we live in an information OVERLOAD. the ringing, the binging, the notifying, the swooping in and out of emails. it’s enough stimuli to make your head spin. on one hand it is absolutely incredible. the knowledge that is easily shared, the connections we can maintain despite distance, the convenience is unparalleled.
but how do you find a balance between healthy, mindful living and this fast paced social media phenomenon.
to be honest, i wasn’t.
this post is to share my reasons for taking 30 days off social media and (almost) blogging. it’s also to fill you in on what happened when I did, and to present a social media detox challenge for all of YOU. (if you dare..)
prior to starting Kalein It, I was fascinated with mindful living. I had just spent a total of 3 months in an intensive therapy program for woman dealing with mental illness/trauma. the therapy was based in DBT principles, or dialectical behavioral therapy, which has shown incredible success in treating complex mental health diagnoses such as PTSD and bipolar disorder. for more on DBT read here.
it was heavy. it was a little scary. but it worked to rewire the brain and develop new thought patterns that focused on mindfulness. it started as intimidating, then became really interesting, then it worked. that feeling was something i knew everyone deserved to feel, and then the idea of “kale in it” was born. it truly led me to look at meditation, yoga and a healthy diet in a new light.
it taught me that going through the motions doesn’t make you balanced. living them does.
then i wanted to share. i knew other people struggled with anxieties and fears, perhaps mental illness or a history of an eating disorder like i did. so i started my instagram and i found so much joy in the creativity it sparked. doing things you enjoy – in my case yoga, cooking, photography, and writing – helps you construct a life that feels whole. when you do activities you love with intention and enjoy the experience fully, that is being mindful.
but social media is addicting. does anyone agree? there’s some kind of instant gratification from reaching X amount of likes. i know that the couple of months prior to going through my social media detox, sharing on social media was becoming a bit of a chore rather than an opportunity to genuinely share and connect with others.
in addition to hyper focusing on my news feed, i felt myself regressing to older patterns of behavior and thinking. i was no longer practicing what i had learned and what had propelled me to start a blog in the first place.
i felt pressure to bring great flawless food photos, to portray myself as a strict vegan, to put my best foot forward everyday. that’s not balance at all. that’s self critical and unnecessary pressure rather than behavior based in self love.
heres’s a glimpse of my reality….
somedays i just eat a bland dinner of pre-packaged tofu on some rice. sometimes my green smoothie turns out slightly brown from the poor blueberry to spinach ratio. a lot of days, my yoga practice doesn’t benefit from taking flexi-bendy-perfect photos. sometimes i’m just sitting in child’s pose, which isn’t always the most impressive but can certainly be the most grounding.
i’m now going to say something that may piss some of you off….dun dun dun…
i’ve decided to be label-less in my diet. don’t panic, plant based healthy food will still be a staple both here and on IG, but i want to be honest in saying i’m not perfect. i know in my heart that a highly restrictive diet filled with “good vs. bad” comparisons doesn’t nourish me.
am i running to eat bacon every morning. hell no, gross. but the focus here is health and balance as a lifestyle.
would you like to go meatless on Monday? good for you – come check out my recipes here. effort is effort, let’s be kind to each other rather than judgmental. and if you have more pressing questions about my diet, feel free to comment and i’ll elaborate.
for those of you who are still with me after admitting i’m not the poster child for the vegan community… thanks for sticking around.
// here’s what happened when i took 30 days off social media // and what i believe will happen to YOU too.
i was present.
more present in conversations, at meals, even chilling out watching tv. i was doing one thing at a time instead of multiple. that is a huge part of being mindful, to focus your attention on one thing at a time and to do it with integrity and proper attention.
i read more.
books, articles on my phone, magazine, anything. i researched. i wanted to learn how to improve my blog, improve myself and become the healthiest and happiest version of me.
i slept more.
yup, i did actually sleep more. i didn’t stay up for those extra 10 minutes (who am i kidding, sometimes 1 hour) of social media stalking. this brings us back to the theme of- you guessed it!- being mindful, it is easy to lose track of time when scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling….
plus sleep is critical in keeping our moods stable and our body working its’ best. it’s self care to catch zzzz’s.
i was more creative.
i noticed i had more ideas for topics, recipes, and overall branding for this blog. i wrote them down. they don’t all need to be implemented today, they are brewing in brainstorm land. i also took photos just to take them, not to stress over editing, captioning or posting them. instead of looking at things as “will this be instagram worthy?” i just let my imagination do it’s thing…
i remembered why i started.
one of the most important goals i had when detoxing from social media, was to remember why i started in the first place. to regain a more genuine attitude toward the social setting, and focus less on likes and comments, and more on community. not to say that i had some massive following, i’m aware it wasn’t huge, but the issue was the fascination with gaining more rather than appreciating what had already come.
i appreciated more.
due to the increase in presence and mindfulness i felt more gratitude and appreciation for things. i love gratitude lists, make one instead of scanning everyone’s facebook drama!
ready to challenge yourself? but don’t want to go cold turkey on your instagram? i put together a 30 day challenge with daily detox goals.
if you’re having trouble remember, it’s only 30 days… you got this!
maybe journal about the experience. take the 30 days with less distraction as a chance to reflect.
i’m curious how it goes! please please let me know of your experience and good luck!