The Lent season has officially begun, and for most of us, we’re scrambling to figure out what to give up or sacrifice this year.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Lent, Lent is a biblical observance in the Christian world. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.
During Lent my mom and I typically give up sweets. Most specifically desserts, cookies, cakes, pies, etc. This year I challenged myself to give up not only sweets, but also bread, juice, French fries, and meat. All are my ultimate weakness! I also tossed around the idea of giving up Social Media but concluded that it wouldn’t be beneficial to leave when I’m trying to build my brand with consistent engagement. Instead, I plan to limit my time (Shout out to Apple for creating the Screen Time feature) and stick to ONLY posting for my blog.
Let’s be real: Social media has taken the world by storm!
It’s our source for everything! It’s where we communicate with our friends, we learn about the news and what’s going on in the world, we get sucked into buying products and merchandise from influencers, and of course we get the tea on the latest celebrity gossip. It’s our new normal, a way of life so to speak.
On the other hand, social media can become addicting, yielding negative results directly impacting the idea of happiness, and create low sense of self-worth, if you let it!
What we often forget is that people post their highlight reel on their platforms. It’s a curated gallery of images filled with successes and wins: Graduations, Careers, Engagements, Weddings, Baby Announcements, New Homes, New Cars, and World Travels.
Honestly, it can be hard to watch if you aren’t experiencing those same successes and wins.
Here’s why you should take some time to unplug:
You live in the moment
- I am a firm believer in enjoying the moment, living in the present, and simply JUST BEING. In this digital age, we must capture every moment or else it didn’t happen. You don’t always have to take pictures of your meal/drinks/the view to share with your followers. You don’t have to show the karaoke session or atmosphere of the brunch/day party to show that you’re having fun. You don’t need to provide the geotag of a fabulous location to show us that you’re cultured or experiencing a new city, state, or country. You don’t owe anyone an explanation and don’t have to prove anything. Try living in the moment a little more and simply enjoy the fact that you’re alive and breathing. Whenever I’m with my friends I make it a point to leave my phone in my purse and give them my undivided attention. Instagram, Snap, and all the rest can wait.
Next time you’re out with friends, try not to capture the moment and you’ll quickly realize how much everyone around you is consumed with their phones not living in the present.
Protect your mind, body, and spirit
- Social media can be fun and social media can also be a trigger. Most people won’t admit it, but you can easily start to compare your lives to others online. You find yourself wishing you had her body, their #RelationshipGoals, his work ethic, and the list goes on. You often start wondering, why can’t that be my life? Am I doing enough? Why can’t I achieve more? We often forget the road it took that person to get where they are today. Most people don’t highlight the struggles, the sacrifice, or the pain and suffering they endured. Unplugging allows you to solely focus on yourself, your goals, dreams, and accomplishments. It puts things into prospective and allows you to reframe the negative into a positive.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to unfollow pages that no longer serve you. If seeing certain images make you feel less than, protect your peace and let it go.
It’s a form of self-care
- You know I’m all about self-care and preservation of your mental health. Unplugging helps you deal with anxiety, depression, FOMO, insecurities, and things you may have been subconsciously avoiding. You have a moment to breathe, regroup, and tend to you. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or low, I take a break away from social media. When I come back from my hiatus, I feel refreshed with a new mindset!
Less need for approval or validation
- I mentioned the highlight reel earlier and all things of sharing your accomplishments. Well, what if we didn’t feel the need to immediately post about our good deed of volunteering with the homeless, showing off our bomb new luxury car, or sharing that time we zip lined through the forest in Costa Rica. Admit it- it’s all for the accolades, the likes, and approval of others. Stepping back will allow you to realize that you’re still a good person without the approval or affirmation. In turn, you can pat yourself on the back!
Make more meaningful connections
- Being born in the 90s, I was fortunate enough to have the privilege of playing outside, passing notes in class, writing letters to friends who lived across country, staying up on the phone, attending sleepovers, and more. All of this helped me learn how to make meaningful connections resulting in long-lasting sisterhoods. People often think that texting, liking/commenting on photos is enough. I found that my family and friends appreciate phone calls to check in, planning lunch dates, or even going for hikes/weekend trips. Make it a priority to schedule real-life interactive contact with your friends and family. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it!