Social Media and the Impact on Our Mood
I have a friend who came to me recently. She is a reputable professional, seemingly having it all together via social media. I sometimes will see posts of her always ready for a picture with her children, perfect meal and table settings, her hair and makeup are always on point, and she has an extremely successful business career. To say the least, it makes me feel less than a lot of the time. I am lucky, some days, if I remember to brush my teeth before I stand outside with my kids for the bus talking to another mom. Social media can make us envy other's situations, feel unworthy, or that we simply are not up to par on everyday routines. And then, she stopped by the house to chat.
Guess what? That picture perfect social media posting is not showing you anything outside of the pic. She told me that she doesn't know how I do it?!?! I was shocked to say the least. "Me? You think I have it all together? Not a CHANCE!" Throughout our conversation, I was humbled to find out that she struggled with the very same things that I do, and most of us do. The stress of being a mom, business owner, wife, 'maid', 'chef', 'tutor', 'doctor', and now navigator of a little global pandemic (insert sarcasm), can be inundating. Social media can be a very disheartening place to go if we compare our lives to others simply by a post or picture. Things are not always what they seem.
Depression is common and has become more prevalent due to the world's crisis. It is easy to slip off to a fake world. I say fake because photos are filtered, situations are posed, and exaggeration of things are at their greatest here. Social media can be dangerous to us where one cannot separate what we see and perceive from having an affect on our emotions.
Change your mindset if you choose to scroll. Do not compare yourself to any of it. Instead, live in your life! Get off of social media and create your own memories with people, take a walk, drink a cup of tea, listen to music, diffuse aromatherapy, pet an animal, give a hug....I promise these are all things that not only will naturally elevate your mood, but will also protect you from comparing and often forgetting the wonderful things that you are and have accomplished, big or small. Allow yourself to live your life without judgement.
Before my friend left, we cried. But it was such a great release.
Seeing that much of my ideas about what I should be doing because of social media was a farce. In that moment, when it came to my perfect friend, it made me realize how much time it took from me and my family. Rather than comparing what meal I prepared for my family or how it was presented on a table to what she was displaying on social media, I am making a conscious effort to be more present in the moment.
Wow, that helped with me feeling down! I am happier to laugh with my kids, who are not always ready for a pic, but we take one anyway because this is us! This is real! No filter, no set up prior to the pic, and you know what? I am happier for it!
Fill your toolbox with ways to cope and support you!
-- Jessica Ryan