First time mum/referee to a wild toddler. Self confessed rum enthusiast. Aspiring writer but hell of a procrastinator. Blogging about Mental Health and this motherhood malarkey from a refreshingly honest perspective.

How To Survive Social Media If You Struggle With Low Self Esteem


Social Media is the brain, the 'thing' of today's society. It's a handy way to connect with new people, greatly beneficial for online business' and website owners. It's also a fantastic way to keep in touch with family and friends from all over the world!
However, so much of it has become so toxic and harmful to lots of people, of all ages, but particularly young woman. It seems to govern our thoughts, rule our lives, makes us question our own worthiness.

It's an unrealistic yet idolized platform. We couldn't even envisage leaving home without our phones clutched tightly in our hand. We don't eat a meal out anymore without snapping a shot of every course and tagging our location onto Facebook. We won't even travel to the corner shop without updating the world of our whereabouts and minute to minute schedule. 

I'm one of the sheep, I'll admit that. It's really difficult not to be sucked into the poison that can infect social media. I'm prone to mindlessly scrolling, pointlessly liking and double tapping and filtering. Out of boredom, because everyone else does it, to feel a connection with an invisible audience or to feel better about myself. I've knocked my own self esteem by idolizing airbrushed pictures and photo shopped celebrities with waists so tiny they'd vanish if they turned sideways.

It's taken a toll on me at times and I've not helped myself in that regard. I've flicked through photos and felt my confidence crumble. I've felt my skin crawl in its own discomfort. I have compared myself to the fabricated concept, the unattainable goal to reach this perfection that would be considered good enough. I pick at my flaws and create more. It's become a vicious cycle.
It's caused young women (and men) to develop eating disorders, to self-harm, to be overcome with anxiety. It's become a plague for young minds.

So, what are some healthy ways to still enjoy social media, to 'survive' it without ridding of it entirely?

1. Take time away

It's really important to know when it's time to shut off your phone, log out of Facebook and pull away from the fixation of senseless skimming. It hurts my head at times, it makes me want to crawl into a ball and not face the world. I feel inadequate, disgusting, not enough. I look at myself and feel depressed that I don't resemble what I see splattered on every online feed or magazine.

I've learned to acknowledge when it's starting to affect me. When I need to shut it down and focus on something other than what I'm not because I'm now aware of how badly it does affect me, how low it can dip my moods.
Focus on what's positive when it becomes too much. Turn your mobile off for an hour, close your laptop. Your face doesn't need to be pressed into a screen constantly. Take care of your mind. 

2. Remember All Is Not As It Seems

People post an ideal. A snapped moment. An "instagram worthy" edit. Not to say that its a lie as such, but its not the whole truth. People have bad days, spotty days, "fat" days. They do NOT flaunt around with a permanent pout or an airbrushed, glowy face. Their blemishes can't be scrubbed out by photoshop when they do their daily errands and their cellulite is very much visible when not masked by a fucking valencia filter. They don't roll out of bed with gleaming white teeth and a bouncy blow dry (hair sticking up in all directions and a mouth like a pigs arse is the reality.)

It's a worked angle, a filter effect. It's an overpriced outfit that squeezes in all those wobbly bits. It's a damn good hair day. It's a (very well paid) team of people crowding round a celeb and spending hours working to enhance them.

3. Get Rid Of What Fuels Your Lack Of Self-Worth

I'm a 24/7 mum. My daily attire is a pare of comfy leggings and a food smeared jumper (thanks Arthur). My hair is mostly scraped back in an unkempt mess. The only colour to my face is the purple circles etched under my eyes and make-up is a hassle, another task to do that has little results in concealing the imperfections.

I don't feel sexy or confident or glamorous. I feel like I'm slacking, like I don't have time to fix my appearance (does it make much difference anyway?), like soft play isn't exactly the occasion to pull on some glad rags and get dressed up. That nice dress I wasted money on is now sitting dusty in the cupboard somewhere and the guilt is seeping in because it feels like money I could have put toward nappies or a day out with Arthur.

Following celebrities or influencers who are lounging around with concave stomachs and spend every day looking ready to strut a catwalk do nothing to fuel my self confidence. So it's simple, I unfollow because it does nothing but make me hate myself and that's anything but healthy.

Stop drinking up the things that trigger you. Follow pages or people that inspire you, that lift you up, that empowers your fire. Get rid of anything that is diminishing your confidence or making you feel like you're not good enough. The most important thing is acceptance. Accepting who you are, learning to become comfortable in your own skin. Knowing when to differentiate between reality and illusion.

4. Remember Looks Aren't Everything

Your beauty isn't measured by the size of your waist, or the style of your hair. It's not about how appealing you are to the eye of someone else, how many likes you've gained on a photo. It's not clarified by the size of your cleavage in a tight top or how toned your stomach is in a bikini.

It's shown in the way you smile at the one you love, how your eyes light up when you see them. The way tears flood your eyes at the soppy romance film you've watched on repeat a thousand times before. It's the music of your laughter when it fills a room, how alive you look when you dance to your favourite song.

It's the way your face glowed when you saw your child for the first time, the vulnerability when you show the pureness of your heart to only a selected few.
It's reflected in how loved you are by those who surround you, the way you twiddle with your hair when you're nervous. It'show gentle you are despite how the world tried to harden your heart, how much it has dampened your light.

Everyone's perception of 'perfection' is different. Your ideal is someone else distaste. Beauty isn't defined by what you look like. It's not your perky tits or how plump your ass is squeezed into a pair of skinny jeans. It's who you ARE, as a person, a friend, a lover. That's what is important. That's what people remember.

1 comment

  1. I couldn’t agree more about the celebrity influencers. I think I only follow one celeb mum. The rest of my insta is filled with real mums which can be a great support network

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