt relieved. The pressure to post something incredibly raw and potentially life changing that also matched my aesthetic was gone. I felt like Dobby after he was freed.
Then, I felt anxious. What if someone needs me? What if I miss something? How am I going to remember all the birthdays? That was my anxiety, coxing me back to familiarity. I will admit, there were a few occasions where it got the best of me. But, more often than not, I was able to remind myself that if someone really needed me, they’d find a way.
I also felt a little left out. During meals my friends would ask me if I’d seen the picture they’d posted or if I’d been invited a particular event. It actually surprised me how often social media came up in conversation.
But most of all, I felt WONDERFUL. I noticed cheesy things like how pretty the birds sounded in the morning . I also had a lot more time to actually self-care. I cuddled puppies and babies, had more time for friends, and finished two books (see below, highly recommend if you are feeling down). It’s no surprise that I had a lot more time in my day and was immensely more productive. I listened more, slept better, and felt happier.
So now that I’m back, what will I take away from these 7 days?
I love social media and I rely on it for a lot of things but it can also be overwhelming. So, I’m going to challenge myself to:
- be social media free for the first and last hour of my day.
- turn off my notifications for my social media apps.
- post when I want rather than when I’ll get the most online traffic.
- post what I want/feel rather than what matches my aesthetic.
- take breaks often (at least once a week).
- be gentle with myself.
I hope this helps you to be a little gentler with yourself on social media too.
Featured image credit: mama_mia | Shutterstock