I have had an Instagram account since before it became the biggest and best trend. I have gone through all the changes this social media platform has taken on (and there have been many). As Instagram has grown, I’ve loved connecting with others across the world about health, nutrition, and all the journeys in between.
But something changed after I had my first daughter.
I was a new mother seeking comfort and connection. My husband worked long shifts away from home and I was one of the only stay-at-home mamas within my group of friends and family. Feeling isolated, I turned to social media to find companionship, but as the months went by, the loneliness remained. I believe this is where I lost control of my social media habits. Unfortunately, at the time I was too far dependent to even notice how it was influencing me.
Fast forward to postpartum round 2: and shit got real. With two kids I was busier than I could handle; juggling two humans who both needed me in different ways and always at the same time. Finally, when I’d find a moment of peace I’d log onto Instagram, which had previously given me connections and positive inspiration, only to feel more pressure and inadequacy than ever. As a result, the past couple of months have left me unmotivated to scroll and/or share.
I realized that something really needed to change if I wanted to cut out this negativity and the impact it was having on me. And please, hear me when I say that I realize the negativity I’m absorbing is on me. We all have the power to control what we see and also the power to choose how we react to it.
I’ll admit, I did consider quitting Instagram all together, until I realized how responsible I was for the ways I was letting it influence me. Instead of running away from it all, I decided to challenge myself to make changes and handle my feelings in a better and more therapeutic way. I decided to spend less time online, follow or unfollow people based on how they made me feel, and try to be more authentic about myself as well.
While these efforts of mine are still in the early stages, they’ve already made a world of difference for me. Many things have shifted and in ways I didn’t even consider when taking on these goals. My biggest focus was cutting down on the time spent online. I now limit my Instagram usage and intend to be productive when I am using it as opposed to falling into the scrolling zombie mode. I also cleaned up who I was following and quit using the pretty filters in my stories to help resolve my body image issues regarding my skin.
I am so happy to have returned to a place of motivation and inspiration. I am thankful that I can now recognize the warning signs. I now know when it is time to take a step back and re-evaluate where my actions are differing from my intentions. If you haven’t yet tuned into your social media habits and how they could be influencing you as a whole, I highly suggest you do. It is an absolutely restorative experience.
Related reads: Working on Your Digital Addiction: Put the Breaks on Your Constant Desire to Stay Plugged In, Change Your Mindset and Practice Self-Compassion in 3 Easy Steps, and Upgrade Your Soul Journey with Natalie Miles.
CHANTAL URBINA is a registered Massage Therapist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. She is passionate about living a life full of health, love, and happiness and that all three start with our diet. “Nature’s healing properties will never cease to amaze me and it inspires me day after day to create and share recipes made with only real whole foods.”