3/7/2013

self-care & social media

Yes, I am totally going here this afternoon. As a creative person and small business owner being on social media is very important to me. I love connecting with like-minded people, sharing information and uploading meaningful content to the world wide web. We are living in a really exciting time regarding social media. There are so many new apps and platforms to connect and create relationships. It is mind blowing to think that I have only been using social media for like 7 years as it’s hard to remember back to the days of letter writing (which of course I still do and hopefully always will, that is until of course stamps and paper are obsolete….) and not having a telephone/mini computer in my back pocket.

With all of the new ways to get in touch and exchange with folks virtually, I have found myself overwhelmed with it all. It’s like, ok, I have 2 Facebook pages, an Instagram feed, a Twitter account, Pinterest, soon-to-launch YouTube channel, and I just downloaded the Vine app today. And I have my blog too! Just writing all of that it’s like, omg, how can I keep up with my social media and have a life away from the screen?! I realize that some of us are totally cool tweeting a zillion times a day and being uber active on these platforms. That is awesome to me, I’m just learning, slowly, that isn’t how I want to live. I was at a loss about how to move forward and make social media work for me instead of feel like a chore or a hungry beast that always needs to be fed and is never satisfied.

Thankfully, I had an incredible session with Meighan O’Toole¬†yesterday, a savvy social media expert. She helped me get on track and tease out what I should focus on and what I can let go of for now. I cannot begin to express how relieved I was after our session. Meighan did her research and had a very clear picture of who I am, how I am branding myself and what social media avenues I should focus my attention on at this time. She gave me a detailed action plan with easy to follow steps and now it’s up to me to set aside the time and get going. Having this plan has made me feel a great deal better about social media in general and how I am going to use it from this point forward. It was also a relief to learn that it is OK to not be on every single site. It’s better to do a couple really well versus spread yourself too thin. Great advice in all areas of life ;)

Meighan also reminded me that as long as I am being responsive and transparant with my social media it is fine to say, go off Twitter for a while. As long as I let my followers know whats going on and keep in touch with people I don’t have to worry about not tweeting every couple of hours. Just having the permission to breathe and calm down is helping a great deal. Having self-care around social media is huge for me. It is imperative that I choose my outlets wisely so I don’t get stressed out. I want to have fun with social media and not feel like it’s a time suck or energy drainer.

One of my goals for the upcoming weeks  is to be more mindful of my social media outlets and set aside specific time to focus on them. I know I do really well when I schedule things out and I imagine this will not be any different. Once I have completed my uploads and posts I will get back to the business of living my life, cooking, working with clients and practicing my yoga. I love social networking. I have made incredible friendships, learned more than I ever did in school and been inspired beyond belief. I want to continue to participate in these avenues and take good care of myself along the way. Sometimes that might mean taking breaks occasionally and I am totally comfortable with that. Meighan said that there are no rules, we get to make it up as we go. I find a great deal of freedom in that.

How do you take care of yourself regarding social media? Do you have time limits in place? Do you focus on a few outlets or many? How do you create balance with spending time online/or smart phone and engaging in your non-virtual life? Let me know. I would love to hear from you.

xoa

Comments

  • Kori

    Being new to the blogging world, I am trying to learn how to balance this as well! I have had such a positive change in my life by writing about my day and sharing my story that I sometimes feel as though I have to force myself everyday to sit down and write something. But I am also realizing that is just causing unnecessary stress! I find that I would rather take a day or two off and write something meaningful.
    I have also noticed that with my smart phone if I have a spare minute or two I browse through Instagram or Facebook – even if there is nothing new to see!? Before I would have opened up a book or magazine to catch a few minutes of reading. I am trying to be more mindful of this and bring reading back into my life as well.

    • ashley

      Thanks so much for sharing Kori. I love that you are new to blogging and already practicing mindfulness around it – super inspiring! I have no doubt your posts will be that much more thoughtful as a result. I hear you with the smart phone, I deleted the FB app so I wouldn’t be on it all the time ;) Love that you are reading more too, I am going to follow your lead and get my head back in my books.
      xoa

  • meighan

    Thank you so much Ashley! It was awesome meeting up with you and talking about how to help social media continue to get your positive message across. This is such a thoughtful and inspiring post…and so true! I’m off to share it now… :D
    x.mlo

    • ashley

      Of course! Thank you for doing what you do and being so transparant in the process. Our session has continued to make me think and it is awesome to finally feel organized regarding my social media. Being organized is such an important part of self-care ;)
      xoa

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