Social Media. I absolutely love the endless potential and inspiration provided by social media– the ability to scroll through a feed and see images of beautiful styling, informative posts on any topic you find value in, and inspirational quotes reminding you that you are enough. Instagram, especially, has allowed a whole new genre of creative to take focus and find a creative outlet that can also put food on the table. If you’re someone who has a flair for colour palettes, a keen eye for detail, and a love for pleasing aesthetic, Instagram has provided endless creative opportunities. For me, especially, the beauty found on Instagram has fueled my creativity and allowed me to express and share my outlet with those around me– from photo styling to my blog.
The downside of social media is how addictive it can be. How we flawlessly reach for our phones every morning to turn off our alarm, then swipe on the notifications and swim through a sea of curated perfection. Half an hour later you realize you’ve snoozed your alarm 4 times and if you don’t get up now you’ll be late for work. Fast forward through double-tapping lunch breaks and postponed bedtimes because of mindless scrolling and soon you realize perhaps it’s time for a change.
This is where I found myself this summer.
Especially since my work requires social media, I found it was time to detox myself of the addiction and limit my use to work and set standards of ‘play’.
Detoxing has been a beautiful journey and I’d love for you to join me… Especially if you want to create new growth habits during times when you would previously be scrolling scrolling scrolling.
It’s been more than simply a social media detox, It’s become mindset renewal, a priority shift, and a spiritual awakening. Here is my social media detox routine….
FIRST, I don’t think I even need to mention it, but seriously, TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS.
If you need notifications on for work, at least turn your phone to night mode until you’re at work so you aren’t tempted to check.
1 – Turn your alarm off and PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY.
When your alarm goes off in the morning, it can be a habit to just open it up, check the weather, check Instagram, check facebook, check your email, all before you even take a minute to think about what you are doing.
Turn your alarm off (or hit snooze, if you fall back asleep easy) and then put it back on your bedside table, dresser, floor, etc. or tuck it under your pillow.
2 – Pray.
I’ve replaced my usual groggy wake-up time where I would scroll through Instagram with prayer. That’s right, friends, prayer. It’s a funny thing, when you first wake up in the morning, before you have time to think about anything, and when you’re not tainted by the social media world, your prayers tend to just be words of gratitude for the day ahead, for the night of sleep, for your home, for your ability to walk and talk, for your job, for your friends and family. There are moments I am praying and I’m literally just saying ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ over and over again.
3 – Read your Devotion
People would ALWAYS talk about having this magical time to spend with God each morning that is beautiful and meaningful and I never got it. I always felt like I didn’t have time. Well, I do now. After praying I grab my phone and open my devotion app. I read the devotion for the day and then put my phone back down. I reflect, pray some more, think, etc.
4 – Pick a Song!
That’s right, friends! This has been the biggest game-changer for my social media detox (or just negative thought detox). I pick a song, generally a worship song, to be my ‘song of the day’. This the song that I sing to myself consistently throughout the day when I feel the social media itch or any sort of thought pattern that Isn’t positive in my life. I sing it in the shower, and when I get ready for the day I play it on repeat on apple music, I sing it when I start thinking too far into the future so stress doesn’t creep in, I sing it after yoga when I’m feeling super zen. It’s my go-to! I pick a worship song because it gets me focused on what matters and aligns with my values. It keeps me focused on the big picture, and it promotes an attitude of gratitude.
5 – Books & Breakfast
Breakfast was always time to just scroll through my phone. All I’m doing is eating. It’s generally a pretty generic breakfast and Instagram made the morning more entertaining. Instead, I read a book. I get my meal ready, grab a book, and read a few pages. Currently, I’m reading through the Harry Potter series, and setting aside this breakfast time to read ensures I’m getting in something that makes my brain work, gets creativity flowing, and is enjoyable. Plus, it can be hard to sneak in time to read. This way it’s intentional.
These first 5 steps keep my first 1-2 hours of the day (depending if I’m doing yoga, too!) social media free and it has greatly impacted my entire day. While social media can be awesome, it can also be destructive in our self-thought if we haven’t set ourselves up properly, really rooting ourselves to be confident women in Christ and Christ alone.
6 – Set It and Forget It.
If there’s anything really important you need to do on your phone, set a reminder. Ideally, your phone shouldn’t be within arms distance so you’re not tempted, but if your volume is on, you’ll hear a text, a call, or a reminder go off.
7 – Set your limits.
Limit yourself to time on Social Media. Set an alarm to limit your time, or set a specific time of day. Lately, I use my ‘end of the work day’ time to check out social media and then transition into my evening. Often at night is when I find myself checking my phone often and being lured into an endless stream of Instagram feeds. Be intentional with your time; schedule things during the evening to remove the temptation.
Lately, I’ve been setting time aside to hang out with friends! I find social media can give us the illusion of these relationships and bonds we have with these other people online, and while they can blossom into real-life friendships, real-life friendships with folks you’ve already invested in are also worthy of your time and attention. We’ve used social media to make us feel like we are connected to people, but if you think about who you actually see in person and who is there when you need and who you feel a strong sense of community with, it should be people in real-life. Invest in those people. Show them they matter.
8 – Don’t be hard on yourself.
Detoxing from social media can be hard. As a society in general, we’ve been fed the idea that our value comes from ‘likes’ and you need to have an online presence to be successful. In a world that tells you to always be on social media, it can be hard to step back. If you find yourself tapping into your Insta account out of habit, just click out, put your phone away, and sing your song.
My life has changed dramatically doing this. I’ve become more in tune with the holy spirit, I’m kinder, I’m more aware of the feelings of those around me, and I’ve become more intentional with my time in positive ways that are noticeable to me. I sleep better, am more creative, and find myself stepping back more and more to take in the beauty and appreciate life surrounding me.
Give yourself a challenge– try these steps for even just one week to see how it changes things. I can almost guarantee that in one week you’ll notice the positive impact. Then try it for another, then another after that. Before long, you’ll be so grateful for social media for the inspiration, and grateful for life while finding a more harmonious balance of the two.