I can’t believe today is the last day of March. This month has been a whirlwind of emotions and self-discovery; it is the first time in a long time that I can remember feeling comfortable in my own skin.
And I owe it all to my mindfulness challenge.
What started as a mission to learn how to be more present, ended up opening up a whole new perspective on life.
As I head into April with a hop in my step, I am excited to let go of the past and move forward with a fresh outlook and positive energy. However, there are a few things that I will carry with me:
Unplugging more often
The funny part about doing this challenge was realizing how much time in my day was spent behind screens. In fact, I have become so aware that I had a hard time even getting myself to sit down and write this piece. So many minutes (even hours) of my daily routine were based around scrolling passively through social media content. Whether it was skimming the day’s dramatic news headlines on Facebook or browsing through image after image on Instagram, I was becoming so disconnected from my present life. Emily’s post last week about constant comparison really resonated with how all of this social media exposure really made me feel: like shit.
We live in a time where people are more connected to each other than ever before. This can be a really positive thing (i.e. you can easily follow what is going on in people’s lives and share updates/pictures of what is going on in yours) but it can also be an incredibly negative thing. When we spend more of our day focusing on what other people are doing in their life, we lose sight of our own reality. We stop appreciating what we have or how beautiful our lives can be. We begin to live only for the image.
Going forward, I am going to use social media more sparingly. One of the main changes that I have made is that I have set timers for both Facebook and Instagram to warn me once I’ve hit a certain amount of time on there in a single day. Even if I choose to go over what has been allotted, I will at least be much more aware of how much time I am spending on social media day-to-day.
Because I have limited time, I have also gone through and removed anything from my feed that doesn’t add value to my life. This included unfollowing almost all of the “celebrities” on Instagram as well as the more sensationalist media outlets on Facebook. By going “back to basics” with my social media use, I can still enjoy everything that it has to offer while also allowing it to bring value back to my life, instead of anxiety.
Speaking of social media… this past month I discovered that a huge reason why I felt the need to constantly scroll through content was the underlying guilt that I felt to “like” certain people’s posts. I did not want my friends to think that I hadn’t seen their latest image or wasn’t excited about their recent update.
How ridiculous does that sound when you say it out loud?
The more I thought about this rationale, the more I realized how absolutely nuts it was. What happened to actually calling somebody on the phone and asking them to get together for coffee so you can catch up on life? It’s as if the more “connected” that we seem, the more disconnected we actually are.
When I tried to break down why I felt guilty for unplugging for a bit, I started to see that so much that I have done in my life has been to please other people. It is no wonder that I end up feeling anxious so often.
Going forward, I am going to focus on being a little bit more selfish (and NOT feeling guilty about it). I will work to create the boundaries that are right for my life and no one else’s and that is okay. In order to do this though, I need to move forward with a clean slate and accept that YES I made some decisions in life that maybe weren’t right for me and YES those decisions have ended up leading me to feel incredibly depressed at points. But you know what? The past is in the past and it is time to move forward.
It is time to forgive the past and focus on creating the future.
Believing in my dreams
Last week I started reading Jen Sincero’s bestseller “You Are A Badass” and WOAH… talk about a game changer. I don’t think I have ever connected so deeply with another person’s words until I started reading this book. The timing of it almost seemed to good to be true, as I was just coming off this month of doing a deep-dive into myself. It took my perspective on life to the next level and really helped me to finally acknowledge how awesome and exciting my life is IN THIS MOMENT.
You see, I have the ability to change my life.
Right now (as I am writing this) I am taking a small step towards building my dream life. I have found something that I am passionate about and I am following my gut to see where it takes me. It is going to be hard and it is going to take time but if this is my dream it is up to me to make it happen.
“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.”
Here’s to following your dreams, no matter what they are.
Sending the highest energy to you all.