Social media can be such a conflicting space; it can bring us so much joy and connection but at the same time make us feel isolated and less valuable than we truly are.
I have put together some of my thoughts on preventing it from harming your self-esteem and confidence and being a happier place when you do use it.
One of the ways I love to use social media in a positive way is to motivate myself. However, it’s essential that you don’t let this motivation turn into you setting ridiculous expectations for yourself. If you follow healthy living accounts and it means that on the days you may not be motivated to exercise, scrolling through and finding a motivational quote or a workout idea gets you inspired to move your body, then social media is a great tool for you. Healthy inspirational accounts can be awesome if they motivate you to move regularly, and have a healthy balanced life and diet. It gets dangerous when you start working out to solely look like an image you see online, instead of exercising for your health. Setting goals to look like images of people you see online (that may actually be edited) can be really dangerous for your self-confidence. Remember, it is impossible to achieve a photoshopped body and we are all made up of different genes that play a huge role in what our bodies look like. Work out to be the best version of YOU; no one else. We are all unique and that is what makes us special. Try focusing on the non-physical side effects of living a healthier lifestyle, and any physical changes as a byproduct but not your main focus. This was a journey for me and I understand it can be much easier said than done but I hope that is something we can help you with while you are a part of our KIC community.
Another great thing I love about social media is all the beautiful images of travel and food which I sometimes draw on for inspiration. While I do get inspiration from social media imagery, I do not set life goals based on what I see. This is an important one.
The most important thing to remember about social media is that people only share the best parts of their lives. And trust me, for most accounts this only makes up a mere 5% of their actual life. This is why it is impossible to create life goals for 100% of your life around someone’s 5%. So, while following an account for fashion and health inspiration can be useful, don’t let it make you feel down about why your life isn’t solely full of beautiful hotel rooms, designer clothing, and expensive restaurants – because their lives aren’t either.
Lastly, social media can be fab for healthy recipes ideas, however never let it make you feel like you have to deprive yourself. If your whole Instagram feed is full of calories-counting recipe accounts, then it may be a good idea to unfollow them if this causes you to feel any negative feelings. Try to get your inspiration from accounts that promote healthy, nourishing foods and focus on balance instead of those that promote deprivation and dieting.
Tips for getting the best out of social media
1. Follow inspiring, healthy accounts that promote a healthy balanced lifestyle.
2. Unfollow any accounts that make you feel insecure about yourself.
There are enough social pressures on young women today, the less of this you have the better for your mental health.
3. Remember you are in control of who you follow and don’t follow.
If your feed is full of images that negatively affect your self-esteem; take control and make a change.
4. Remember that there is a real world out there!
Don’t let social media become your life. Learn to step away from it and don’t be on it 24/7.
Enjoy your family, your friends and try to have a social media free hour a day (or a day of the week).
I hope this helps everyone out there declutter their Instagram feeds to make it a positive space.
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