Self-Care Tip #9: Disconnect

Hey Everyone,

I’ve gone on and off the social grid a multitude of times for multiple reasons, one of my first being religious when I added social media to my fasting regimen for Ramadan last year. During that month I realized how attached I’d become to social media and constantly remaining ‘in the loop’ when it came to certain things. After that month, I began to realize how much I tied my happiness to the reception of my online content, and began to make it a point take breaks from social media, so that my well-being remained in tact. The last few weeks have honestly been some of the hardest this year starting out, and I’ve found myself stuck in more than one rut too early in the year, whether I was overwhelmed or just drained, it’s been a bit much already. 

I’ve tried my best to remain diligent in my posting, but it’s been a bit challenging given a few incidents that have arisen over the last few months. And I haven’t been able to find much solace in posting given the emotional ruts I’ve found myself in. There was a period of time when I found myself checking my social media compulsively, almost looking for an impetus from others to keep going, and honestly it didn’t make me feel any better about my progress. Social media has almost become the center of our lives and basic socialization, so sometimes it can be hard to log off. And while it can be beneficial and even progressive, when you find yourself constantly comparing your growth and process to others, I think that’s the best time to get offline it. So this week’s Self-Care Tip is Disconnect.

These days, I feel as if I’ve forgotten what life was like before I had social media. Now, it seems as if we’re all living for the spectacle and reaction of others, myself included. Since starting this site, I knew all I wanted to do was create a platform that inspired others to take care of themselves while presenting my basic sense of style and fashion. I realize all in all that our concern with other people’s opinions of ourselves can weigh too heavily on our conscious mind in regards to what we’re doing, how we look, and how we’re living. We give others too much insight into how we feel about things and even ourselves, and often feel obligated to share our opinion even when no one asked for it. It’s as if we’re trying to prove to the world we matter or that we exist when we don’t need the opinion of others to live. I’ve fallen victim to the hype too, and blogging has definitely amplified it for me, no doubt. I worry a lot more than I think about the response to my pages and whether or not people are actually moved by what I’m doing or have to say. The whole idea of being a ‘successful’ blogger literally surrounds the concept of audience response and reaction, and a lot of the time because I don’t feel I have as many followers as I would like or some other bloggers do I constantly feel as if I haven’t made any progress at all. I tend to use readership and outside perception on my social media as a measuring stick for my success when in actuality I know just how far I come, regardless of how far I have to go. I totally forget about the people who come up to me when I’m out and tell me how much they enjoy reading my blog or love my style, and honestly that always places me back where I need to be.

It’s amazing how much we miss out on when we find ourselves occupied with our phones and screens, and as cliche as it may sound, living is so much more fresh when we live in the moment without trying to capture it for the world to see. I can’t even begin to tell you how much peace of mind I’ve had when I wasn’t worried about my phone. Some the best moments in my life, while captured on my camera, are nowhere on social media. I’ve danced with Solange with QuestLove on the 1s and 2s, had the BEST County Fair experience, I’ve gotten the perfect twist out down to the very last curl, I’ve been in formation, I’ve gone to old school festivals with the older crowd (probably was the youngest person there, lol) and knew every word to every song, I’ve met and had a moment with one of my favorite podcasters, I’ve found the perfect spot on the beach, I’ve fallen apart, I’ve fallen in love, I’ve had people fall in love with me, I’ve done some of my best spoken word performances when nobody was around to record it and I’ve put together some of the flyest outfits I can’t remember that no one will probably ever see, lol. I’ve laughed until I cried, written some of my best work, sang, danced, had introspective revelations, and been carefree. I’ve been all of me unscathed by the possible encroachment of anticipating the outside opinion of others. I can honestly say when I’m not thinking about how others may receive (or perceive) my life, I’ve truly lived. And I feel like we all deserve to give ourselves the opportunity to live and just be, no matter how small or big the moment may be. Some of the best moments in life are the ones nobody is around to see. 

While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing, try not to get too caught up in the hype of how your sharing is received (I’m very much included in this conversation and I have to remind myself of this all the time, lol). Be careful not to get consumed in the constant exchange of information that constantly takes place in this day and age. Remember to live for you, and not the spectacle or reception of it. I’d urge you to take the time to log off and disconnect every now and again, maybe for a day, a week or even a month, whatever is needed to make sure your peace of mind is intact. When you find yourself to consumed, constantly updating, or picking up your phone, try deleting a few of your social apps and taking a hiatus. You’d be surprised at how much a step back from it all can put things, even your happiness, back into perspective.

As usual, I hope this inspired you to live in the moment while maintaining your peace of mind, with all that’s going on, you deserve that much…

Until next time :)