The art of self care is so much more than ‘me time’. It’s multi-faceted, it’s very personal and it doesn’t have to be extravagant. This month’s self care feature will cover ‘digital self care’ and some tips on how to implement it in your own life.
1. Your digital space is still YOUR space. How you use social media and who you allow into your space is still in your power and your control. It’s such an important part of self care. You wouldn’t allow anyone into your home - you can treat your digital space the same. You really can!
2. Number of friends, likes, followers etc.. does not represent who you are and your value as a person. Social Media is not real life. It doesn’t show the ‘real’ you - even when you make a conscious effort to be ‘real’ and write from the heart, the way people read and perceive the written word can be very different to face 2 face.
3. The value of your friendships is not based on how many times they have liked your posts. Of course it’s acceptable to expect a good friend to share something you are involved in when they can or like the odd post. But expecting them to do it all the time is on you. Not them.
4. You can be grateful for Social Media. I personally am very grateful for social media. I have made friends online and connected with some of the most amazing people during times I would have been completely isolated. When used in the right way, social and the digital space can really be a great asset in your life.
5. Unfollow anyone or any brand that makes you feel worthless. Let me make something clear here. No one owns your emotions. So, if someone posts something that you don’t like, or makes you feel shite about yourself, you still have the power of choice. YOUR choice. You can either; a) unfollow them, b) unfollow them and decide to work on why you feel that way and maybe decide to follow again when you feel like it, or c) simply leave it as it is and decide not to let the post affect you. Now of course it depends on what it is that's bothered you. If I see racist or homophobic posts filled with hate, I immediately unfollow and block. I don’t need that in my life so I make a choice to remove them and move on. If I’m going through something quite tough and am working through it (like grief or something similar), I can decided to unfollow anything that brings it up until I’m in a better space myself. And then are things posted that I don’t agree with, or think like, but I choose to let them be. It's okay for people to have different opinions! When you unfollow (and sometimes block), it doesn’t necessarily mean the person posting has done anything wrong, or you don’t like them. It means you’re deciding what you wish to be exposed to during a difficult period in time. And that’s PERFECTLY OK! For example, I have an account (@thesacredjourneyhome) where I talk about death & dying. I totally appreciate that there will be people I know that will block that work as the subject makes them uncomfortable. They are perfectly in their own right to do so. I wouldn’t dream of holding it against them - it’s THEIR digital space. My ego doesn’t drive me in a way to be bothered by this action. And neither should yours.
6. Don’t over-react if someone won't accept your friend request/unfollows/unfriends/blocks you. Like I’ve mentioned above - it might not be about you so just respect people’s way of digital self care and carry on with your life. It really doesn’t mean someone hates you or is attacking you. If someone does decide you’ve offended them, they take a dislike to you, and they unfriend or block you on social, just be cool with it. If they were a close friend, call them and sort it out if you can. If not, let them go. Just let them go. You don’t have to be facebook friends to be valued (See Number 1 above). You have better things to do than worry about this stuff - like life!
7. You don’t need to tolerate abuse or manipulation in your social space. Just because it’s digital, you wouldn’t allow someone in your home to verbally abuse you. Why would you do it in your digital space? You wouldn’t allow someone to copy your work and pass it off as their own during school or in business - why let anyone do it online? Block them and move on with your life. Back to peace.
8. If you run a business and have a business profile, it’s ok to keep certain digital spaces private and just for you, your friends and family. Just because you run an open business account, you don’t have to share your personal space with anyone who wants it if you don’t want to. For example, I like to keep my personal facebook account for friends and family only. I have so many other spaces people can follow me - including a personal insta account. I constantly get friend requests from people I meet once at a networking event, or come to a yoga class, then friend me on facebook. I spent years protecting my facebook account then a year or so ago, felt pressured to accept those people into my private space. It has since caused complications so this weekend, have decided to go through and unfriend anyone I do not have a close relationship with. This DOES NOT mean I don’t like these people, or they have done something to upset me. It means I want to take back control of my private digital space. That’s it. It’s really no big deal. And I certainly wouldn’t be offended if someone did it to me.
9. Putting pressure on yourself to post about things you don’t wish to publicly talk about just because everyone else is doing it or others expect you too is not cool. You don't have to share stuff you don't want to online. You don't have to join in with certain #awarenessdays if you don't want to.
I hope you've taken some comfort or I've sparked some clarity in these tips. Treat your digital space with the same respect as your physical space and see what happens with your life. It may not be an over-night change, but just watch and feel how much ‘freer’ you feel. Notice how many more quality interactions you have from people and how much you’ll care less when people unfollow or don’t allow you into their space. Remember, social media isn't real life, no one can control your digital space, and you can't control anyone else's. Now go out their and spread your light into the world you beautiful soul 😜💖