How To Have A Healthier Relationship With Social Media



I took a little Instagram hiatus over Christmas and felt all the better for it. So much so that I now have a little break each weekend too as I find it to be quite a bit too overwhelming: both with the contributing content and scrolling through the (seemingly) never ending perfect posts.



There’s absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Instagram is both amazing: providing endless outfit/home/dinner/holiday/interiors inspiration and anxiety-inducing at one. It’s one of the many things that have the ability to make you feel great one minute and super shitty the next.
It’s the days when you realise that, yet again, your batteries ran out just because of insta, or when you notice that you’ve lost a good couple of hours of your life just scrolling through pictures of other people on holiday.
Whilst it’s lovely to be inspired by friends and influencers that you follow I’ve been making conscious changes to help maintain a little healthier relationship with social media and how I interact with it. As, for me, it’s a little too easy to fall down black holes and acquire new personal and professional insecurities.
I’m grateful for the inspo, motivation and news it provides me with but the new feelings of FOMO and when I realise I’ve spent 30 minutes lusting after a stranger’s carefully curated life or fallen into a rabbit hole getting caught up in stats and engagement is not the one.
Instagram often weaves in and out of feeling like a habit rather than a hobby on a weekly basis: it’s something I’m lucky enough to earn a little money through and although I’m a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny fish in a vast ocean it’s something I enjoy and maybe take a little too much pride in.
So here are the little steps I’ve been following to feel a little better with social media and the platforms I engage in…

1, Spend less time on it

This might feel a little obvious but reviewing how much time you’re giving up to one platform is a good place to start. 
Are you spending too much time on Instagram? So much time in fact that your thumb automatically hovers over Instagram or you look down and realise you’ve been scrolling without quite realising…
I made the conscious decision recently to spend time away from my phone entirely. Leaving it upstairs/downstairs and away from me so I’m not always on it as I feel like I spend my entire life looking at screens and it overwhelms me and makes me anxious about my rapidly declining eyesight.
An easy place to start is to just to put your phone on aeroplane mode whilst its on you so your not pestered, interrupted or disturbed by group chats or other notifications. By spending less and less time on your phone you start to notice how many others around you are so governed by the time they spend on theirs.

2, Be real

Yes, we all love a pretty flat-lay but I’m personally rather over this and typical shots that feel baited. It’s not how anyone dresses or wears the outfit or the order people apply make up in so it’s kind of just pretty for the sake of being pretty.
Also, on a recent trip ski trip I went on through with work I made the decision to honestly report back on my experiences on the slopes. I’d never skied before and ahead of my trip I was a little daunted by the almost overtly joyous captions that accompanied people’s pics. On one of the days I had a really rough time on the slopes and was honest about it. It was true and honest and I received so many messages from friends and followers on it. I was real and honest and it resonated.
Honest captions are those that I engage with most so I’m taking a leaf out of that book and being as real and as ‘me’ as I can with mine.

3, Unfollow those who make you feel unhappy

Unrealistic expectations and hyper-edited images of locations, bodies or backgrounds are just a bit too much. I don’t want to see girls 10 years younger than me with houses and more designer bags than they are old. 
I’m all for celebrating women and their achievements but being inundated with designer products and £3000 armchairs doesn’t inspire me and only leaves me feeling dejected.

4, Limit time spent scrolling

As I said it’s a little too easy to fall down rabbit holes on Instagram. That 10 minutes turns into an hour in no time at all and after finding that I kept using the same excuse that I had ‘no time’ to go to the gym over and over but could easily lose an hour and a half on Instagram…
It feels so good to use your time better: calling a relative, having a bath or even just reading a book. Time away from a screen is so, so good.
 It’s harder than it sounds but I’m really trying to limit the time I spend scrolling and hope that the more I continue the easier it’ll get. 

5, Don’t do it for the likes

Doing things and photographing places/outfits/meals/shoes that reflect your personality and happiness is a nice place to start. It’s where I am at the moment. I got a little too caught up in pre-planning imagery so it complimented surrounding shots and I just don’t have the time for it. So, instead of Instagram becoming a weird kind of vanity project I’m trying to make it a place where I’m proud to share my favourite shots of things and looks instead.
Yes, it’s a little too easy to get caught up with likes and your engagement but monitoring the highs and lows critically truly do meddle with your mental health. And, I personally don’t think they’re worth that. 500 likes on one pic might be wonderful and make you feel happy but it doesn’t equal validation.

6, Engage with and in your community

I enjoy this the most out of the whole posting process. Seeing what people like about a look or, their tips and opinions on pieces is my fave part. Engaging in that responding with more than an emoji (I’m trying…) makes it all feel a little more intimate. Share your story, engage in others and it turns into a nice place to build and create relationships with like-minded people.
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