This morning as I was listening to the radio (big fan of talk radio over here), the hosts were chatting about sources of unhappiness – and the main one being comparison to others. Due to the nature of my career (blogging), let’s just say that small bit of information hit home for me because I am immersed in the strange world of social media daily – at all hours of the day – “social media never sleeps” they say…and it’s absolutely true. I’ll admit, even when I feel really great and full of confidence (which I actively have to make an effort to stay in this mindset), simply seeing someone else’s gorgeous, perfectly cropped and filtered Instagram photos immediately goes to my head and that confidence level (already in constant limbo) drops to the floor. Anyone else get this way?
As you know if you follow my blog and Instagram, I was out of the country traveling for the past two and a half weeks…and it was so incredible to have spotty internet (like…reaaaally bad internet, so I could barely even load any app on my phone) because I was totally disconnected from that usual comparison game and seeing what everyone else is doing (…which is also a reminder of what I’m not doing…haha…as I sit here in my pajamas writing this post, which is generally how it goes on most days!). As soon as I dropped my luggage down in Austin and sat back down at my desk, a cloud of sadness loomed over me the past few days since I’ve been home. I’ve been really trying to figure out what’s up..I am generally a happy human (emotional, of course haha as Blake would tell me, but happy nonetheless) – and I think it finally hit me that I was out of this comparison whirlpool for a couple of weeks (…and seeing the world certainly helps shed perspective on life, too) and my mind and body felt so healthy and happy again…and it was because I wasn’t living in the world of social media, but rather being present in daily life without that little voice in the back of my head reminding me that someone else is doing something “cooler” than me, that there’s something more I should be doing to keep up.
Okay so that may sound totally lame and here and I am displaying my insecurities (not to mention this is very much a first world problem)…but it’s 100% the truth. I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love that it’s a photo diary of life, a way to encourage women and share style tips and inspiration, a place to connect and build relationships with likeminded people, a source of fitness motivation, and a place to build photography skills (love that aspect!)…but I really do hate that it can ruin your day, make you rethink your life’s choices and never feel like you’re enough..(if you let it get to that point, that is).
Thus, after coming back from a two week semi-social media break, I want to make a conscious effort to not be so involved with social media on a deeper level – as in, not let those perfectly crafted, “beautifully captured” moments get me down. But rather, be able to appreciate them for the few seconds of entertainment and inspiration they’re meant to provide, and let that be it. Easier said than done, but I’m all in on this one!
Soo, back to that talk radio show this morning – it got me thinking about focusing on sources of genuine happiness in my life and really putting forth effort and energy in those places. Making this list really helped me to re-center and pay attention to living in these moments and appreciate them more – I highly recommend making a list of your own sources of happiness (it’s such a good reminder!).
1. Being present with those I am with: when Blake and I were in Europe, I made a big effort to be fully present with him and soak in that time without phones, cameras, laptops…and it was the absolute best thing for our relationship! I thought I was already madly in love with him, but we grew even closer on that trip and I really attribute a lot of that to me making the conscious effort to relish in that time together and appreciate each moment – in the moment.
2. Do something active: Though I didn’t expect my bachelorette trip to Costa Rica to be such an active trip, it was actually SO motivating and inspiring! We woke up at 6am to surf in the morning, then walked all over town, ate fresh fruit and local fish, attended outdoor yoga sessions and then finished the day with sunset surfing. By the time we all were packing up our suitcases, we realized we never stopped being active throughout the duration of the trip – and everyone felt so good! At home, I often get sucked into my laptop vortex and forgo getting up and taking a stroll outside to making another cup of coffee and spending time on Pinterest. Hey, it’s all good in moderation, but it really felt so amazing to have an active lifestyle while in Costa Rica – I look forward to continuing that in my daily life here in Austin.
3. Family first: my family makes me so happy and have always been a huge part of my life (…hence, why I’ve never left Austin, we’re all still here!). It’s as simple as paying attention and realizing it’s time to put down my phone and go spend some quality time with my sister and her kiddos, etc. At the end of the day, these relationships matter most of all and are most important to me.
4. Eat the croissant: So yesterday when I was in a super funky mood (ya know, that weird looming cloud thing I mentioned earlier), I decided to get dressed and go to my favorite coffeehouse and treat myself to a large latte and chocolate croissant (it was seriously GIANT!) and I ate every. single. bite. Sometimes you just need to treat yourself or indulge in those “down on yourself” moments. I popped in my headphones, read some of my favorite blogs and dined with that croissant…and it was pure bliss.
5. Read a book & take a bubble bath (wine optional but probably add wine): As I’ve mentioned, I’m trying to be less connected when I’m not “working,” and each night when I take a bubble bath, that’s my “okay Liv, let’s turn this off – ‘me time’ ” where I actively make an effort to leave my phone on silent in the other room, grab a book and just soak in the tub. This is a healthy habit I’ve worked hard to build into my daily routine and it’s helped me to de-stress and stay balanced.
Okay gals, sorry for my novel of a post today. I just felt the need to express myself and writing has always been therapeutic for me. Perhaps you can relate to where I’m at with this whole social media thing – or if not, then perhaps I’ve shed some light on focusing on things in your life that bring you true joy, because that’s really what we should be doing. Life is short, so I’m going to eat the croissant & enjoy every bite. 😉