“The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” (Oxford Dictionary)
Since my last post, I deleted all the social media accounts related to this blog. It was a conscious decision and it felt good! The reason behind this, though, went beyond surface level emotions and focussed on the impact these new accounts were having on me and the intention behind creating them in the first place.
A need for “engagement” with my Instagram posts, having “followers” and seeing lots of “likes” on both Instagram and Twitter, had suddenly emerged and I didn’t appreciate the new side to me that had became somewhat obsessed with how to achieve this.
I didn’t start this blog for the people it would attract, nor did I start it to venture into becoming insta-famous. I started this blog so that I could offload some of the extra pressures in life, in written form, in each post. It was meant to help refocus my energies on a more constructive use of time and a healthy outlet to understanding my own feelings, emotions and delve into some hidden away issues from my own past.
When the focus shifted to who I could attract to the blog and the linked social media sites, I was very careful as to what I wanted to put out there and what I would or wouldn’t want people to know about me. I started to wonder if my posts were worthy of the blog, and how relevant they were in current times, and how I could keep up with the fast-paced social media world. As a result I felt that I didn’t have anything else to write anymore, despite knowing I really did.
I also realised that the only way to keep up with the social media sites, was to be fully engaged in them, immersed in comments and opinions on other people’s posts, and equally sharing a huge part of my own life for others to engage with. And that didn’t sit right with me.
As much as I am more than happy to talk about my life and it’s challenges in this blog, I don’t feel it intrudes on my personal space. It allows me to remain anonymous and speak whole-heartedly about issues important to me. Social media has a different type of audience though. They want to see into your lives. They want to get to know “you”, and the only way to do that is by sharing your life so that it becomes public. Whether that’s through pictures or captions, that environment is about connecting with people who relate to you and your lifestyle choices. It’s why I enjoy scrolling through posts on Instagram, and watching stories on Snapchat, I like being the fly on the wall looking into peoples lives. And it’s because I do it, I felt a certain way about other people doing the same to me, and really didn’t want to be sharing so much of my perosnal life through social media.
So I deleted the accounts.
As soon as I did, I felt a sense of relief and I suddenly had space in my brain to think and focus on just being me again.
I’ve realised that self-care for me isn’t about pampering myself, or taking a break, or going on holiday – it’s about recognising the influence my own actions have on my mental and emotional health, whilst changing and adapting myself and the choices I make to find a lifestyle that sits right with my own beliefs and values. Self-care is about walking away when I know it’s for the greater good. It’s about investing more time in something that nourishes my mind. It’s about recognising and accepting all my feelings and emotions towards life and then finding ways to navigate through them. Self-care is about caring about the whole me, and not for a temporary period of time, but for the foreseeable future.