For myself, when I notice that I am sitting in a place of judgment as I scroll through social media, it’s time for me to turn it off and take a break- step away and don’t comment! When my mind is racing through thoughts and I find that I don’t have anything nice to say about anyone’s posts, that’s when I know that I need to put the phone down.
The hard part is doing the work and putting it into practice. Noticing when you are judgment-scrolling and when the experience of connection has turned into a passive-aggressive mind game. How do we do it?
The first step is observing yourself, tuning into your body and breathing. Notice the excitement in your body to comment, to tell them precisely what you think, your opinions, or how they are wrong and how you’d do it differently. The shoulders rise; you might be leaning towards the computer or phone. Be aware of your breath and notice that you are either holding your breath or breathing fast and shallowly. Posture and breathing are the first indications that you are not in the right state of being to share your best self with the digital world.
Observe the mind; if you find that your thoughts go to the negative end of the spectrum immediately, then that is a good sign that you aren’t in the best place mentally to comment on other people’s posts. I’m not saying that we only have to spread confetti and rainbows! But when people post on social media, they don’t want constructive criticism or negativity. So don’t be the one bringing that dish to that space.
So what to do instead? How do you pull away from the feelings you aren’t quite ready to face right now? Rather than getting shit-faced drunk and numbing the feelings into oblivion, here are some ideas to get your body moving without having to do much heavy lifting for your mind.
- Clean the grout in your bathroom shower
- Garden, pull weeds, especially
- Rearrange the books on your bookshelf, color-coded, alphabetically, by genre, or by size
- Organize the attic
- Clean under the kitchen sink
- Pull out all the spices, check expiration dates, and wipe down the shelves
- Repot the plants in your house that need bigger containers
- Put seasonal clothes into storage bins to store in the attic
- Clean out the fridge, check expiration dates, and wipe down the shelves
- Wipe down the baseboard moulding in every room with a damp cloth
Of course, eventually, you’ll want to talk through what you are feeling. Whether with your life coach to create new habits from now on or with your therapist to process why you continue to do the same action and what it’s linked to in your life. But right now, you need action. You need a mindless activity to give your body something to do with this energy and pull you away from creating drama or resentment from friends on social media.
But first- OBSERVE- the breath and body. Notice the tension and take that as your first sign to pull away and redirect your energy. Keep this list of ideas and add more when you think of them. You’ll notice this isn’t a self-care list. Because you aren’t there yet. After you’ve processed the underlining emotions attached to what you are feeling and experiencing, then self-care activities can come into place. But often, at this stage, the mind is racing too much to enjoy the relaxing benefits of self-care. We need movement, action, and mindlessness to combat the judgment or negative mindset.