You don’t have to be a mama to know that social media can be overwhelming, but it can be especially tricky to navigate the all the advice, drama, judgement, guilt trips, and product pushing that is directed specifically at mothers. Lately I have been finding it super difficult to log in, and when I do it doesn’t take but a minute for me to come across a post that makes me close out. Now, I am super sensitive so you may not need quite the same level of tune out that I do but even the most extroverted social media cruisers could benefit from trimming some of the drama off their virtual waistline.
I don’t do lofty mommy blogs that tell me how I should be raising my kids. I stay away from posts that feed fear and dole out judgemental advice; I can live with tips and tricks and humor, of course. I prefer to live on the lighter side and encourage mamas to spend more time taking care of themselves and less on the information overload that tends to saturate the internet. Here’s 5 things I do to practice self care on social media.
I can’t even tell you how excited I was when unscribe became an option on Facebook; I haven’t seen anything quite so beautiful since the day I got a washer dryer hooked up in-house, I’m literally squealing at that memory! If you don’t know about it, or if you do and you just haven’t utilized it yet, OMG, you have to give it a go; thank me later. 😉 The best thing about it is not needing to affect relationships. There are close family and friends that I don’t follow. I love them, hug it up when I see them but I just can’t take some of the negative or dramatic stuff that they post. You can always clean up your feed by hiding posts, but if there’s someone(s) who constantly keeps turning you off, Unscribe, scrolling will be a bit more pleasant.
#confessthemess, I’m not always the best at this one myself, but when I’m mindful enough to make it a priority my day is so much more peaceful. I am always working to manage my anxiety and one of the sure fire ways to tell I’m having a tough time is I start mindlessly scrolling through my feed; falling deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. It’s not good for me and it’s definitely not good for my chances at this year’s Mother Of The Year award. I’m not paying attention to my kids, I’m not even really paying attention to the phone; I’m in a completely unflattering mombie state, not a good look. I’m too tempted when my phone is near so that’s why I like to keep it in another room or, if I’m particularly antsy I’ll just leave it upstairs. My goal is to check in with my accounts once in the morning and once in the evening. When I’m really on a roll in my zen space I don’t even allow myself to check it from my phone, laptop only; that “Mombie Scroll Trance” is much more likely to affect smartphone users so beware. Set times that work with your schedule and work towards keeping on track with it.
Beware Of The “Comment Thread”
Don’t do it! You see a popular post, maybe it draws you in because it’s controversial, maybe it’s an inspirational feel good story of a dog who rescued a litter of kittens from a house fire. I don’t care what it is, if you scroll long enough through the comments you will land on ignorance so profound that it makes you question the entire human race. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve read comments that make me deactivate my account completely. (a bit dramatic, I know. I did warn you that I was sensitive) Do yourself a favor and just don’t go there. Read the post, enjoy the picture, even share it if you feel so moved, but steer clear of the opinions that follow!
Even if you’ve unfollowed half your friends, hidden several posts and been diligent about how much time you spend online, there is still gonna be a story or picture that has gone viral and comes across your attention. You can’t avoid it but you can make the choice not to entertain it. I can’t tell you how many posts I scrolled past involving the gorilla at the zoo, but I can tell you that I did not click on a single one. I do not need to know how everyone feels about it and I most certainly do not need to see the video (It would stick with me for months). If you come across a headline and it doesn’t spark joy, move along; you’ll sleep better at night for sure.
As someone who is constantly tempted to unplug from all my accounts completely, this one is key. Giving myself a day or two when I disconnect completely helps me recharge my tolerance battery; sometimes limiting exposure just isn’t enough. Everyone has lost their phone at some point; maybe the baby threw it in the toilet or perhaps you simply lost it because baby brain is a mother. Whatever the reason, in those days you wait for your replacement, you lose your mind just a little, but then you rediscover the peace that was once not having a device connected to you at all times. You know it feels good to step away, go ahead and make it a part of your routine.
Self care is so important. Be sure to make time for yourself, take salt baths, eat the good chocolate after the kids have gone to bed. Don’t forget, though, to take care of yourself online too. There’s so much content online that can affect our stress levels and in turn affect our parenting, it’s good to be a little proactive and make online peace a priority.