Pep Talks, Social Media, and Pooping.

Remember my realization the other day that talking to myself stopped some of my shame spirals around social anxieties? Well, I used the same technique again yesterday.

I got REALLY upset yesterday morning. The “why/how” of being upset is unimportant, I was just REALLY upset and I wanted to rage and be hurtful and I wanted to push and push and push until I felt heard but instead I went back to my bedroom, sat on the table at the foot of the bed, and gave myself a peptalk through angry tears.

Kim. You are beautiful and your feelings are valid. You have a right to feel what you feel and just because someone doesn’t understand you, does not take away the validity of your feelings. You are amazing. You are strong. You are fierce.

I went on talking to myself like that with my eyes closed and taking deep breaths between all of the sentences of affirmation. I had my hands at heart center the whole time (Yoga is rubbing off on me) and I was just repeating mantras of love and light to myself until the tears stopped and the rage and hurt subsided. 

Sure, the conflict that sent me to the bedroom was not resolved, but some conflicts can’t be resolved in one moment. Some conflicts can’t be resolved ever. I have always struggled with processing hurt in a way that doesn’t linger and at least this one time, I was able to heal the hurt before it grew to big. Normally those kind of conflicts stay with me for awhile, but stopping and giving myself a pep talk – OUT LOUD (this is the key it seems) – help me feel validated and gave me reinforcement I needed to shake off the hurt and move on with my day.

I MAY BE ON TO SOMETHING, GUYS. Maybe I’ll start a revolution where we’re all just constantly walking around giving ourselves personal affirmations out loud to process momentary hurts and anxiousness. 


Now, about social media…

I follow John Green in all of his content creating outlets, his podcast is actually one of only two people I support on Patreon. John has been talking for awhile about the negative affects social media has on his mental health. He’s taken a few soft breaks when he has big projects looming. He’s ALWAYS lamenting how he can’t seem to quit it though, permanently, or in any way that gives him a healthy relationship with any of the social platforms he loves. 

Every time he discusses this in any format I think: I kinda get it.

I have Twitter curated quite well so it serves as a news feed in some ways, but I still can kill STUPID amounts of time scrolling through it. It doesn’t make me feel too shitty, but it does take a lot of my time that could be spent doing a BETTER mindless task, like doodling.  And if there’s big events it kind makes me feel shitty because the endless “hot takes” are mind-numbing. But, for the most part, it has become my news feed and if I could manage the TIME I spent on it, I think I’d be okay.

I’m not trying to be one of those “DO NOT WASTE A MINUTE!” people. But I do feel like there are better ways to kill time than scrolling through Twitter.

But Facebook? Facebook often makes me feel bad about myself. I ended up “unfollowing” dozens and dozens of people in the last two years. I just couldn’t handle pro-Trump posts in my feed. But some of these people are part of my daily life and I could not stop seeking out their pages to see what they were saying. IT WAS LIKE I COULD NOT STOP TORTURING MYSELF. My oldest kid finally said to me: SERIOUSLY, STOP GOING TO THEIR PAGE. IT IS NOT WORTH IT. YOU KNOW IT IS GOING TO MAKE YOU FEEL TERRIBLE. And he was right! Why did I keep torturing myself?

I took Facebook off my phone but I still accessed it through my browser. And of course every time I open my laptop there’s the “FACEBOOK” tab waiting to be clicked. 

But it’s tricky because Facebook is how I know what is going on in the world. I learn about cool community events through Facebook, I hear about panel discussions and political rallies. I have NO IDEA how to use Facebook JUST for that stuff because it requires scrolling and Facebook just showing things to me that other people have marked “interested” in or something like that.

I don’t know. 

Instagram is good and bad. I love that it’s just pictures but I hate how I can’t help but look at beautiful pictures and feel shitty about myself. That’s on ME, I know that, but it still kinda makes me feel bad sometimes.

So how do I regulate it? 

I’ve tried several different things. I’ve taken apps off my phone (like now) but I still type the address in the browser app almost daily. I don’t want to remove the browser from my phone! I need that to help me Google important information like “WHAT DOES THE KID FROM HOCUS POCUS LOOK LIKE TODAY?” 

How does someone with self-control problems, and mental-health issues relating to compulsive behavior, regulate social media? John asked the same thing on Twitter but he’s looking to take a year break from it ALL TOGETHER and I don’t think I can do that. I need to keep up with my kids on Instagram and I get my news on Twitter. I need the community calendar function from Facebook because 90% of the events I go to locally are only broadcasted through Facebook.

How do I make social media work FOR me and not AGAINST me? Any suggestions? 

I was thinking about trying to JUST use Facebook when I do my bullet journal planning. I already do that now, I just need to make a list of the people who are most likely to host events I want to know about because without me scrolling compulsively and seeing what OTHER people are doing, they’re not going to naturally show up on my “EVENTS” page. 

And then maybe making a designated instagram time? I have a friend who says, “I scroll social media when I’m pooping and that’s it.” And I think that’s hilarious but also kinda perfect but it wouldn’t work for me because I DO NOT MESS AROUND AT POTTY TIME. It’s in and out, baby. My digestive system works efficiently enough that I spend no more time pooping than peeing and IS THAT TOO MUCH INFORMATION?

ANYWAY. My point is that the whole “social media while I poop” thing is great, but wouldn’t work for me. 

My morning coffee time is my blogging and news-catchup time. 

SIDENOTE: I just noticed my Facebook tab had an notification so I clicked over to it to check it without even thinking about it. THAT’S WHAT I MEAN. IT IS ALWAYS THERE. It’s like proof I need an intervention. I closed the tab out…jeez Kim.

Anyway. I need to find a set time to scroll through instagram every day, I guess. I only “need” to do it once a day so I can check out my kid’s Instagram stories and see what my friends/family are up to. But maybe not pulling it up in the grocery line at Target or when I’m waiting for the kids at school. I just feel like those tendencies are rotting my brain.

I’d love to hear any ideas you have, especially if you can’t cut it off completely due to a) monitoring kids/news and b) needing calendar functions because it’s hard to go cold turkey when you still need to keep up with some things.

4 Comments

  • Roseann Wintringham

    I am listening to Brendan Buchard’s highly effective habits and he talks about “waiting time”. He created a trigger so that anytime he is waiting, whether in line, or on hold or those times we all pull out our phones and mindlessly scroll, he has an internal dialogue and he asks himself who he needs to be present for, or who can he reach out to connect with. If you want to listen to his book, it’s season 4 of the Brendan Show podcast, and if you can get around the weird vocal timing (it’s like they both sped up and slowed down his book), then it’s a good read (listen). I have to set the time limit app on my phone during the day, to keep me out of SM while I’m at work. I am a distractabunny, so I need all the help I can get to stay focused.

  • Julie

    Had to pop in and say the whole affirmations out loud thing has been tried and true for many people! Have you read any of Louise Haye’s books? she has you do them in front of a mirror which takes some getting used to but it really is effective. I have three daughters and one year I bought them each a small mirror to have in their bedrooms with some affirmations to use. Loving yourself can be super, super hard but really is SO beneficial.

  • Toni Trainor

    With Facebook the main thing I do, which has helped me to significantly decrease my time. is to log off. I make a conscious decision when I sign back in, do I really want to waste time on Facebook. Over time I just rarely go on it. It does bother me that some groups I want to be a part of using Facebook as their main communication tool.

  • Bree / Frema

    John’s video resonated with me, since I’ve also been struggling to engage with social media in a healthy / managaeble way. I took IG off my phone in June because my lack of self control was off the charts, and like you, I took the FB app off my phone but kept logging in to mobile. BUT — just a couple of days ago I downloaded the Stay Focused app, put IG and FB apps back on my phone, and set daily time limits for each one. It’s fascinating to see how much time it takes to do “just a quick check,” and when time is up, it’s up! Super happy with the results so far!