Sick of social media? Social media has been accused of making us depressed, detached, unreal, promoting unhealthy ideals, as breeding grounds for terrorism, broadcaster of fake news, and the mouthpiece for everyone’s political opinion. No wonder we are all tired of social media.
Social media can be uplifting, encouraging, inspiring. For business, it’s an incredible place to make sales, create easy and effective marketing, and even create lifelong business partnerships and friendships. (Yep, I love social media).
It can also become a place where you rapidly feel deflated, overwhelmed, exhausted and never quite good enough. (And sometimes… I just don’t).
Our society of speed, progression, hustling and ‘getting sh*t done!’ leads us to using screens during our downtime, prioritising the share over the sharing and togetherness, and values followers and fans, over creativity and invention.
Never before have we been in more control of our bodies (not that control is a good thing, it’s rooted in fear) thanks to endless choices, organic food that is in plentiful supply, numerous eating plans, gyms and yoga classes on every street corner, not to mention everyone on instagram getting their #beachbody on.
While our bodies have become the new religion, the battle is for something else now, and I’m tired of it.
I’m tired of the battle for my mind.
Here’s How Social Media Is Making Even The Healthiest Of Us Sick
I journal a lot (I mean like, a LOT – often two hours a day plus) – I’m a yoga devotee, and am a spiritual junkie, but still most days – even as a natural, conscious, connected mama with deep beliefs, a legacy of success, and who considers herself pretty attuned to my own needs –
I still have that voice in my head that says – is this REALLY enough? (followed by another which beats me up for feeling this way – you’re in your thirties, surely you should be over this sh*t by now?)
It’s not even about whether what I’m doing is good enough, or whether I’m ‘enough’ (that thing that quotestagram lovers will tell you on repeat – YOU ARE ENOUGH!) – you know, deep down, that yes, your work is good, yes, your work is beautiful, yes, your work helps others, etc.
But still – the seed of self-doubt are still there, flickering levels of confidence.
And people will say and think – but you!? what do YOU have to not be confident about!
As if the daily mind assaults are something that only impact a certain kind of person.
They’re not. Anybody can be – and is – being impacted by the crushing weight of lives lived out in the public eye, from the super wealthy and famous to, well, the rest of us.
Wellness Is Now Making Us Sick Too
And now there is even competition and struggle and insecurity in being well! – Questions that should feel good and uplifting now feel like something else to beat ourselves up about – should I take a social media break? Should I try this mind cleanse? Should I be more spiritual? Am I being a good enough parent? Why can’t I meditate for longer than five minutes? etc.
Which of course means that when you do slip somehow by your own exacting standards – the baby weight is still lingering (me five years later – Hi!), you’re still not yet a homeowner (or you feel the pressure of your mortgage daily) or you’re still not whatever and whoever you thought you’d be by this point –
You don’t even know what to do next to be well again, because there is so much you could be doing that even being well feels like a struggle (I mean, has any meditation guru tried meditation as part of a morning routine when that morning routine involves kids under 5)!?
And so the cycle continues. Where we never really feel ‘sick’ or depressed enough to be at rock bottom, yet there is the constant struggle just to be well on a daily basis.
To feel confident, purposeful and focused as our everyday reality, rather than distracted, second-guessing, who we are, our value and what we do.
In a world where we are pitted against one another, (out vs remain, red vs blue, even down to the very things that are meant to nurture and are natural and integral to our wellbeing are under judged – our food, our healing – Vegan vs Paleo, Medicine Vs Natural Healing)
I do the work daily to stay, for the most part, confident, purposeful, and joyful. And for the most part, I win.
And I believe when more of us start to win against the battle for our minds, when we are able to view and treat ourselves compassionately and with kindness, we get to build a kinder, better world. Yay.
Here’s What You Can Do To Stay Well (Actual Possible Things, Not The Things Experts Say But Aren’t Realistic)
1. Reconnect With Nature
Social Media makes us feel insignificant. Nature makes us feel like a speck, but like a speck that matters. While social media is formed on the cult of self, nature makes you feel like a co-creator in something magnificent.
Living in a condo has made me realise just how much I need nature. I literally become depressed without it. So get your feet in the earth. Walk outside. Hug trees (really). Drink in expansive views. Hike. Do yoga, dance, camp, swim, explore, roam, outside. And do it daily. Even ten minutes on a patch of grass makes a difference. I found a tiny patch of grass hidden behind our condo car park and the girls run around in it daily, and I’ve seen an amazing change in their behavior and ability to manage stress (yes, who gets the last pineapple slice is totally stressful) since we started doing it.
Disconnect from tech, reconnect with that which is alive, living, breathing, and you will be reminded why you are too. Make it a habit and when you don’t do it, you’ll notice the difference. Let Mother Earth lift you up and cover you with her vibrancy.
2. Learn Something.
Wait – before you eye roll – I wrote a post over on my Instagram (follow me here!) account recently, about how, for me, self-care is actually the challenge of learning. And when we are caught up in the busyness of life and business, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to sit down and learn.
We are designed to learn, explore, grow, create. And we stagnate when we aren’t challenged or stimulated.
Find that bucket list thing you always wanted to learn, gain a new skill, learn another’s point of view or perspective by reading around it –
Learning gives you mini-challenges and feelings of satisfaction. Do it for fun, pleasure, and the journey of learning itself, not because you think it looks cooler on Instagram.
(Yes, people actually do this. I quit my yoga teacher training when I realised I wanted the certification for my ego ‘Hi look at me! I’m a super cool yoga teacher!’ when really my heart wanted to just practice for the fun and challenge of it. Heart always wins).
Learn, grow, feel the challenge and joy that comes with pushing yourself not in the way of the hustle, but just for you, and for your expansion. It takes the pressure off having to show up and share and reconnects you to that world outside of yourself and your screen.
3. Take Social Media Breaks- Whenever You Like.
You don’t need to explain beforehand, or apologise afterwards, and the (slightly crushing) reality is that most likely nobody will miss you anyway because we are all so busy consuming the next thing in our feed to notice. And if they did, then your return with your next update or post will help people forget you were ever gone.
Social media breaks are a non-event – we don’t need to make them one at the expense of the refreshment and illumination of more of our gifts and callings.
4. Keep Social Media Strategy Simple!
This is a big one for me as I used to promote the ‘show up every day, everywhere’ type of visibility for business. It certainly works to make sales – so if you still want to use social media as a business tool and yet not worry when you have to take time away, use automated systems or an outsourced team member in your business to continue to post, interact, share and reshare for you.
You can also choose to focus on ONE form of promotion, which is a marketing strategy I love – why spend time worrying about your latest Instagram post when you can whip up some gorgeous new pins and get them going viral on Pinterest? Why spend any time thinking about whether you should post on your personal page, when you can just SEO a ton of blog posts instead? Etc.
Of course, if you can be everywhere or spread across more than one platform, then that’s amazing and you’ll most likely have more sales impact and make more money in your business than if you’re focussed on just one- but not always!
Often it’s better to focus and get really good at one promotional strategy or format you love – for me that will always be blogging as it just comes so naturally to me! – but for you it might be something else. The point is it’s better to be great at one thing, than to feel constantly anxious because you’re not ‘keeping up’ with everything you feel you should be doing.
The best way I keep my social media still growing and active as a channel and medium of communication is by following a combination of these. Right now I’m loving Pinterest again, I seem to be finding content on there that I really love, from homeschooling the girls to lusting over dreamy french houses 😉 (find me on Pinterest here and see what I mean!) and so I actually love spending time on there.
No division or status updates you’d rather not see, and a really easy way to promote and grow your business and drive traffic to your site. So I’m using Pinterest in combination with Tailwind, which is – I KNOW from my work with my clients – still a really under utilised way to get clients. While everyone is scratching their head and scrabbling for the perfect instafeed, it’s SO easy to use Pinterest for marketing!! Check out Tailwind here.
In combination with Pinterest I’m using a managed service for Instagram, but I haven’t found the perfect service that helps grow my following with genuine interaction with people I genuinely want to connect with! So I’m considering hiring a freelancer to join the team here at Freedom & Flourish.
And over on Facebook I’ve done nothing more than register the name, purely so someone else can’t swipe it like they have done my actual name as a .com. True story. And yes, that’s literally ALL I’ve done with it, which feels interesting to me seeing as one of my previous businesses was built almost entirely from facebook ads. I will look at doing ads again, but right now I’m having a ton of fun with Pinterest and it’s just so hands off and easy to manage and makes me feel good. I just don’t get social media sickness when I’m on Pinterest!
That said, it’s also a one way conversation more than the other social media channels, so I’m sure I’ll be more active on those soon. I’m just not feeling called to it right now.
So basically – ignore the common advice about what you HAVE to do with social media in order to stop feeling sick of it, and find a way that enables you to still stay present while feeling good. Because nobody really leaves something that feels good, do they?
5. Grow A Healthy Feed
Minimise people in your feed whose posts continually trigger a visceral response in you. Because everyone feels something from social media posts (otherwise there would be little point in posting at all, we all want to create some sort of reaction or response, the whole point of social media is dialogue)! – so minimise people you know make you feel insignificant, inferior, edgy, angry,
or anything less than uplifted, thoughtful, inspired, or neutral (I don’t always want to see food pics, but they don’t make me feel anxious).
Of course, we then beat ourselves up with thinking that nobody can make us feel inferior without our permission, so somehow it’s our fault that social media makes us feel this way!
Sometimes, on my most warrior-goddess of days, I can merrily scroll on by practically all status updates, without a care in the world. Most of the time though, I feel human. A feeling, emotional, and ok-with-being-so, human being.
So I consent to not having triggers on my feed, the same as I wouldn’t invite them to my house. I cultivate spaces which make me feel good – on and offline.
6. Commit to healing and self-work
Sometimes there is deeper work to be done. Sometimes what we see on social media is triggering because our mind perceives what we are seeing as a threat to our current reality, existence and security. Anything that challenges our beliefs or creates a big response in us is not necessarily a call for avoidance, but an opportunity to look into our response more deeply.
This is an opportunity for personal growth, and a way to connect with deeper understanding of ourselves, and even chance to shift ourselves into openness, optimism, kindness, greater love and confidence, once we figure out why we are triggered.
This isn’t about ‘let’s find all of the excuses why my business isn’t working and blame it on my dysfunctional parent relationship and upbringing’ type of way, that reinforces that we are less than capable and are broken somehow.
Although your business might not be working, and it might indeed be attributed in part to a particular relationship, acknowledgment is not the sole key that unlocks wholeness.
It’s a beginning. Healing through writing, creativity, counselling, art, or simply learning – and then taking simple actions that move you forward to where you feel good helps you move through regardless of what has shaped you. We are always in creation, and we can re-create ourselves.
7. ‘Speak The Struggle’
I love this term so much I’m trademarking it. Seriously, I love the deep freedom that comes with speaking out about struggle – not for ego or for pity, but sometimes publishing our struggles lead to the sweetest feelings of release and relief, as well as outpourings of support, and the realisation that actually,
Social media can be a supportive, vibrant place, when we make it intentionally so.
However to stay truly well while ‘speaking your struggle’ means that you must be prepared to let go of responses and the opinions of others – sensitive subjects can be a trigger for those unready or unwilling to be a participant in sharing in your story.
But if you can do that, you will find a new kind of strength and wellness in your ability to release the expectations of others.
Ultimately, finding wellness in business is a lot about releasing – pressure, expectations, old systems and ways of working –
That allow you to move freely into creation and cultivation of deeper joy in your business and life.
What habits do you need to cull
What do you want to express, share, make, design, do differently?
What healthy habits, nature, journaling, meditation 😉 – can you cultivate and nurture?
To ensure that you, are supported and nurtured?