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  • Writer's pictureKristen Garaffo

Three Things To Do When Social Media is Bringing You Down

I should always take it as a cue to chuck my phone across the room when I start creating content about rest and comparison.

Let me keep it real with you - my Instagram addiction is real. I will unconsciously scroll all day without even knowing I'm doing it. Have you ever started to work on something, only to find yourself reaching for your phone 5 minutes later without even thinking about it? Or maybe you want to go back to an informative post you saw earlier in the day, or you remember that cute outfit that influencer had on and you want to grab the link... only to be distracted by stories, or the posts on your feed, and you then eventually forget why you went on the 'gram in the first place.

I have. Guilty as charged.

When I begin to notice myself comparing, I know this is a sign for me to to take a break from social media. The comparison may not even be when I'm on my phone, it comes when I'm looking at myself in the mirror, as I'm getting dressed in the morning, or even as I look around my apartment, this space that I've put so much love into. All of a sudden, my outfit isn't cute enough, my skin isn't clear enough, my Home isn't beautiful enough. I become restless, agitated and frustrated.

The other day, I was doing morning pages and dumping all my thoughts in my journal, and I wrote how happy I was to be in my favorite outfit - the coziest oversized white sweater, light denim jeans I scored on Poshmark for $18, and I was even wearing a wide brimmed hat inside the house, just because it's cute and makes me feel good.

The next thought that came to the page was, "You've already shared this outfit on your Instagram, so you can't share it again because people have seen it"

And then I got frustrated.

Where did this made up rule about my Instagram come from?

Why did my mind go to whats "allowed" on my Instagram, instead of just enjoying the outfit I was wearing?

I furiously started writing all of the things that make me feel good, in an effort to rebel against the imaginary rules I made up about my social media. After every aggressive swipe of my pen, my anger dissipated. I was reminded that I know exactly how to get myself out of these ruts, I just need to focus and quiet my mind long enough to hear my own wisdom.

If you ever find yourself feeling frustrated and hooked to your social media, here are three simple things that have helped me get out of my self-imposed comparison trap.

Stop Scrolling and Unfollow the Accounts That Make You Feel Terrible

If there are accounts that make you feel like you need to go out and buy a bunch of stuff in order to feel good, let it go. If there are accounts that make you feel less than in any way, or like you need to change yourself in ways that aren't necessary - let it go. And this includes mine! Listen, I know you can follow blogs like mine on social media and be inspired and uplifted. And that's my goal - to offer a little peace and beauty to your day through the squares on my Instagram, or here on the blog. But I know that it's totally possible for someone to look at the pretty pictures here and feel inadequate, because it happens to me. Take time to check in with yourself and notice how you feel when you're scrolling. And if you don't want to unfollow, you can mute accounts and see how you feel after a week or two. Did you miss seeing their content, or did you not really think about it? Another tip is to write down your favorite accounts, without scrolling your feed. What accounts come to mind? These are the accounts that you probably look forward to seeing, and are probably worth your while to continue following. All the others you may want to consider muting or unfollowing.

Get Off Your Phone. Do it. Really do it.

Throw it across the room. Hide it somewhere. Lock it away in a box. Not to be dramatic, just do whatever you need to do to lessen the time you spend on your phone. Then go outside. Take a walk. Walk with music or a podcast, or even better in my humble opinion, walk without your phone. You may feel a little naked and panicked at first, but a 20 minute walk without your phone will be ok. And maybe even liberating. Notice what you think about when you're not distracted. Whatever it is, I have a hunch that it might be important.

Focus on What Makes You Feel GOOD

It's so easy to get sucked into what's currently cool or trendy, and feeling less than because of it. Instead of looking to social media, focus on what makes you look and feel good. It doesn't matter if you part your hair to the side or right down the middle - it's more about what YOU like. Cool is a vibe. It's an energy, it's not actually about the kind of jeans you wear or the decor in your home. Instead, think about the energy you're bringing to your outfit, your hairstyle, or your home. Confidence is always in and if you're feeling good, that is all that matters!

Truth be told - the more I set boundaries with my phone, the more relaxed and content I feel. When my mind isn't cluttered with curated squares, I can see that I have everything I need, and that I am enough. And so are you.

xo, Kristen

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