it’s been a little while again, but I’m still here. I so envy the people who write interesting and thought-provoking posts multiple times per week and still manage to have full time jobs and a life. Most days lately I feel like I’m barely managing the job part, running, sleeping and keeping Peanut alive let alone having an actual life. And that’s something I’d like to change.
keeping peanut alive: priority. and also: the cutest.
so little by little I’ve been trying to think of things that take up my time but may not be the best use of that time. The first and probably most important thing that came to mind was social media. It’s almost embarrassing to think about how much time my 3X year-old self has been spending scrolling through Instagram or other social media platforms lately, especially since Instagram added “stories.” My god are they a time suck. Last week I found myself getting more and more frustrated with some of the accounts I follow – dietitians fueling the prevalence of disordered eating and diet culture by showcasing their restrictive diets or talking incessantly about eating “clean,” other folks with a genuine interest in nutrition but lacking credentials/education/experience and completely misinterpreting research. This can easily influence hundreds of thousands of people, and makes me crazy in so many ways both personally and professionally. I’ve seen how this stuff can negatively affect my patients and clients and I know how it can negatively affect me.
so I went on a social media detox/cleanse
probably the only type of detox and cleanse I’d recommend, since our bodies’ physical detox system is pretty fantastic and thorough all on its own. I made a goal (and wrote it in my journal so I’d stick to it) of not checking any social media for 24 hours – from the time I woke up on Sunday until at least mid-morning on Monday. And it was hard! I caught myself a bunch of times thinking that I could just check this or that really quick, but then I really took a step back and asked myself – why? Does knowing what so-and-so is doing or posting really matter? Not really. Is it totally necessary to post a photo of my breakfast? Maybe not. And, do some posts have the ability to affect me negatively? Totally yes. I’m not immune to falling into the comparison trap – this person ran X amount of miles or did this workout, and I only did X, or this person ate a beautiful meal in their expensive, immaculate kitchen while wearing a cute outfit with their hair and nails done perfectly and here I am in my zero counter space 900 year-old appliance tiny kitchen lacking any natural light with my hair frizzing out of control in old gross running shorts eating a bunch of leftovers all mushed together.
i post pretty stuff sometimes, but the reality is that this becomes more of an un-beautiful (delicious) mush more often than not
so, the best solution here is probably to unfollow those accounts that bother me so much and impose some limits on how much I use social media. Duh. Then I won’t get frustrated and I’ll save time. Part of me still wants to be in the know as to what is being said “out there” because I’m bound to get questions from patients at some point about this stuff, but I think there are other ways to do this.
another thing I’ve noticed lately, and especially during the social media “detox” is how much more present I felt without having my eyeballs glued to my phone every two seconds. Presence is something we talk about a lot at yoga and with meditation, and I’ve felt so out of touch with that these days – even during yoga class! So continuing the “detox” on a lower level, like only checking social media during certain times of day or a few times per day is something I’m working towards now and I’ve already noticed a difference this week. Like, I had time to write this post! So progress.
most nights I’ve been making time to do a bit of journaling as well, which easily fits into the time I used to spend perusing social media. It’s mostly a brain dump of the day or talking myself through any issues to help clear my mind before bed. Doesn’t seem like much, but I find it also helps me feel a bit more present and calm. And I usually have the added bonus benefits of the journaling being done with a snuggly pup in my lap.