I need to start out by saying that I am very aware of what a big spoiled brat I’m about to sound like and I really hate admitting what I’m going to admit in this post, but my social media envy can turn me into a horrible person. But, I’m sharing it with you today because it was a huge teaching moment for me.
During our New Year’s Eve trip to Palmetto Bluff I came down with a big fat case of social media comparison syndrome. With the way the holidays fell this year, absolutely everyone under the sun seemed to be, well, under the sun. Instead of booking a beach trip, Ryan and I booked a trip to the slowwww low country where we could really unplug from everything and not feel pressured to get up early, get dressed up, go on crazy excursions, or really do anything at all. We just wanted a super quite place to relax.
The minute I stepped off the plane I was thrilled that I wasn’t in below freezing temps and away from my stressors, but my happiness and excitement quickly faded when I took a look at all the social media posts I missed while in the air. I saw blogger after blogger in cute bikinis, drinking daiquiris on the beach, while getting amazing tans with the rest of the world. Meanwhile in Bluffton it was overcast and scheduled to rain every day. I immediately started to feel jealous and regret that I didn’t book a trip somewhere that I could sip strawberry daiquiris on the beach, take cute blog pics in bikinis and go out to trendy restaurants in the new sundresses that I’ve been dying to wear. Instead I’d be sporting leggings, tennis shoes and my fleece while I rode bikes through the swamp land full of mosquitos for the next few days…
…ok I need to stop there and just say what you’re thinking I HATE MYSELF SO MUCH.
How the hell could those thoughts even begin to enter the surface of my mind when I’m so unbelievably blessed that I even got to take a trip anywhere. Not to mention the fact that we were staying at in incredibly beautiful hotel, in an incredibly beautiful place. This is the epitome of all the side effects of social media comparison syndrome
Trust me, I’m still angry at myself that I spent even 3 minutes (it was actually like the whole 45-minute car ride to the resort) letting those thoughts consume my mind. Thank god, as as we pulled into the resort, I was instantly distracted by the insane beauty of this new place I had never been. I started to think about how all those people who were on the beach were missing out on the sheer beauty and sense of peace and calm that I was experiencing as we drove down the stunning tree lined streets that looked like they were straight out of a movie. I realized how dumb I was for wishing I was anywhere else. It was a big teaching moment that helped me practice the fine art of not letting the social media world diminish or distract me from the beauty of the real world I’m actually living in at the present moment.
Here are a few things I did to keep social media comparison syndrome from ruining my trip.
- I continuously reminded myself of my intention for the trip which was to reset, relax and spend quality, stress free time with Ryan.
- I acted on that intention by treating myself to something each day. I let myself sleep in, I took naps and baths, I went for long runs, I cuddled up with Ryan and talked about silly stuff, I had champagne with lunch, and I spent $12 on breakfast smoothies (that I could make better myself BTW)
- I tried to stay present in every moment and soak in the beauty, quite and slow nature of Palmetto Bluff that is so rare in the world we live in.
- Instead of spending my entire morning mindlessly scrolling through social media, I set aside 5 minutes to mindfully reflect on my favorite memory from the day before.
- Instead of over consuming everyone else’s memories, I created my own. Ryan got me a really cool mini video camera so I took some fun video of us riding bikes around the resort. We also took photos and explored, we got lost in the woods searching for a huge treehouse and explored the city of Savannah.
For those of you who struggle with social media comparison syndrome the same way I do try out some of the tips I shared above. They may sound silly and small but they truly work wonders. The day we left to head back to chilly Chicago, Palmetto Bluff was 75 and sunny. The first glimpse of sun we saw all week. The perfect day to lay by the pool with a daiquiri and get a tan. The kind of day that I was wishing for when we landed. But instead of feelings of frustration, I left feeling more blessed than ever before. The sun was shining, a new day was starting and I was feeling more relaxed and refreshed than ever before.