Tis the season to...be sucked into a social media spiral of comparison, insecurity, and distraction? We think not!
At Hudson Healing Arts, we believe the greatest gift you can give others is your presence. Not just being physically there, but giving your sincere, genuine attention to the people right in front of you - and we all know the difference!
All too often, however, our loved ones take second place to our oh-so-seductive smartphones. It’s considered acceptable to “like” photos while ignoring how precious our physical company is, or to send a “Happy Holidays” text in the middle of a real-life conversation. We all know the deflated feeling of being barely listened to, and the various detrimental effects that digital overload can take on our wellbeing.
The truth is, it doesn’t have to be this way! The existence of technology needn’t take a toll on our wellbeing; in fact, used wisely and mindfully, it can make the holidays sparkle a little brighter. This holiday season, we’d like to focus on ways to embrace social media as a tool for connection...
What’s Your Intention?
At HHA, we often say, “More doesn’t always mean better. In many cases, it just means more!” This applies to social media, too: Having six different accounts simply means more overload. Choosing one or two forms of social media is a great way to rein it in a bit and get clear about your intentions.
For instance, are you using social media to keep in touch with faraway loved ones...or to show people how much fun you’re having? Are you posting because you want to share a story that made you smile...or because the people right in front of you aren’t providing enough entertainment? We’re definitely not suggesting that every move you make needs to be psychoanalyzed. However, it can be illuminating to bring some awareness to how your tech habits really make you feel! If a certain app or group doesn’t contribute to your life in a positive way, it’s time to re-evaluate.
You may feel totally uplifted and connected by certain forms of social media, and drained by others. For instance, Instagram is a great avenue for self-expression for some; but if seeing a highlight reel of other people’s “perfect” lives makes you feel bad about yourself, the best decision for you is to stop engaging. Show yourself some love by doing what’s best for your wellbeing!
Also, it’s worth a mention that there are various ways social media can actually be used to enhance your holiday season. Just a few ideas...
Real Life First, Tech Later
No matter what forms of social media you choose to engage with, it’s worth a reminder that taking breaks to disengage is key.
If the phone is the first thing you reach for when you wake up, put it in another room or in a drawer. Give yourself time to ease into the day, to savor a morning cup of coffee or tea without multitasking. Enjoy what you're eating. Listen to the sounds of the morning. Breathe! Your digestive system will thank you for it and you'll feel better (ditto with unplugging before bedtime).
Finally, remember the golden rule: Talk first, “tech” later! You can always come back to a text or social media post...but not to the precious person right in front of you. Using technology to connect and gain inspiration is wonderful, so long as you don’t let it fracture the gift of your full-on, one-of-a-kind presence. It’s all a choice, and the great news is when you use social media wisely, you can reap the benefits of stronger relationships, greater joy, and the peace of truly being in the moment.
Happy holidays, everyone—and thank you all for your radiant presence on our blog and in our little nook on Hudson Street! Wishing you a season full of peace, joy, and wonder.
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.