Have you found yourself lately comparing your life to what you see on social media? Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. make it easy for us to portray the type of life we want others to see. We show off when we graduate, get engaged, get pregnant, all exciting transitions and experiences in our lives. I can think of many times I am scrolling through my phone and then suddenly feel down. I feel like I’m not doing enough with my life and aren’t matching up to my peers in their milestones. We see people transforming their bodies through fitness, utilizing their faces as canvases for makeup, or traveling to far and exotic places. All you can think is, “it must be nice”, right?
We tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of what we see online and forget what we are accomplishing in our own lives. We wish that we can make it to the gym like Linda does five times a week. We see how flawless Ashley’s makeup looks and wonder why yours doesn’t look the same. We consistently compare ourselves to our friends and lose touch with who we are and what we have to offer to the world.
So, what? How do I stop comparing myself to others?
You see, the answer is simple. Get back to your roots. Start turning inward and reflecting on what you are doing right in your life and what you appreciate. Before posting that picture of the new phone you got, reflect on why it is important for you to share this with others online. Sometimes, our needs aren’t getting met in our personal lives and so we turn to the online world for validation and acceptance. GIVE THAT TO YOURSELF! Take pride in the fact that you worked hard enough to buy yourself that brand new phone. Find the internal validation that allows you to keep working towards your goals. Discover that you are valid and worthy. Give yourself a break and treat yourself with kindness and compassion.
All too often we yearn for things we do not have. That trip to London, the perfect engagement, the dream job, the list goes on and on. What about the things in your life you do have? Your family, friends, food to eat, pets, reliable transportation. When we focus our efforts on trying to attain things that others have, we tend to lose sight of our own appreciation in our lives.
Try writing in a gratitude journal.
What is that you ask? Just a journal for things you are grateful for. This can help us reconnect to our lives and ground us in the present. It doesn’t have to be this long list. Maybe three or four things is all you can think of for the day, great! Try again the next day and challenge yourself with how many items you can write down. Get creative with it! Decorate each page and give yourself that time every day to engage and bond with your inner truth.
Take a break from social media.
It may seem crazy that we have to “stop looking at Facebook for a few days” but this helps to provide perspective. Recent studies have rendered results that scrolling through social media actually makes us more depressed. Maybe that simple solution is what you need. If you’d like to read more about this, please visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183915/
Just like you need a vacation from work every so often, sometimes we need a break from social media too.
Spend time with loved ones.
Whether it’s family game night, date night with your significant other, or an outing with friends just do it! While social media helps to connect us, it also disconnects us because we can see what our friends are doing at all times. Try doing something together and not posting about it on social media. No pictures, live feeds, snapchats, nothing. Just relish being in the moment with the people you care about. Make memories that can be talked about for years to come, instead of showing up as a “memory” on Facebook. See how it feels not checking your phone all the time. Make it into a game. See who can go the longest. I imagine as you put this into practice, it will become easier to forget about your phone and to immerse yourself in the moment.
Give credit where credit is due.
You’re doing it, every day. Working, creating the life you want to live, being a parent, a child, a sibling, a significant other. Each day you change your hat multiple times with the roles you play. It’s never easy, but somehow, we make it through the day. I tell my clients to use positive affirmations with themselves. Saying things to yourself like, “wow, you did a lot today, you are strong”, “I know tomorrow will be challenging but I always manage to get everything done”, “I am a good person and deserve to be happy”. When you feel yourself starting to compare your chaotic life to Jenny’s picture perfect one on Instagram, remember those kinds of sayings.
Be positive with yourself, give yourself some grace. You are valid and worthy, just like everyone else. If you need a little help reminding yourself of that, come on in to Breaking Free Services. We’d be happy to help!