Happy 2020 friends, and Happy Black History Month!
I ended last year in a slight slump. I felt mentally out of control and overwhelmed by my life and work. I don't think that we truly understand the emotional impact that technology has on us. We spend so much time plugged into other peoples reality, ignoring our own. What seems to be a constant scroll of inspiration, beauty, and fun can quickly pile up to becoming a heap of over stimulation, comparison traps, and anxiety. I was felling that weight heavily and knew that I needed to reevaluate my relationship to social media coming into this new year.
I will be the first to admit that I am a morning scroller! It is a horrible habit that I knew was eating up more of my productive time than it should be. As much as I want to plan more trips, read more books, stay moisturized and keep my relationships afloat, spending 4hours a day on a social media app doesn't help! As a millennial, it is a tough pill to swallow because we don't want to admit that something that brings us an abundance of joy can be harming us just as much.
I decided to delete the app off my phone for the entire month of January and WOWWWWW I truly felt like I could breathe again. I am attached to my Instagram for multiple reasons but it is mainly my main source of communication with the supportive audience that helps inspire me and spread my artist voice throughout the world. In 2019 I had am amazing year where I doubled my following to 5k! A goal I did not think was attainable. So it was hard for me to step away from that momentum, with the fear that the algorithm will throw me in the back of the IG closet. Its so irrational, I know! But my art is my business and main source of income so these things matter to me.
I learned a lot about myself during that unplugged month. I also got A LOT of work done, not all the work I had planned, but most of it so I will call that a win. I would like to think that I am a hard-worker. I like to set goals and make lists to achieve them. The one downfall is that I can be an over-worker and I realize that I need an outlet to decompress. I think that is where the social media addiction started. I used those 31 days to reevaluate my priorities and find healthier habits. I decided to swap my scrolling with page turning. I am seriously committed to making my down time more productive and healthy. Reading books, in my opinion, is the best and easiest way to keep your hands and brain busy in a relaxing way.
The time I saved away from the app was filtered into my business. I was able to make a clear plan for my year, get my finances together, plan my content calendars, and spend more time with friends and family. It only takes 21 days to form a habit so I felt confident that I would be able to reform how I approach my day. Mornings are very important and sacred to me. I feel like the way you start your morning really sets the tone for the rest of the day. I want to be focused, relaxed and happy in the mornings. Facing inward is the best way, for me to do that. Instead of loosing two valuable hours to mindless scrolling, being nosy, getting FOMO, and just procrastinating in general; I now do tasks that set me up for a productive and abundant day. I like to read a book first thing in the morning. It will last either 15mins-1hour depending on the time I have. I spend a few moments tiding my space, moving my body, and then making a filling breakfast. This approach helps me ease into my day with a clear vision of how I want it to look. Im no longer foggy headed and overstimulated in the mornings which tends to lead to a scattered day.
Overall, starting my year with a blank slate was an awesome idea. I honestly debated adding on another month unplugged but work obligations stop me from doing that. I am currently back on the app with more sensitivity for the time spent and the things consumed. I no longer want, or feel the need to mindlessly scroll because I'm aware that the real life that I am living is more relevant and more rewarding than the snapshots that others share. And yes that is a pretty selfish thing to say but it is true. Why sit on the couch mindlessly observing other folks highlights when you can be working towards your own highlights. So my new approach is a lot more purposeful. Only 30mins of exploration a day is all I need to feel like I am staying in the loop. I still share and communicate with my IG fam, which will never change. I just hope to have more time to explore my craft and other interests.
Moving forward I hope to continue to share my thoughts and learnings through this blog. If you made it this far I sincerely thank you for sharing your time with me. Time is a valuable resource that we take for granted and I know you could be doing other things. I hope you feel inspired to step back from social media in order to commit to your lifestyle and healthy habits without the lens of others watching over you. It was so helpful for me and I know so many of us can benefit from more frequent breaks. I have a lot fo exciting things planned for this year including more blogs, vlogs, new original art, new merch, new collabs, lots of travel, and lots of joy! I hope that you are excited to be apart of the journey.