I see you, my friend. You’ve been working hard to grow your social media following and spending hours and hours on Instagram. By the end of the day, you’re left feeling stressed out, overwhelmed and totally consumed by an app on your phone. (Yeah, I’ve been there too…)
One of the key ingredients to long-term success on Instagram (or your platform of choice) is to learn how to maintain a healthy relationship with social media. The good news? I’m going to show you how to do it!
1. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is the #1 most important thing you can do for yourself to maintain a healthy relationship with social media. This may look different for everyone depending on your schedule and lifestyle, but be intentional about when you chose to use social media, and when you chose to step away from social media.
Some good boundaries to set are No checking social media before 9 am, no social media at the dinner table, and no checking social media before bed. (Bonus points for sleeping with your phone in a different room!)
Tip: get an accountability buddy! Set some boundaries with a partner or friend and check in with each other to make sure you stay accountable.
2. Remember your why
There’s a great book by Simon Sinek called Start With Why (Affiliate Link) where he states “Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief – WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”
The same applies to your social media. Ask yourself WHY do you have social media? What is it that you want to accomplish with your social media channel? Write down your why and keep it somewhere you can see it every day.
When your feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the stresses of social media (or ahem, the dreaded algorithm) always come back to your why. It will keep you grounded and give you the motivation to remember why you started in the first place.
Tip: Use a post-it to write down your why and stick it on your computer, or set a reminder on your phone each day to share your why.
3. Turn off notifications
I love a good quick win, and this is one that you can DO. RIGHT. NOW. Seriously, pick up your phone, head to settings->Instagram->and turn notifications off!
Let’s get real for a second here, do you really need to have notifications going off anyway? Notifications accomplish one thing: they pull you out of the present moment and tempt you to open the app. Not only is turning notifications off totally freeing, but It will also help increase your productivity and presence in your daily life.
Tip: pause reading this article and turn your notifications off right now. I promise it’s worth it!
4. Stop Comparing
When you’re scrolling through someone’s perfectly curated Instagram feed remember, it’s a highlight reel of their life and is NOT real life.
People tend to share their best moments on social media, but you never know what someone is going through behind closed doors. Always be mindful and remember that social media doesn’t generally give you the whole picture.
Tip: Try one of these mantras when you feel you are getting stuck in the comparison trap
- “If I’m going to compare, I’ll compare who I am today with who I was in the past”
- “A flower doesn’t think to compete with the flower next to it, it just blooms”
- “I am not my thoughts”
5. Remove triggers
So you’ve done your very best to not compare yourself to others (kudos to you!), but there are just some accounts that no matter what you do, leave you feeling…not so great. Well, my friend, it’s time for a little social media spring cleaning!
It’s okay to let go of what no longer serves you in life, and the same goes for your social media. If there are some people or accounts that for whatever reason just make you feel like–not so fabulous, HIT THAT UNFRIEND BUTTON. No one will take it personally (they probably won’t even notice) and why would you want to spend your day looking at content that doesn’t make you feel good anyway?
Tip: before you hit that follow button ask yourself: does this content inspire me? How do I feel when I look at this content?
6. Don’t add fuel to the fire
Let’s face it. Social media is filled with trolls. (You know, those people who just seem to wanna start problems…) It’s a reality we all have to face. Don’t get me wrong, social media is filled with tons of amazing, nice, friendly and kind-hearted people.
But every so often you can get an annoying, negative, mean comment or someone who is just looking to debate. (note: If you receive a hateful or racist comment or message, remember to ALWAYS report it to Instagram. These people can be blocked or removed and online bullying should never be tolerated.)
Always ignore these “annoying” comments and don’t add fuel to the fire. These people tend to be looking for an argument and you’ll be giving them what they want by responding.
Tip: someone really bothering or annoying you? Hit that block button. #byefelicia.
7. Take breaks
I saved the best for last! 😉 Take intentional breaks from social media. This is probably the most important thing you can do to maintain a healthy relationship with social media, and a healthy relationship with yourself.
Taking breaks will not only give you the freedom and time to spend on other parts of your life, but it will also allow you to enjoy the time you spend on social media more. Whether you take a full week off, weekends off, or a day off, find what works for you and schedule these breaks into your calendar. During these breaks get back to “real life” activities you love doing whether it’s hiking, spending time with family or just taking a nap.
Instantly save hours of content creation by planning ahead:
Tip: feeling tempted? Delete the app from your phone *gasp* I know, I know. Don’t worry, you can redownload it when you break is over.
Open your Instagram account right now and turn off your notifications and unfollow any triggering accounts. Then go ahead and grab a notebook & pen and write down the boundaries you will set for yourself with social media.