At the launch of her latest book Living The Healthy Life, Jess Sepel shared her top tips for actively reducing stress and living a more balanced life when it comes to social media use – something I know we could all benefit from!
I was initially prompted to do this at the beginning of the year when my cellphone had to go in for repairs and eventually replacement three times over two months. I ended up being without a phone more than I was with one and it was honestly the most liberating experience. It showed me that it’s okay not to be available 24/7, to not read every single post or Instagram feed that comes across my path and to miss out on some of the things going on. It actually made me a better person, a better worker and a better friend, daughter and girlfriend because I had time to be present in my own life, rather than the lives of everyone else. Since Jess shared some extra tips with me at the launch of her book, I’ve been putting these into practice too over the last month (it hasn’t been easy as part of my job is to be active on social media) but I can already feel a big difference in my body and general state of mind. I’m going to keep at it and keep trying to find a balance with social media and technology. If you’re trying to do the same I am sure these tips will help kickstart the process.
1 Limit your social media use. It can cause so much anxiety and stress. Set boundaries of not checking your social media or emails between certain times – for example in the morning until after you have woken up properly, had breakfast and completed your healthy routine, whether that is yoga, going for a run, hitting the gym or simply giving yourself some time to wake up peacefully. Once you have completed those things, you can then allow the world in and let it demand of you.
2 Unfollow people who cause you anxiety and contempt. Social media can be a wonderful means of inspiration and creativity, but it can also cause extreme stress and give a person unrealistic expectations of reality (you only have to look to celebrity pictures before and after retouching to see that). Remember that everything looks better on social media and you can’t and shouldn’t take it all seriously. At the same time as you unfollow bad influences, choose to follow good ones. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, lift you up and present a real version of themselves to the world.
3 Wind down after a work day. It’s important to separate your work life from your home life, whether you have a 9 to 5 job or even if you work from home. Spend 10 to 15 minutes after work each day removing yourself from technology and social media, and engaging in something relaxing such as breathing exercises or meditation, enjoying a quick walk or simply resting your legs up against the wall. This works wonders to regulate blood flow, reduce swelling and tired legs, stretch your muscles and even improve digestion.
4 Learn to switch off. We live in a world where people can get hold of you at all times, and if we don’t set boundaries we cannot live a healthy life. Turn your phone and all other technology off after 8pm (or a time that is realistic and works for you) and engage in activities that are relaxing and beneficial such as yoga, reading a book, having a relaxing bath or enjoying a real, uninterrupted conversation with your partner or a friend over a cup of herbal tea. Your levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) start to decrease after 6pm and your melatonin (your sleep hormone) kicks in. However, this natural process can’t happen if you don’t let it. Make sure you schedule enough down time to embrace your sleeping rituals before bed and also after waking up.
You can read more helpful tips from Jess over on her blog.