As of late, I’ve been doing my best to be aware of the things I put my time, focus and energy towards. That meant looking at my priorities and assessing if these habits are beneficial to me. As a result, I’ve drawn back from people and became more introverted, I stopped blogging and stopped marketing my small business. The most significant change that’s occurred during this time was taking time offline and stepping away from social media. For a quite a while, I’ve gone back and forth with myself trying to figure out if there were any perks to being active on Instagram and Twitter. Are these platforms helping me feel whole or empty? Am I building relationships with others? Is it supporting or hindering my mental health and what would life look like without social media? On one end of the spectrum, social media is great for keeping up with the outward happenings of friends and family’s day to day lives. The vacation trips, outdoor outings, updates with kids, spouses and among other things. It’s a way to stay current with worldwide events such as protests, politics, the latest trending memes, celebrity gossip and more. But outside of that, the amount of energy that goes into countless hours of scrolling all for the sake of “keeping up” starts to take a toll.
Filling my head with highlight reels and the constant stream of information leaves me feeling burnt out and in a worst state of mind than when I logged on. In recognizing all of this, I felt it best to step back from Instagram and Twitter and refocus my energy on things that were far more fruitful for me. I started being selfish with my time and reevaluated my priorities while creating boundaries. The amount of time spent trying to keep up with so much whether it’s other people’s lives or world events was time not spent tending to things in my forefront such as my health both mentally and physically. By noticing how much energy was not been prioritized “inward” I’ve taken this opportunity to turn the lens towards self-building and personal gratification. This has included spending time practicing my skillset and using tools within my grasp to my advantage. It’s involved spending quality time with my husband and working on our communication skills, learning how to be vulnerable, and understanding this new normal called Marriage. Best of all, the biggest reward has been finding the ability to prioritize taking care of myself and my own personal needs.
When I started minding my energy and being attentive to what I focus on, I saw areas in my life slowly shifting and improving. My health and fitness are now a top priority since I’m realizing that I’m getting older. I’ve strengthened my walk with God and poured more time into understanding my faith and how it relates to the way I live my life. And I’m looking for ways to tend to my business so it helps others in a meaningful way without sacrificing personal values for the need for profit.
I can honestly say that the quality of my life has improved by simply cutting out the noise and turning inward but It hasn’t been an easy process. There are moments of loneliness that begins to settle in because I’m so removed from the world and from others. I view times like these as an opportunity to reach out to friends or family who are always there as a support system and recognize that I may feel alone but I’m never truly alone. There is always someone around to build a bond or connection with and if there isn’t, I can turn to God, listen and ask for guidance.
Since stepping back from social media, I’ve halted the wheel of comparison and learned how to validate myself outside of algorithms, clout chasing and followers. I’ve learned to question my motives behind everything I’m doing so I’m not just another person seeking attention but learn to make connections with others through shared interests. I no longer have that lingering feeling of trying to prove myself hovering over my head. I’m free from status updates and the chore of creating perfect flat lays coupled with perfectly crafted captions. I’m free from over evaluating and being overly critical of myself. I’m free from trying to present an online persona that is “likable” in hopes of online social legitimacy.
The greatest joy of all is that I’m free to focus my energy on what needs the most attention: MYSELF.
Yes, I will acknowledge how selfish or self-centered this may sound but sometimes it’s better to tend to yourself free from the noise of the world versus trying to govern yourself to be an unwilling participant when the benefits aren’t stacking up. Though my focus has turned inward, I am still there for the needs of others and up to date with what’s happening around the world. I don’t have the sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) that one would feel when so removed. I feel like life was telling me to shift my focus to a higher calling, stop trying to please everyone, and learn to listen to myself for a change. As I start to slowly show more of an online presence first and foremost through regular blogging, my goal is to keep these same principals I’ve instilled during my time away.
Focus on the here and now.
Give yourself time and space to grow.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.
Being alone doesn’t mean you are lonely.
And most importantly…
Mind your energy and always prioritize your needs.