This past month, I’ve been on a big cleanse.
Not your run of the mill cleanse from food ~ instead I’ve been on a social media cleanse. For me, this has meant that I deactivated my personal facebook account, with the intention of getting back on the site after a month or so.
It’s been a month, and do I have some insights to share with you.
I want to share with you how important this time in my life has been. I live creative living, but for some reason, I was losing that creative mojo last month and spiraling into a bit of darkness.
And to be completely honest, the lives of others on these very polished sites were making me feel crazy. Like I couldn’t keep up no matter how hard I tried.
So, I sat down and re-evaluated areas of my life and reformatted a few. This social media cleanse is just part of what I have done to take care of myself.
I feel like I have overcome the social media insanity in my life. And here is how:
1. Know that you are not missing out
This is one of the hardest parts of a social media cleanse. And to be totally honest, there are many times where I think I am missing out-literally (invites, emails, milestones in my peeps lives…).
But what happens is, at the end of the day, that those “things” that I feel like I am missing out on were never mine. These things, like photos or friend’s status updates, were never mine to begin with, I was just given permission to peep because, well, that is the nature of social media.
Make sure to reformat how you keep up with friends. Old school email is great. Telephone action is even better. A hand written note-seriously-the best. I had a great time this past month going by one of my bestie’s house and leaving her flowers from my yard.
This is the first step to regaining your creativity: use your body and voice in the present moment to communicate. Know that you are being present, instead of in the virtual world of past to find out about the lives of your peeps.
2. Value your time
Time is the ultimate self care act. And the #1 thing for your creative being is to have a strong foundation of self care.
For me, I was checking facebook each time I had a free moment. Paint drying? Check facebook. Pasta boiling? Check facebook. Standing in line? Check facebook. Facebook for me, and I know I am not alone here, became my pause. And instead of what a pause should feel like, I felt overwhelmed by information. Then I was even further back emotionally from before the time I took a pause.
Take a real pause. Step outside to breathe fresh air. Take a 10 minute walk. Gaze out and even do some eye strengthening exercises. You will be rejuvenated and perhaps you will even feel like time is expansive.
3. Post status updates in your journal
This may be my archivist self coming up, but why not write about your daily experiences in a place where you’ll be able to access it 20-40 years down the road? Post status updates at your dinner table. Why not share what is going on in a brief and concise way to those who care the most about your life? Get creative. Start a new project where you write one line every day about what’s happening–in a journal, on your chalk board, or in your artwork. It will be the best gift you can do for yourself over time, it will be like a road map of your life.
I am an advocate for all that technology brings. But I am even more of an advocate for balance and well-being. So many people I know get overwhelmed by social media, and all these pathways of staying connected-present company included.
The best thing to do is what feels right and good for you, and to put healthy boundaries around all areas of your life. Try out a social media cleanse for a few days or a month, I promise you will learn a lot about yourself in the process. Perhaps you will even be happier internally for taking this step.
To your creative, social, and present path,