When tsunami-sized waves of social pressure come crashing onto the once blissful shores of your consciousness, it may to time to make a change. In our little bubble of a world, anxiety threatens from all sides like a sharp pin—one wrong move, and POP! We find ourselves in over our heads, drowning in a FOMO-fueled nebulous of if-only-I-hadn’t’s and wish-I-had-just's.
You know what they say: Too much of a good thing...can land you waist deep in negative thoughts. Forget finals—the tempered glass screen in your hand might actually be stressing you out more than anything else in your life. Pop ups, push notifications and reminders tug at our metaphorical sleeve every moment of the day. Our small chirp from our pocket, and we’re itching to check our messages, unable to think of anything else until we know what it says. It’s as if our lives depend on having control over the endless minutia of daily technology.
As if affecting our mental health wasn’t bad enough, perhaps the worst part about our cell phone obsession is that it distracts us from what is most important. Instead of worrying about our responsibilities, we choose instead to fret over over latest Instagrams, Tweets and Facebook mirror selfies. Less than thirty likes, and our self-esteem takes a shot to the heart; we find ourselves staring at nothing, our thoughts running around in our heads like a rat in a maze. We wonder what we did wrong.
In a day in age when the majority of our social interactions occur online, validated only by the lucrative upvote, it’s understandable why Millennials seem to be falling prey to worse anxieties than any generation before.
This summer, I challenge you to unplug. I’m not insisting you quit social media altogether — quitting something cold turkey is more likely to leave you in a lurch than foster a healthy transition. Instead, try embracing moderation as a more long term remedy to a life controlled by technological vices.
It starts with a walk along a pebbly beach. Feel the wind trace the high points of your cheekbones as you walk parallel to the shoreline. Focus on the billions of grains of sand stretching along behind and in front of you. Close your eyes as it squelches between your toes. The more your fill your headspace with nature, the less room you’ll have in there for self-critical thoughts. Make peace with peace with ups and downs. Whatever criticisms get thrown your way only have as much power as you give them. With a little effort and a mind towards self-love, a garden of positive intentions will bloom in you.
As the balmy days we dreamt of in the throes of winter creep over the horizon of reality, test the reaches of your resolve. Can you make it a day without checking social media? If you have trouble, it may be time to take a break. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much perspective you gain.
Text by Margeaux Sippell
Photography by Sara Nagie