Wake up. Grab my phone, swipe up, check Instagram, Facebook, text messages, dating apps, and emails. How many likes do I have? Are there any comments to respond to? Did that super-hot girl like me back on Tinder?
Why were these the first thoughts taking over my mind in the morning? Why did I care so much about what was going on with my internet life, and not focusing more on my internal work or what was right in front of me?
Let’s face it, we are all disconnected in some way, and even more as technology becomes an even bigger part of our lives. I decided it was time for me to do my first social media detox. I originally wanted it to last a week, but after the week I found myself not really interested in getting on social media. Which I think is a success story of a detox!
Not only did I detox myself from social media, but also from alcohol, and created a list of small tasks I wanted to accomplish during the week. Overall it was an easy process, because I wanted to make it happen.
For anyone that is looking to detox their life of social media, I have put together a list of steps that helped me along the way.
The first step I took: Acknowledging how I was making myself feel.
The very first step is being completely honest with yourself, acknowledging the issue you feel you have, and accepting it for what it is.
I was distracted, unmotivated, and throwing myself a pity party.
The second step I took: I deleted all apps from my phone that were distracting me and closed out of any web browsers that were also distracting.
The apps that I deleted from my phone were: Tinder, Bumble, HER, Okcupid, Facebook, Facebook messenger, Instagram. Any apps that you catch yourself just going to for no God reason, to distract your mind, just delete them.
The third step I took: Creating a list of tasks I wanted to complete daily.
It was the new year and I felt overwhelmed by a lot of tasks I wanted to complete prior to end of 2018, that I did not get done. I needed to get myself on track and start making magic happen in 2019.
Some of the items on my list were: Meditate in the morning and at night, read x number of pages, edit x number of images, update my website by x date, go out and meet humans the old school way (aka not on apps).
I did download two apps that helped me focus on these daily goals. One app that was recommended to me is called “Insight Timer”. Insight Timer has a lot of free meditations you can follow, but also has a lot of other cool stuff that requires a monthly membership fee. I just use the free version for the meditations. The second app I downloaded is called “Habit-Bull”, which is a daily goal tracker. You can set up the goals you want to accomplish and mark them off for yourself as you complete them.
The fourth step I took: Loving my body and telling myself affirming words.
Besides a social media detox, I decided to also cut out alcohol, and really fuel my body back up with lots of healthy foods, and water.
It is important to give your body the full nutrients that it needs and cut out any of the unnecessary junk you may crave. There have been many studies related to food causing depression, and many other health issues. When our bodies are filled with whole, organic, non-processed foods our bodies feel energized. Our skin looks clear, we may even lose some weight. Overall making us feel more positive about ourselves.
I also created a list of affirmations to tell myself daily when I woke up, and before I went to sleep. I would look at myself in the mirror and tell myself the things I needed to hear. Some of the things I would say: “I believe in myself”, “I believe I can make anything I set my mind to come true”, “I am beautiful, compassionate, and caring”. Etc. Create a list of affirmations and say them to yourself daily. I promise with time, it will empower you, even if you feel silly at first.
The fifth and final step I took: Forgiveness.
I, Me, Myself, Zena am my own worst critic. We have all heard this one a million times, and I am sure many of you feel the same way about yourself.
After my week of not being on social media I still felt very uneasy. I was hoping that maybe during this week of detox some magic answer to all my hopes and dreams would just pop into my head and guess what….one didn’t. I still felt a little in the dumps, but after fully realizing I did a pretty good job at completing all the tasks I set for myself, I started to congratulate myself! The entire week of not having apps on my phone I had ZERO desire to even be on social media.
Now when I catch myself drifting to my phone when I don’t need to check it, I acknowledge what I am doing, and set my phone back down. I still allow myself small doses of time to scroll aimlessly, but I do it with the intention of exploring what is being posted, instead of letting my zombie brain take over.
Every day is a work in progress with where I want to be in life, and in my career. But the small steps I work towards daily are what is going to help me create the bigger picture. I acknowledge my faults, and I make the necessary changes in my own life to make myself better, for myself. I believe everyone can make their own magic happen if they truly want it for themselves.