Monday, 6 May 2019

Wellness | How to Take a Break from Social Media

Wellness | How to Take a Break from Social Media - Rachel Emily Blog

You might have noticed recently that I've taken a few short breaks from social media, mainly instagram, and the blog. You might not have. But I took the breaks because I was suffering from Social Media (mainly Instagram) Fatigue.

The symptoms were:
 - Feeling obligated to post rather than wanting to post
 - Feeling the pressure of having to create content, of a high standard
 - Not enjoying the content that I was seeing

Wellness | How to Take a Break from Social Media - Rachel Emily Blog

The Evil's of Social Media

Social media isn't evil but if you don't recognise the signs of it having a negative impact then I think it very much has the potential to be. I was scrolling through Instagram, stressing about posting content. In summary it wasn't making me feel good.

I wasn't enjoying it any more.

Everything started to feel laboured and I think everyone was starting to notice. My followers, engagement and number of messages were dropping and the more they dropped the more I felt crappy and disheartened.

I know social media isn't about numbers. But it is a factor.

My main enjoyment from Instagram was getting the responses, comments and messages about posts and through this engagement I've made some firm online friendships. It was also loving the content that I was seeing on the platform.

I was putting a lot of effort into something that wasn't giving me much back. Sound familiar?

Wellness | How to Take a Break from Social Media - Rachel Emily Blog

Taking Back Control

My first step in taking back control was to take a break. My first break was when I went skiing and lasted for about 5 days. I focussed on enjoying skiing - bar a few sneaky stories in the mountains after wine - and I enjoyed the release. When I came back I felt much more positive.

It didn't last though - I couldn't just step away and straight back in.

My second break was about a month later and before I came back I realised I needed something to change. I realised I was totally in control and decided to take some responsibility for how social media was effecting me.

Step One

I went through my content and worked out what I wanted to create. I'd fallen into the hole of creating what I thought people wanted to see - the latest IT fashion item or a shot taken with a pristine white background.

Step Two

Think about what content I wanted to see on my feed. I wanted images I loved; fashion inspiration; travel inspiration; home inspiration; people who were achieving things to make me keep pushing myself. I didn't want to see people who were promoting detox tea or things that I didn't believe they actually would buy themselves. So I went through all the people I was following and if I didn't believe in them or had grown out of their content, I unfollowed. I took responsibility for what I was seeing.

Step Three

Start discussions. One of the things I loved about instagram was meeting and talking to new people. Getting different opinions and perspectives. Actually interacting with people. So I did a week of discussions on my instagram stories and the response was amazing. I'm now starting to follow up with these on the blog to get the thoughts of you my lovely readers - that's if you're still there after my hiatus as I know it's been a little longer on the blog.

To summarise I basically Marie Condo-ed my Social Media. If it didn't spark joy - it was being changed.

Wellness | How to Take a Break from Social Media - Rachel Emily Blog

Removing Expectations

And it's worked. I am loving Social Media again. I'm slowly putting more together on here, my instagram and also my new YouTube. BUT. I've taken away the expectation of myself to post to set schedules. There will be an instagram post, blog post or new video if I love it and want to share it. If I just want to snuggle up in bed and watch Queer Eye for a few hours instead I will.

The only expectation I've kept is to recognise the signs of SM fatigue and keep addressing it if it ever creeps up again.

Wellness | How to Take a Break from Social Media - Rachel Emily Blog

Do you think you might be suffering from SM fatigue too? Have you suffered before? How did you deal with it? Do you think Instagram removing likes will have a positive impact, a neutral impact or be negative? Let me know in the comments.

Photography by Hana Dallimore

Wellness | How to take a break from social media - Rachel Emily Blog

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