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Social media has become ingrained in our everyday lives. It’s a powerful tool that enables us to connect with friends and family, voice our opinions, expand our knowledge, and network with individuals around the world.
While it’s true that social media plays an integral role in keeping us connected with society, too much of it can have a negative impact on your body image, self-esteem, and overall well-being.
Fortunately, there are ways to combat the adverse physical and mental effects linked to excessive social media use. Here are a few ways to love yourself in the digital age:
Prioritize Your Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Well-Being
Remembering to regularly practice self-love is hard enough, and adding social media to the mix can further inhibit your ability to see yourself for who you truly are. That is, only if you let it.
Loving yourself involves setting aside time to care for your mind, body, and spirit, both on and offline. When you incorporate self-love into your day-to-day routine, you can create a positive self-image and feel comfortable in your own skin, without needing to rely on others for validation.
Instead of focusing on the number of likes, comments, and retweets you receive, try one of these more productive ways to boost your confidence:
Tidy Up Your Newsfeed
Follow body-positive accounts that motivate and inspire you to be the best version of yourself. Conversely, unfollow any accounts that encourage self-comparison or make you feel discouraged or insecure.
Take More Selfies
Research shows that taking selfies can lead to higher self-esteem, so grab your phone and smile for the camera. Then, share your selfies with your network, or keep them to yourself to look back on and admire.
List What You Love About Yourself
Take time to jot down a list of all the things you love about yourself, such as your talents, accomplishments, or physical attributes. Keep your list to refer back to on the days when you need a self-esteem boost.
Nourish Your Body
Provide your body with care and attention, whether it be through eating healthily (which does not mean dieting), exercising in a way you enjoy, sleeping, or meditating. A healthier body makes for a happier you, which is why you should tend to your physical needs. Taking a multivitamin rich in biotin will help keep your hair and nails strong and can even improve your skin over time. Keeping up on your daily wellness routine will ensure you always look and feel your best.
We often get so caught up in the online world that we forget what it means to truly live our lives. Going on a digital detox can be difficult, especially in a society that places such a high value on social media, but taking a hiatus may help you discover new ways to feel validated and worthy. You’ll find that, once you put your device down, you’ll also sleep better at night and have more time to do things that genuinely make you happy.
Limiting screen time allows you to separate from your virtual identity, relieve yourself of social pressures, and evaluate your social media habits from a new perspective. To begin shifting your focus from social media to yourself, try the following tips:
Start Small and Build Up
You might feel uneasy in the first few hours of a detox, and if you’re someone who is dependent on your device, taking a break may seem near impossible. However, you don’t need to jump into it immediately. An effective way to ease into a detox is by first limiting your screentime during set hours of the day and then gradually work your way up to full days or even weeks.
Set Personal Ground Rules
Separating yourself from social media could entail a variety of things. Plan out your detox by establishing which social media platforms you want to avoid and for how long. Then, share your plan with friends and family so they can help hold you accountable.
Leave Your Devices At Home
A great way to ensure you stay off social media altogether is by leaving your devices at home. By doing so, you’ll eliminate distractions, give your full attention to the present moment, and connect with others on a more personal level.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Think about the last time you scrolled through your Instagram feed. Did you feel envious? Did you feel inspired? Self-comparison is inevitable— especially when it appears as though everyone else is living a picture-perfect life.
However, it’s important to remember that social media is a highlight reel where people showcase themselves in the best possible light. It’s not an accurate representation of reality, but rather a collection of the most idealized aspects of our lives. Though it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap on social media, holding yourself to unrealistic standards can be debilitating to your self-esteem and sense of worth.
Instead of sizing yourself up against those you see online, take time to recognize and embrace your own worth by implementing the following techniques:
Practice Positive Self-Talk
Give yourself support and affirmation by repeating positive and encouraging messages, such as “I am capable of achieving anything I set my mind to” and “with grit and determination, I can achieve my goals.” Keep in mind that, rather than being deceptive, positive self-talk is a way to acknowledge and celebrate your abilities, strengths, and worth.
Dismiss Negative Thoughts
Look inward to identify the root cause of your negative thoughts, and work toward transforming those thoughts into a more positive outlook. If you need help combating negative thinking, refer to a self-help book for guidance. Also, keep in mind that what you see online does not make you any less worthy or important. Remember: You, and only you, define your self-worth.
Loving yourself in the age of social media can be difficult, as it requires you to make a conscious effort to focus on loving yourself and filtering out the negative noise online. However, with the right mindset and drive, you can utilize social media to boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Try online counseling
Counselors can help you create a healthy relationship with social media by understanding the uses of the platform and the perspective of the client. They can also help you be more intentional about your use of social media. Online counseling is a flexible and inexpensive way to connect with a therapist to talk about the negative effects that social media might be causing you.
As a coach, I’m here to help you achieve your goals no matter what they are — including more self-love and less comparison. Book a half hour on my calendar to see if coaching can help you. You’ll come away with at least one actionable tip to implement, and the consult is absolutely no cost!