“Make it stop! Make it all stop!”
Lately, this little phrase has been echoing as I tune into the crisis after crisis impacting our world. It goes without saying 2020 has been A LOT. If you have been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately, just know that you are not alone. Nearly half of American’s have reported negative impacts in their mental health during this time.
From coronavirus, twitter tirades, dust storms, murder hornets, protest, and too many racial injustices and hashtags to count, I began to realize that my once fun-loving social media feed was beginning to harm to my mental health. During my own social media break, I was able to reflect and recognize a few triggers for taking a break that I felt may be helpful as you think through if taking a few days off the grid is right for you.
To make this interesting, I’ve included some of my favorite movie memes since 1) we are all living in a crazy ass movie we never bought a ticket for and 2) the old folks say, “Sometimes you gotta laugh, to keep from crying.”
1. Emotional Exhaustion
So let’s set the scene, today was a good day. You just tried a new recipe, caught up with an old friend, and even marked off a few to do list items and then it happens. You open Instagram and your whole demeanor changes. If you find your mood goes from happy to sad to burn that B*$%! down it may be time to step away. Unpacking your emotions during a social media break can help you find the healing you may need. Recognizing how you feel in an open and honest manner is a vital step in ensuring you manage your emotions in a healthy way. Therapy is a great way to start this journey of unpacking your emotions in a safe and neutral space. During my social media break, I was able to meet with my therapist and gain greater insight on where I am and where I want to be emotionally.
2. Excessive Shopping
You know big brother is watching right? Ad targeting is really quite interesting, and complex; however, it may not be helping many of us reach our financial goals. If you have been making one too many online shopping splurges to stay “coordinated” it may be time to let go. I understand that “add to cart” button may be calling your name, but that does not mean you have to answer. Taking a social media break, can give you some time to take a deep dive into your finances. When was the last time you pulled your credit score or checked into getting a lower interest rate on your credit card? Taking this time to pause can help your mind and your wallet. During my social media break, I discovered my love for using Mint for online budgeting and took a little time to cancel a few subscription services I haven’t used lately.
3. Over-analyzing Past Relationships
It happens to the best of us, that late night I wonder how my ex is doing social media profile creep. With all this extra virtual time those profile snoops might start to become a bit more frequent than normal. If you are sitting alone rehashing what could’ve been, should’ve been, or where it all went wrong. It might be time for a social media break before feeding into a Waiting to Exhale level of relationship analysis. For many of us (myself included) who are single during this time having this much alone time can be incredibly difficult. However, overanalyzing your past relationships is not the ideal approach to tackling loneliness. Instead of focusing on him or her, use a bit of downtime to focus on being your very best you. Besides all that love, laughter, and companionship also happens to stand for LLC. Your social media break might be a great time to start a new a business and connect with some of the great entrepreneurs we have interviewed here at Align Mag.
If every meal is starting to look like a scene out of soul food, it might be time for a social media break. During this stressful time, many of us (myself included) have given into to more than a few episodes of over-eating. Slowly but surely my feed includes more recipes, chefs, and DIY alcoholic beverages than ever before. With trips to the grocery store and new recipes as the only highlight of my week, I began noticing way too many cakes and pies added to the mix of my daily meals. My new drawstring filled sweatpants wardrobe also isn’t great at reminding me I have gained a few pounds. Taking a break from social media could give some much needed time to re-examine eating habits, start a garden, and learn about practical ways to eat clean and healthy from home. During my social media break last year I purchased a blender and started to pursue smoothies for meal replacements which was truly life changing.
5. Cabin Fever
I am not quite sure where Lake Minnetonka is, but I am certain there is a park, trail, or fun nature related thing you could explore sometime soon. Scrolling through social media may have you convinced that the world is closed, but nature is still open. During your social media break, it might be a good idea to lace up those running shoes and walk your neighborhood. Walking has been proven to lower risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, and even some cancers. The best part about walking that you don’t have to do it alone. Look into a local run/walk group or ask a friend to take daily strolls with you. No matter if you decide to walk or run just remember to stay active, safe, and remember every step is a blessing.
Until Next Time,