When the Going Gets Ruffle - 5 Ways to Avoid Social Media Anxiety
Many times, I think that social media can be an amazing space. You can stay connected with friends and family you don't always see, you can build a personal brand through what you share and you can make new connections with individuals you may have never met otherwise.
With that being said, I also believe that there can be some negatives to social media and that sometimes it is hard to be in the right head space when approaching it. Putting aside online bullying and that annoying uncle who always posts Facebook rants, social media does affect us whether we like it or not.
Sometimes I find myself seeing posts done by other bloggers with extravagant backgrounds and expensive clothing that was sent to them for free and I think that I'm not good enough at blogging, otherwise I would get to do what they're doing. Or I see a perfectly furnished home and come to the conclusion that I'm behind on life because a 17 year old is a homeowner and I am not. Or it could be something as simple as seeing a post of two of your friends doing something fun and finding yourself feeling left out or lonely.
I find that all of those feelings are very common, so instead of falling deeper into those feelings, I've created ways to have a healthy "relationship" with social media without have to fully delete your profile and become a hermit:
1. Put down the phone.
Crazy right? Why put my phone down and walk away rather than fall deeper into the pit of despair I've already created looking at other peoples profiles? It sounds simple, but too often I don't do this and I desperately need to in an effort to remind myself that there is a world outside of my phone that is much better than I make it out to be.
2. Have a quiet time.
This could be anything from reading a book to doing a craft/art project or having a traditional quiet time where you read the Bible and journal for a particular amount of time. With so much going on around us 24/7 (and having an online world instantly available), it is necessary to slow down and help get back on track with our priorities and grow in discipline. Also, as a believer, I find that my quiet time is the most refreshing part of my day. It reminds me of who I am and gives me hope on where God is leading me next.
3. Get up and get moving.
I recently saw an article that talked about how beneficial it is for corporations with lots of technology to have spaces for physical movement. Many tech companies like Facebook and Google have already adopted this and have human sized chess boards or swings within their lobbies. Other companies simply have standing desks. The body and mind are connected, so it makes sense that you are more clear headed and can overcome mental roadblocks easier when you move.
4. Kill comparison.
As a blogger, the greatest killer of creativity is comparison. When I compare my pictures or ideas to someone else's, two things occur: 1) I start to believe that I am not as skilled as they are and 2) I never come up with original ideas. Basing everything you do off of what other people do is a great disservice to yourself. Going hand in hand with the quiet time point, something I do when I find myself making comparisons is sit in silence (which I know is uncomfortable for many people but is actually REALLY healthy to do) and I will focus on what I can do that I have not done before. I may also brainstorm on what topics I want to cover next - which is how this post came about.
5. Take a break.
Even if I am not feeling overwhelmed by social media or feeling like I am comparing myself to others, it is beneficial to take a day or two away from the online world. It isn't as permanent as fully deleting all your profiles and apps, but it has the same effects in the long run.
I hope these five points are helpful for you in the future. Remember to take some time away from social media and grow the friendships and relationships in your everyday life. Let me know what you do to conquer the pull towards social media anxiety by leaving a comment below!
All images taken by the incredibly talented Angi Klepnev.
If you're looking for a photographer for your blog shoots, senior pictures, family pictures or wedding, I would highly recommend her. She is very detail oriented and can always find breathtaking locations.