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3 Things You Will Learn When Taking a Social Media Hiatus

3 Things You Will Learn When Taking a Social Media Hiatus

I took a break.

A much needed, 6-month break.

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If you know me personally, you know that it’s hard for me to disconnect from the social media world, so the break shocked my followers and those close to me, leaving them wanting to know: Why was a break from social media necessary?

I am a writer, and being on social media is a very important part of branding and developing who it is I want to consistently present to my audience. So, from a distance, it all seemed like something I should not have indulged in, but post-hiatus, I am more than grateful I made the decision.

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I hit a speed bump in my life right before the hiatus that prompted me to shut down a bit. I became discouraged about my future and my self-esteem hit the lowest point. I learned many things in the 180 days that I plan to take with me throughout life, and though I was very unsure of what was ahead of me while on hiatus, there are 3 things I learned that I feel are worth sharing.

If you are thinking of taking a break, or you know people who are either social media junkies or just need to disconnect from the social world and reconnect with the world around them, these 3 lessons will help in making it a smooth transition.

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1. You become what you consume.

I am a firm believer that what you allow to enter your realm is what motivates you, and ultimately molds you. Social media is one of those outlets that, if you are not careful, you begin to get so consumed in that world, you begin to forget about yourself and the world you live in outside of the social perimeter. Let’s be honest, what we see on social media sites and/or apps are over-exaggerations of lifestyles that are unrealistic. And if you stay tuned into their lives, you leave both your mental and spiritual realm open to be consumed.

2. Social media will always be around.

The world of social media is a world that is constantly growing, so hear me when I say, it is not going anywhere. With the way technology is developing, it would be silly to think that social media would just get up and walk away. What is important to note about the idea that “Social Media will always be around” is the fact that although social media will be here for decades and centuries to come, the people and experiences you love won’t be. Social media is so powerful, it will take your attention away from what’s most important, and you miss out on moments that come to impact and grow you. Those same moments that are essential in defining and motivating who you become.

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Not to say that all the things I learned while taking a hiatus away from the world of social media are not essential, but honestly, the most impactful thing I learned was that:

3. What you have and what you are is enough.

This will sound like a cliché, and I am okay with that. But if no one ever tells you in your whole life, I want to be that person to say it. There is just one you. This is the only life you will have, and though there may be a person who has something you feel like is more than what you have, I am here to tell you; that’s not the case at all. What you have is enough, and who you are is more than enough. Social media will have you looking in all directions, comparing your life to those that exaggerate, and/or live unrealistic lifestyles. Part of the reason I took my hiatus was because of the comparing I did daily, without even knowing it sometimes. And though it is ok to look, you cannot allow your eyes to see what they have as something you lack. What you have is far grander than any number of likes or views on any social media site. Who you are and what you have deserves your time and energy. Don’t give it all to an industry that sincerely does not deserve it.

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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