Hey Friends! Happy Wednesday. I decided to start a new series called True Life I’m an Influencer. If you were born early enough to remember MTV’s True Life series, then you remember all the crazy stories the series would share about people’s lives. Well I decided to give my followers a real behind the scenes look sharing my take on what it’s like being an Influencer, the highs, the lows and the in between! Today’s topic is Instagram & Mental Health.
For a long time I have been wanting to write about why Instagram has become a platform that has affected my mental health. Picture this: I log on at 7am, get ready to post by 8am, refresh the page 50-100 times to check how many likes and comments I got, checking my analytics to see if I am gaining new followers, becoming obsessed with trying to figure out the magic sauce to (well hit it big), signing up for giveaways (that to be honest) are a waste of money and time (I will explain more on that later). Doubting my ability to produce great content, and comparing myself to the skinny white girl showing up constantly on a brands Instagram (yep I said it).
When I first started Instagram I didn’t think I would ever be affected by this platform the way I am now. I would have never thought that I would be so caught up with this need to constantly feel as though my life is being validated by likes and comments but I have. As a person who suffers from anxiety and depression, I always try find to a balance when it comes to using Instagram and adjust my life so that I don’t fall down a negative tunnel of thoughts.
Instagram can be too consuming. I was neglecting essential time from my Daughter and Husband to be on the app. I would find myself feeling this urge to always be present so my engagement wouldn’t drop. So I decided to begin deleting the app at night so it’s not the first thing I look at in the morning. Instead, I open my bible and let that be the first thing that I am reading for the day. Then I turn on a podcast while making my breakfast and listen to my daily devotionals. After I am done, I turn on some music that puts me in a good mood for the day. I find that spiritual music always centers me and reminds me that everything is in God’s hand’s and He’s Got It!
As an Influencer you feel this constant pressure to be on the app 24/7. But to be truthful, you have to take breaks. Creating a content calendar and using platforms like Hootsuite or Planoly can really help you schedule those posts out to be more effective during the day. Don’t worry about engaging the first 30 minutes of your posts (I know people will tell you otherwise) but try to auto-schedule it and respond to comments via the scheduling platforms, this way you are not physically on the app.
Also don’t get hung up on not having content ready and available. Just because you feel this urge to keep up with the jones doesn’t mean you have too! For me I try to let my audience know when I need to step away or when work has picked up. I let my audience understand what they can expect from me. So they don’t think I am just ghosting the platform.
When I started to feel overwhelmed I decided to talk to a therapist. I realized that so much of my thoughts were affecting my everyday joys. I couldn’t relish in precious moments with my family, because I was stressing about campaigns, or social media. And I felt that my time was being pulled and I was losing out on making memories with my family. I decided to try out Talkspace (no this is not sponsored). Talkspace is a platform where you can sign up for counseling sessions with a licensed Therapist.
It helps to really process everything that is going on in your life and make time for yourself. Giving myself grace is something that I am working on.
I say all this to say, I know many bloggers feel this urge to be relevant on Instagram that it begins to eat away at your happiness core. You feel as though your life is being validated through the thoughts and opinions of others. You compare your life to others highlight reel, when in actuality nothing is as perfect as it seems. Your Mental Health matters and trust me the followers you do have genuinely love you and appreciate the value that you bring to their lives whether it’s everyday, bi-weekly or monthly.
I would love to start a conversation? Have you ever struggled with anxiety or depression? What are ways you cope?
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