Leaving social media

Subtitled: Stop reading about others' lives and start living your own!

Recently I left Facebook and Instagram...again.
This is probably not news to most of you.
However I thought I'd share what it has felt like on the other side.

The main reason I did the big leap is because I found myself very close to depression, if not in it.
I constantly had unexplained feelings of sadness which wouldn't go away.
Being the creative person I am, I wondered if my lack of creating could have some part in this.
But I found my headspace empty of ideas and motivation.

When I really sat down to examine it, I realised my mind and time were taken up with following others' lives and commenting on their problems and triumphs. Even the groups that I love and were the reason for returning to Facebook this time, were taking up more of my headspace than I wanted, and weren't delivering enough in return. I was looking madly for inspiration in the online world when I realised I should be looking within myself.

Me on my seat at Dolphin Beach

But to pull the plug was a very drastic step, and I procrastinated thinking with a little more will power and organisation I could manage it. I tried rearranging my apps to folders and different screens to remove the temptation to just check in one more time. I tried unfollowing so I didn't receive things in my feed that made me feel depressed. I tried restricting my online time to certain hours of the day.
But still the feelings of sadness persisted, and my kids started noticing.

Alarm bells ringing!!

So the only other thing I could think of to do was to pull the plug. I did worry that my work online would go unnoticed again. Who would read my blog posts and see my YouTube videos? But I decided too much was at stake, and I'd just have to trust that the people that needed to would find their way here. 

My first step was to remove the FB and IG apps to see how that felt. When I took this step I felt such a rush of relief I knew I was on the right track. Of course I then had to take the time to politely say goodbye, so I had to reinstall them, and wait around for a few days until the replies rolled back in! Because I am a polite person like that.

The upshot of this rather confusing account is that my feelings of sadness have gone! YAY!

One of the creative pursuits I have embarked on has been to make a dress out of an old tablecloth and t-shirt offcut(see above) This tablecloth was one used at our wedding that had developed a huge stain and hole in the middle. So I trimmed the hole to make shoulder straps and stepped into it to make a handkerchief hem skirt. The base of a t-shirt I turned upsidedown to make the bodice. I had previously dyed them in some natural dyes, so that is why they suggested themselves to me as partners. I love wearing it, and it will be very cool in summer. Here I am wearing it.

Other creative projects have been to:
Make a pair of shorts out of an old sheet (in process)
Mend a dress with holes with boro mending (in process)
Mend various other boring projects on the pile. (By the way, boro mending is surprisingly strong. I mended the crotch in a pair of jeans with it and it withstood a trip camping. I suppose it was used by  Japanese workers so it would have been strength tested!)
Join another choir. This time I am returning to my roots rejoining a singing group run by my former singing teacher.
Start gardening for the season, putting out a few new plants to fill the huuuuge gaps in our massive garden.
Convert the old spa sitting dead in the corner of our backyard into a fishpond. (in process) This one is a huge boon to my soul.

Note wooden floating sculpture (offcut from Miles' gun making project). The fish love to hide under it until we get some water lilies.

My soul has become more soothed and my mind feels emptied and stiller since I removed all the other (wonderful) voices.
I am able to take time to assess my surroundings, spend time in nature, and be inspired by nature's social media.

Tuross Heads

I do think this is a particular problem for my personality type. I am a sensitive old thing, and take on all the wonderful and not so wonderful feelings around me. Although I work hard at different techniques to stay grounded and present, and try to shield myself from others' angst by putting up boundaries, I must admit I'm not very good at it.

Miles at Dolphin Beach (don't jump in!) Isn't that the most gorgeous wave?!

When I received an email from IG about comments that had been left on my wall I realised I had left things incomplete so I went to look. While I was there I started reading posts and could feel the stress rising in my body again so I quickly backed away and hopefully closed down my site and email subscription properly this time. But it was an interesting exercise to confirm my decision.

I must admit to missing the lovely groups I joined, which is why I went back to FB this time. And I miss the little day to day connections with my friends. But I don't miss the pull on my time and my mind, and the sadness that accompanied it for whatever reason.

So the social media world will have to get along without me. I am still active on Pinterest and YouTube.

Speaking of YouTube, here is a creation I made recently. It is a compilation of fun moments on the beach I haven't used yet, set to some pretty music. I hope you enjoy it.

til next time,
keep on creating!
Jazzy Jack

BeautyScope 382: Magpie villain

Photo and story idea by Aiden Brack
the evil nemesis
that started
all the trouble

BeautyScope 381: Magpie warrior

Photo and story idea by Aiden Brack
the mighty hero returns
after saving the world
from a deluge

BeautyScope 379: Beach hair

the beach culture
rubs off on its inhabitants
now the seaweed
is growing dreads

BeautyScope 377: Rocks at rest

my rocky cove
sees a moment of peace
before the waves return
to batter it