How Being Off Social Media is Improving my Mental Health

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know I’ve been taking a social media break since the beginning of this month. My original goal was one month, but it’s been going so well I think I’ll make it a bit longer. I’m writing this post as an update on how my break is going. So let’s get started.

I’m less anxious. While I’m a self-proclaimed bitch, I’m also a very emotional person, especially after having my daughters. While on social media, I would feel bad about not being invited somewhere, worried that someone doesn’t like me, beating myself up for not having as nice a body as another mom and countless other things. But deleting social media apps from my phone has helped me to not worry about things that are out of my control. I’m not constantly seeing the problems my online friends are going through, I’m not worried about how many likes or comments my posts are getting, I’m not worried about posting every meaningful moment in my life. I’m not focused on what I don’t have but feeling grateful for all that I do have in my life. I’m simply living, and I feel much lighter.

Enjoying a visit from my older brother.

I’m more present. I’m paying more attention to my family and my friends. I feel better about not being rude by picking up my phone mid-conversation to check something on social media. I would always check my phone, while watching movies, during dinner and even at red lights, and that’s still something I’m working on. But having social media off my phone makes it easier since I don’t really have much to check.

Having fun with my silly girl.

I have more time to do things I actually want to do. I could spend hours on social media, flipping between apps, watching videos and so much more. It was easier to pick up my phone than it was to crack open the book I’d been wanting to read or to study for my personal training certification. Not to mention how long it would take to snap a decent picture of a great vegan dish I just made and also posting the recipe. It was eating up all my damn time. So it’s safe to say I’ve been enjoying all the extra time I have.

Hiking to the top of one of the Supersition Mountains with the hubbs.

When I get back to social media, I’m not going to put the apps back on my phone, I’ll just check on my laptop. It’s a vicious cycle for me. After my breaks I feel like I have so much to catch up on and wind up spending so much time on social media and then realize it’s too much and need another break. So my hope is to keep social media off of my phone indefinitely.

I also need to work on not using my phone as much. I began replacing social media apps with games and other apps on my phone since I still had the urge to check my phone. But this was still a huge distraction.

My friend recently sent me a fascinating New York Times article about creating a healthy relationship with your smartphone and it’s something I’d really like to do. I don’t want to rely on my phone as much as I do. I want to enjoy my time with my husband and daughters, and time out with friends. I want to live a happier life, and I honestly feel I would be if my phone wasn’t constantly in my hand.

For now, I feel so fucking free being off of social media. And I would recommend everyone take a break every now and then. It’s an unhealthy escape from reality. My life is pretty awesome, and I’m happier living in the moment instead of posting it on social media.

My babies ❤️

-Toniann

Take a Damn Social Media Break!

The first month of 2019 is almost at a close and I’m trying to think which of my goals for this year I’ve been working on. And I’m sad to admit I haven’t been putting in as much work as I had hoped. The only consistent thing is my blog here, and I am very proud of that. Now there are many excuses I can make as to why I haven’t been working out more, eating better and being more present with my family. But one of the biggest culprits is social media. It’s so addicting!

There are so many benefits to social media, but constantly scrolling is tiring. I’ll have days where I post multiple times a day and then I won’t post anything but I’m always scrolling on Facebook and Instagram. There are mornings where I spend at least 20 minutes scrolling social media before I even get out of bed, then checking throughout the day. And it wears on my mental health. I start comparing myself to everyone I see. Why don’t I have as great a body as that mom? I’d love to go on vacation there. I need to try that new vegan restaurant, that food looks amazing. Fuck, that moms house is immaculate, how does she do it? And I fall down this rabbit hole, and I start to feel bad about myself.

But the truth is, social media isn’t reality.

It’s something I have to remind myself of constantly. We are all in control of what we post and how we post it. Editing pictures to look better, posting about how amazing things are when they’re actually in the shit. I try to be real with shit I post on social media, but I’m guilty of trying to make things seem better than they are. If I post a gorgeous picture of my girls, know that I took at least 10 and I yelled at them to look at me. “SAY CHEESE FOR GOD SAKE!!!!” It’s exhausting.

I’ve taken a social media cleanse before. I never even tried before then, but I always thought to myself it would be a good idea. And there were many times were I used social media less, but I was never completely off. But last year, I had a little breakdown, where many friend and family relationships were deteriorating. People were showing their true colors and it all happened within a short period of time. And I remember deleting Facebook and Instagram from my phone and I told my husband, “if people want to know what the fuck is going on with me, they can call me or text me, fuck this.” And I was off social media for over a month, no posting and no checking at all.

And it was so fucking liberating!

My husbands birthday was during that month, his 30th, a big milestone. I was able to completely be present for that time, no social media distractions. I started working on my Plant-Based nutrition certificate. That was my most successful social media cleanse. I’ve tried to do more cleanses recently but I keep convincing myself that I might miss something. Or that people really want to see what’s going on with me. But its all bullshit isn’t it? The people who truly care about you will make time for you, will take time out of their day to check on you. And when I took my social media cleanse last year, there were only a handful of people that did that.

So the time has come for me to take another social media cleanse. I need to start taking better care of myself. I need to be more present with my daughters and my husband. I need to start working on my goals for this year without the distraction of social media. I think everyone would be better off if they took breaks from social media. I’m going to be off of Facebook and Instagram for the whole month of February, maybe longer. But I will still be posting weekly on my blog since this is more of an online journal right now than it is a social media page since I only have about 10 followers. And I’m excited to focus on the more important things in my life.

I’ll leave you all with this: don’t let social media steal your joy, it has for me countless times. Unfriend, unfollow or mute any people or accounts that bring negativity into your life. No one needs that shit. I’ll post a picture below with 7 steps to doing a social media cleanse. And I challenge you all to disconnect from social media and reconnect with the people in your life who matter most.

-Toniann