I have made it to week three of my self-imposed social media sabbatical. I’ve had a few moments of temptation, but I don’t actually miss it all that much. I’ve caught myself a few times after taking a photo on my phone and reflexively wanting to post it on Instagram, but I haven’t slipped up yet.
Taking a step back from my daily social media ritual was necessary. It had become a compulsion, a bad habit, something I logged into and scrolled through daily without any active thought. Logging into Facebook wasn’t something I could identify wanting to do – it had become a mindless, knee-jerk reaction. Which is a sign that perhaps a) I have very little self-control and b) something needed to change.
Shifting my time and my energy away from that particular source of anxiety has allowed me to focus on other areas of my life, the dusty corners full of positive activities that had taken a back seat to…whatever the hell it is I did on Instagram all day. I have recommitted myself to establishing balance in my life, focusing on getting myself back on track. The last year has taken me so far away from the woman I want to be, and that I have (briefly) been that it took a dramatic move to help me get my head back on straight.
In the three weeks I have been away from social media, I’ve been journaling regularly, working out four times a week, and tricking myself into drinking vegetables. I’ve planned a solo trip to a top secret destination in November, read more, slept better and occasionally woken up early. I won’t go so far as to suggest that Facebook is to blame for my failure to build healthy habits, but I will say that it was a huge distraction from the things that are really important.
I’ve decided that I am one of those really important things. Please don’t think I mean that in a Ron Burgundy “I’m a big deal, people know me” kind of way –though we all know I will never stop making daily Anchorman references so let’s not get too ahead of ourselves here. I really just mean that maybe I need to accept that it’s OK to make self-care a priority. That spending all this time in self-reflection to help me get back on my feet isn’t an unforgivable sin. That finding my metaphorical balance is an acceptable pursuit despite that fact that I still can’t physically balance on one foot. I’m working on that too, with predictably hilarious results.
I’m still working out the terms of my eventual return to social media, because clearly I need to set reasonable boundaries for myself. I have a tendency to fall easily into compulsion and ritual, whether that be some sort of brain defect or pure laziness I don’t know. Being mindful about creating and maintaining balance is my focus this week, and I think the fringe benefits will be notable.