I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who mindlessly scrolls through social media.
It’s easy after a long day, my brain just wants to shut off, I crave low stimulation and rest. Somehow my phone finds its way into my hands and before long more time than I’d like to admit has passed. I spend too much time looking at non important things and life updates of people I barely know. I usually end up putting my phone down in a bad head space, no more rested than when I first picked it up.
The bad head space comes from seeing everyone’s best life moments highlighted online. In my tired states I get dragged into the comparison game. There’s a movement to be more vulnerable on social media, which is great, but in reality most of the vulnerable moments are still glamourized. It’s not hard to get caught up in wishing my life looked more like so and so’s life, wishing I had thought of that creative idea so and so just shared, or wondering why so and so never seems to have to work and is jetting all over the world on amazing adventures.
Social media is not all bad, it connects us to a world of people we may otherwise not be able to keep in touch with, but the more I interact with social media the more I think to myself there has got to be a better way.
When I think back on my time spent at the cabin this summer, I believe one of the reasons it was such a restful experience is because I was forced to disconnect. I had limited online and social media exposure, and spent little time staring at screens. The hours I found myself redeeming were spent towards moving my body, expanding my mind, and being creative.
It’s not possible for me to completely disconnect all the time. The reality is I use social media for a lot of reasons, some are connected to my job, my volunteer commitments, etc.
But the mindless scrolling I can definitely do without.
This November, rest is one of the things I want to practice more of; being mindful of what steals the time I could be spending resting is important. Social media for me is one of those time thieves.
So in order to redeem for rest the hours I spend on social media, here is what I will be trying to do:
Before going on social media I will create before I consume.
Creative things (music, art, writing) are restful for me. They remind me that I have something good and unique to contribute. By creating before I consume I fill my cup so I’m in a better head space when I approach social media.
Creating before I consume is what makes the most sense to me, but for you it could be moving before you consume, helping others before you consume. Try to think of something that brings you joy and rest, and before plugging in to social media do that thing.
I am also going to be more mindful of how I interact with social media. I want to eliminate the drain of scrolling and actually engage with the people and things I see. If I don’t have the energy to engage, that’s probably a sign that I need to find another way to rest, and come back to social media when I do have the energy to interact how I want to.
Social media is just one thing I’ve identified that interferes with my rest. Everyone has their own thing that gets in the way. If you are hoping to practice rest this season, a good first step is to identify the things that stop you from this practice. It’s hard work, but slowly finding ways to take back your time and putting that time towards rest is rewarding.
Make November not so normal by exploring all the benefits time spent in rest can bring you.
P.S. For more posts on rest, check out the monthly challenge from August, where I wrote about the importance of rest and how to identify activities that are restful for you!