I’ve come to realise that the overuse of social media creates unnecessary stress and tension in our bodies. Take a moment to consider how your body responds after you pick up your phone; the stomach clenches and your breath becomes shorter. You start to mechanically scroll through your feed, becoming completely engrossed in the latest posts, comments and likes.
A little while ago, I found myself doing just this. During my rest time, I’d mindlessly scroll through social media. This happened consistently over the course of a few days. What started out as a ‘quick browse’ became more frequent. Soon enough, I was checking my social media channels at regular intervals. Not only is this incredibly unproductive, but it can become downright addictive.
Estimates show that around 40 per cent of the world’s population uses social media for around two hours each day. Experts are now investigating the effect this has on our mental health and wellbeing. In my experience, I’ve found that overusing social media puts me into a distracted, reactive headspace.
Creating healthy boundaries
In many ways, I appreciate social media because it has been a powerful asset in helping me build the JSHealth brand and in getting to know the community, who are incredibly important to me. That said, setting healthy boundaries is essential for creating a balanced lifestyle. Every day, I make a commitment to switch off my social media by 6pm. Instead, I enter the JSHealth stress-free zone and focus on being present by reading a book, going for a walk or listening to an inspiring podcast.
Recently, I’ve taken this one step further. I check my Instagram and Facebook after I’ve performed my morning routine and then I delete both apps around midday. I download the apps again in the late afternoon, check the latest updates, reply to comments, post stories and then delete the apps again. Of course, there are periods of time when I have to log back in to put something up for work. But for the most part, I only check social media twice a day.
The result has been life-changing. I’ve noticed that I’m a lot more present, I have more clarity of thought during my working hours and I don’t have the anxious urgency to respond or engage with social media throughout the day.
Because of the instantaneous nature of social media, it’s easy to feel like you need to reply and post immediately. With more mindfulness and awareness, you can consciously choose when you want to be available and when you need some time out.
If you’ve been struggling with setting social media boundaries, I encourage you to try checking your socials twice a day and deleting the apps from your phone when you’re done. You’ll notice how this fosters a more calm, mindful approach to the day and allows you the space to prioritise what truly matters to you.
I offer plenty more mindfulness and lifestyle tips in my 8-week Program.