THE REAL REASON I TOOK AN INSTAGRAM HIATUS
Not that I feel like I owe anyone an explanation for why I chose to deactivate my Instagram for 2 months BUT I want to share the reason why I did so that people feeling similar know that it is totally okay and it is normal to have mixed emotions about social media.
So I am just going to cut to the chase. I took an Instagram Hiatus because my mental health was declining. Yup. You read that correctly. Happy, excited, loving, fun, adventurous Brittney deleted Instagram because going on Instagram was causing the complete opposite feelings. Going on Instagram started to trigger sadness, feelings of being left out, lack of motivation, carelessness, and isolation. Sure I also did have a major life altering, traumatic event occur in my life, BUT either way never in a million years did I think a social media platform in which I share my feelings, my life, my motivations, my inspirations, my content, my aspirations, my everything, would make me feel so down in the dumps.
The majority of the people I follow are friends, acquaintances, family, and individuals who inspire and motivate me on a daily basis because of their health and fitness journeys and lifestyles. Suddenly, when I was unable to participate in physical activity all the health and fitness posts that normally motivate me unfortunately started to lose meaning. These posts did nothing but make me sad and totally had the opposite effect on me! I would see friends at a fitness event that I would normally not miss for the world and I would be filled with sadness and turn to Postmates and let’s be real here… I would totally order and eat my feelings. And ummm… I did this for a solid month. Sure I had this “I am living my best second life” mentality but the root of my problem was nothing other than social media. It was the last thing on Earth I needed during the most difficult time of my life, my recovery. My mental, emotional, physical recovery.
You would think that social media would be great with all the outpouring love, concern, direct messages, and comments. But it just wasn’t. Of course I appreciated all the support I was receiving but deep down I felt like intimate connections, phone calls, face-to-face interactions and conversations were what I really needed in order to recover mentally and bounce back from what happened to me. I needed the humans around me to see and feel my emotion to completely understand and unfortunately in this day and age that isn’t always possible through social media platforms. I will even admit to posting old photos with encouraging captions to sort of manipulate that I was really okay. But I really wasn’t. And I finally just put a stop to it. I figured if I can’t be on my social media platform and be myself and express my true feelings and emotions, then I don’t want to be on here at all. I just want to be myself. And during that time I simply couldn’t.
So here is what I did during my hiatus… I racked my brain about how to get my old, bubbly, fun self back. One word that kept creeping up on me from family and friends was THERAPIST. Let’s be realistic. A therapist IS NOT CHEAP. A therapist requires an appointment that you have to be 100% committed too otherwise you get a cancellation fee and I had just started a production job in which I agreed to be readily available throughout the entire run of the show. Committing to an appointment that cannot change and having enough time to go to it in traffic and get back to work if needed did not seem doable. And let me tell you, I HATE THAT I AM SHARING ALL THE EXCUSES I HAD COME UP WITH. But they were all very valid. But this is my HEALTH!!! My MENTAL HEALTH! MY SANITY! BRITTNEY THIS IS SOOOO IMPORTANT! Find a way to fix this!
One day I was clicking around and came across a platform called Talkspace… an online therapy platform… WAIT WHAT?!?! HOLD UP! You are telling me that I can have a therapist readily available via my cell phone and laptop? The answer is YES! Talkspace provided me with a questionnaire to fill out online and from there gave me a list of licensed therapists that best matched my needs. From there I chose my therapist and we set up a 15 minute FaceTime-like chat so that I could meet my therapist. Talkspace had different packages to choose from in terms of your needs. I chose the unlimited messaging option in which my therapist is available Friday to Tuesday. My specific therapist had off Wednesdays and Thursdays which I really loved because many times I needed someone to talk to mostly on the weekends, when I had alone time and my thoughts were running wild! Options such as Live Talk Therapy and Couple’s Therapy are available as well. For my package I pay $49 a week and I can talk to my therapist remotely and from anywhere without the stresses of having to be in person at a specific time. I am telling you this was a total game changer. And I am giving you $50 OFF your first month to give it a try!
The truth is I traded my Instagram for Talkspace. And I am very happy I did. After 6 weeks of online therapy I was able to talk to a professional who helped me eliminate negative feelings and thoughts. And I didn’t feel guilty about the topics I discussed… you know how sometimes you meet with friends and you feel like you have completely bogged them down and exhausted them over the guy you keep talking about or about your job or whatever it may be. I felt like my therapist was the one person I could put everything out there with and on a completely fresh slate. I even found my conversations with family and friends to improve because I didn’t need the “vent sash” of negative feelings with them anymore, I had someone to talk to specifically for that.
At the end of the day only YOU know what is best for YOU and only YOU can take the steps to make any positive CHANGES in your life. I am happily reactivated on Instagram and for all the right reasons. Sure I spend WAY LESS time on there now so please don’t take it personally if I miss an event invite or don’t like all your lovely motivational posts. When I took the hiatus I truthfully didn’t miss Instagram as much as I thought I would and in turn I don’t go on there as extensively anymore. I am doing me and living life and I don’t need any pictures to prove that!
Be the best version of you,
Mentally, Physically, and Emotionally Fit Friends,