The things you read, people you follow, and the content you watch have a big impact on what you think and how you feel. It is the fuel you are putting into your brain, and just like the famous Buddha saying goes, “what you think, you become.”
An important part of self-care and recovery that isn’t discussed enough is the impact the information you are consuming is having on your wellbeing. Because we are living in an era of relentless connectivity and social media saturation, we need to protect ourselves, and an important way we can do that is by being very conscientious about what we are following and reading.
When I realized this I took a deep look into how the content I was consuming on a daily basis was making me feel, and then cleaned out all the junk I didn’t want making it’s way into my head.
I wanted to expose myself to things that lit me up and inspired me, not things that made me criticize myself or brought me down.
In my opinion, the only types of “diets” we should be talking about are: CONTENT DIETS. Just like if you eat nourishing foods you are going to feel energized, if you consume thought-provoking interesting content you are going to feel expanded.
For our mental health and well-being, it is very important that we be aware of how certain content makes us feel and to remove things that don’t align with our goals or help us feel our best.
Here are some of the tactics I have applied to my life to remove negative content that was making me feel good:
I don’t follow people that make me feel bad about myself
This can be someone I knew from college, a toxic friendship, or a wellness influencer – anything that makes me feel less than or that my situation just isn’t as good as theirs — is an unfollow.
Bloggers who are “super healthy” restrictive eaters
Nothing against them but that content isn’t healthy for me and it makes me start questioning what I am eating and I don’t need that — I want Recovery :)
Skinny models or photos posted with beauty/body ideals that aren’t aligned with what I want to believe in
I am working towards believing in beauty standards that are more realistic and accepting of all body shapes and sizes
Therefore models, especially VS models or bathing suit company models, are not the types of beauty ideals I want pushed upon me
Any accounts that I have found to be triggering, crude, or inappropriate
Sometimes these don’t even make sense but if the content feels triggering, gross or cruel in some way, it isn’t something I wan to be exposed to
I don’t follow any news outlets on social media and am not subscribed to any of their email marketing lists
I don’t want information pushed upon, rather I want to go to the websites and choose what I want to read
I pick the articles that I want to be reading
I don’t read the news every day
I know some people might find this irresponsible but my first priority is to take care of myself and A LOT of what is in the news is triggering and upsetting for me, so I choose to protect myself and not read this content every day
I will read the headlines every other day to be aware of developments, and then I will choose which stories look interesting to me
I listen to the NPR Up First podcast frequently because I find that way of consuming the news better for me.
Read more books & magazines
I have been going back to reading hard copy books and magazines because I am tired of how much of my time and attention can get hijacked by advertisements or various things popping up online
When I read a magazine article, I can sit and read the magazine article in peace and then move on and do something else without finding myself down an internet rabbit hole two hours later
I have a New Yorker subscription which I love — that is my favorite form of reading interesting, well-written articles