Depression is something I have dealt with on and off my whole life. There are days and months when it doesn’t impact me at all then there will be days where I feel like I am completely losing myself. I find myself in a funk, not wanting to do anything, binge watching tv, binge eating or scrolling social media…because these things will make it all better, right? 😉
Just about four weeks ago I found myself in one of these funks one evening and thank you to my recent therapy with BetterHelp (check it out and get a week of therapy free using this link!), I was able to gain more control of my situation then I have in the past. I checked myself and asked what’s really going on here? Your life is good. You’re living at the beach for the summer. You have a beautiful 16 month old, a very loving, supportive husband, a growing business, you’re healthy, etc etc.
Ricky (my husband) and Sienna (my daughter) had gone to bed for the night, so I had some time alone to really think and reflect. I realized I tend to forget how good life really is because I am too busy scrolling and comparing myself to others. Other moms, other nutrition and fitness coaches, other business owners. Constantly beating myself up because I have led myself to believe I am not doing enough and should be doing more like all these social media friends of mine are. Yet, when I give myself credit and look at all I do, day in and day out between being a mom, wife, sister, friend, business owner…I am doing pretty damn good!! Yes, it’s 100% ok to toot your own horn!
That night as I sat and pondered about how I can change my feelings, take control of the situation and avoid these funks going forward (or at least minimize them), I had a little a-ha moment. You know how they say social media is a highlight reel for everyone’s life? Well it’s very true. Look at my social media pages…not much negativity there. (Side note: My facebook is hacked currently, so you won’t be able to find me there right now 🙁 You can still access my health and wellness community here though!) I may share from time to time when it’s been a rough day as a mom, but overall my followers are only seeing all the GOOD stuff. They certainly don’t see pictures of me suffering from depression and anxiety.
So it was then that I decided it was time for a social media detox. It was time to really focus on me, my life, my family and all the greatness we have. It was time to stop focusing on what we don’t have or what I may wish we have…because I surely wasn’t going to get it from what feels like endless scrolling. I hid my Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and snapchat account apps on my phone and that was the last night I scrolled. I didn’t set a timeline for the detox. I simply just said, let’s see how this goes.
Fast forward, four weeks later and I am still social media free! Apparently, the universe is also telling me to stay off given the recent hack and disabling of my facebook account 😉 I have no intention to stay off forever, but this short-term detox feels REALLY GOOD!
Alright so now you know the background of my social media detox, let’s get to the good stuff!
Reasons to do a Social Media Detox
- Feel it has taken over your life (go check your time spent on apps, by opening settings in your iPhone, select Screen Time, select See All Activity, scroll down to Categories and review the time for each social media app – sorry Android users, I don’t have the steps for you, but I imagine it’s similar)
- Checking your social media feeds first thing in the morning
- You have your notifications turned on and check the apps every time you get one
- Find yourself always reaching for your phone
- You’re on your phone constantly when spending time with other people
- You’re easily distracted and feeling less focused throughout the day
- Your mental health is suffering
What a Social Media Detox has done for me!
- Given me back A LOT of time that I have used more productively: spend more time with my family, more time outside in nature, exercise more, prepare more meals (eating out and take out has significantly minimized), more focus on my business and clients
- Mental Clarity: With less mental clutter from my social media feeds, I have been able to focus better and get really clear on my goals (both personally and professionally). Heck, I even started a blog…something I’ve always wanted to do!
- Better Sleep: prior to my detox, I spent most of my nights before falling asleep, hanging on social media. Now that I don’t I have greatly minimize the blue light exposure prior to bed and therefore, getting much better quality sleep! Did you know blue light suppresses melatonin? And that’s not what you want when you’re trying to sleep!
- Better Start to my Day: Instead of opening my phone first thing in the morning, I take time to get outside, take some deep breaths, drink water and read. What a difference this makes for how my days go!
- Stress and anxiety have decreased: Remember that mental clutter I mentioned above? Well with much less of it, I feel less stressed, anxiety comes on less often and I haven’t experienced a “funk” or any depressive moments since beginning the detox. What an amazing feeling!
- Confidence Boost: While I am already a pretty positive person, I feel even more optimistic and confident that I am capable of achieving my goals. Now that I am not spending time comparing myself to what others are doing, I am spending more time focusing on all I have accomplished and taking action every day to continue to progress personally and professionally.
This is just a small list of what a social media detox can do for you! As humans we all are so unique so I imagine you will reap some (if not all) of the above benefits and more!
Lastly, if you’re unsure of HOW to do a detox, just follow these simple steps…
- Tell your support system. I honestly think I told my husband and sisters. I did have a few friends reach out worried about me because I went dark, but once I explained the WHY they understood and were completely supportive.
- Delete (or hide) the apps on your phone. Hiding has worked for me, but you may want to delete them if you think you’ll have the urge to easily pull them back up. If you want to take it a step further there are apps out there that will block social media websites from your phone (Freedom or Cold Turkey).
- Go for it! You can pick a timeframe or you can decide you will take it a day at a time. This will be different for everyone. Do what feels best and works for you!
Going to give it a try? Have questions? Currently detoxing and feeling the urge to stop? Finished the detox and want to share how it went? Drop a comment below or shoot me an email. I would love to help you also experience a successful social media detox!
Why a Social Media Detox is Life Changing
Hi, I'm Brittany, Owner and Coach at The Mindful Body Balance! I went to school for Business, but later realized my passion was with nutrition and fitness, and helping other busy humans like myself create a healthy lifestyle that is manageable & sustainable!