40 Day Break From Social Media

While I was sitting in church on Ash Wednesday this year, I was challenged with a task from my pastor. "...Why not try giving up something that has become important to you for lent?" Anytime anyone challenges me to do anything, my competitive spirit kinda takes on a life of it's own. Well the first thing that came to my mind was SOCIAL MEDIA. I am embarrassed to say that before my social media break, (SMB) I would literally check my phone first thing in the morning. The only reason I'm embarrassed to say that, is because I caution a lot of my clients against having their phone by their bedside when they sleep for help with healthy sleep behavior. Suffice it to say, my social media addiction had become a bit out of control.

I mean I wasn't crazy out of line, but I was not comfortable with the amount of time I was wasting on social media. Don't get me wrong, there are tons of great things that social media has brought us, but unfortunately the pitfalls of it were something I was all too familiar with-COMPARISONS. I already have a hyperactive mind, but when it came to the constant noise that went on in my mind everyday about 'what I should be doing' or the time I spent looking at pictures of other people doing amazing things, it really clouded my thoughts. The negative thinking and self doubt sometimes completely overwhelmed my mind, to the point where I would lose my personal emotional balance some days. In those times my positive mental coping skills were in high demand, on defense standing up to the lie that I often told myself. It can be so easy to believe the lie that, I'm not good enough. So when my pastor proposed the challenge on Ash Wednesday, I accepted.

Wow! The first few days were really tough. I found myself struggling just to see how people responded to my post about taking a SMB...it was kinda nuts. Funny thing though, after a few days I got used to it. I noticed that I started to have more access to my creative brain and I got really inspired about other aspects of my life and my business. I also became aware how my mental focus completely transferred from constant noise to quiet. It was amazing. I couldn't believe how focused and peaceful my mind was and how it changed the way I thought of myself. I noticed I was more present in moments and especially with my husband and friends. Instead ofconstantly thinking about what I could post next or 'why not many people liked my last picture' or whatever...I was just present in that moment. It was such a blessing to have some space from that part of our world and to have my mind back.

So I'm back on now, Easter is over. It's kinda weird coming back on, but I noticed something yesterday. Right after church I got a little obsessed again with other peoples posts for a little while until I reminded myself, it's just not real. We never truly know what someone else is going through or the back story about what is really happening in someone's world. It is hard enough just to focus on us. I know the temptation will always be there, but I encourage you to maybe give it a try. I am so glad I did and I will again. It gave me a lot of clarity on myself and on how attached I get to the lie that we tell ourselves. Life is so full of beautiful and wonderful things. If we spend so much time listening to the NOISE and thinking about what we are NOT; we can't really hear the QUIET and focus on what is happening for us RIGHT NOW.

-Julie

Julie Mangus