4 Things I learnt from taking a month off from Social Media.
Well here I am after a month off Social Media and a couple of weeks yoga and meditation retreat in Bali which have left me feeling rejuvenated and ready to get back into teaching.
The reason I decided to give up Social Mediaincluding Facebook, Instagram and Twitter was mainly that it was not bringing me joy. In fact the exact opposite. I even felt a bit of anxiety in my tummy about it. It started to get worse coming up to Christmas (not a personal favourite time of year for me – I have issues!) and all the talk of Brexit etc.
In Alexander Technique we talk about stimulus and responseand that we have a choice in how we react to things. In this case ‘Social Media’ is the stimulus and I didn’t realise I was reacting to it in such a way. Yes I do have a choice which is to turn it off and at least to ‘Not react’ in my habitual way.
What I learnt from my black out of Social Media:
1 – Once I had made the decision and made my final post I felt a huge relief, I immediately felt calmer in my body, especially my tummy. This was extraordinary. Now I was tempted to go back on a couple of times I must admit so going ‘cold turkey’ wasn’t easy. The absence of anxiety was worth it though.
2 – I started to interact with real humans! Yes, I started to have conversations that mattered, without worrying how many ‘Likes’ I was getting.
3 – Travelling around Bali (which is beautiful by the way), I wasn’t thinking ‘Oh that’ll make a good Instagram post’. I was just enjoying things in the moment for what they are.
4 – I felt I had more time to do the things that I really wanted to do without the need to ‘compare’ my life to others. Comparison after all never brings you joy.
I have returned to Social Media now as I know it is useful in business. I think I may only do Facebook for now. Already a little anxiety has crept back in but I think I will appreciate the positive sides to it. Spreading the love, as it were. Deciding not to include the Apps on my phone and iPad I think will also help.
What I learnt my my retreat:
I used to say ‘I’m not great in groups’ but I learned to just be myself and listen with compassion when others were talking. I chose 3 intentions for my trip, the 3 L’s.
I fully admit I don’t always practice these but it really helped.
As it turns out I was pretty good in groups by practising a little of what I preach.
I faced a couple of my other fears too. Applying some Alexander Technique principles I was able to go white water rafting. The idea of this used to scare the bejesus out of me. I not only conquered that fear but thoroughly enjoyed and wanted to do it all over again. Here is myself under one of the massive waterfall on that trip.
I am very grateful that I had this experience and I learnt so much about myself and how I interact with others.
I come back to work rejuvenated and inspired. I hope to see some of you back in my Studio sometime soon.