Social Media is draining: How to preserve your energy and keep engaged online.

Copy of The ugly truth about self love

Do you sometimes feel drained by social media? You experience days where being online felt more like an obligation than fun. However, it feels impossible to escape due to your personal and career goals. 

We all know the importance of online branding and posting content frequently to engage with other like-minded people. There’s a whole industry dedicated to helping people improve their online presence and becoming a successful brand. We are told that by constantly posting and interacting with others we can grow our brands and create a lasting impact on those who support us. However, this dependency on social media and this desire to be constantly visible can have negative impacts on our own well-being. Navigating in such a fast pace environment where it never switches off can be detrimental to our own inner peace.

If you’re someone like me who’s hyper-sensitive to other peoples energy, being online can sometimes be draining. I find this is especially the case with my social media accounts like Instagram and Facebook. To be honest, I’ve never experienced this with my blog and I think this is because I don’t feel the same pressures to be constantly visible like I do on other sites. Over the past year, I’ve actively surrounded myself with people who talk about well-being and self-care to help me on my own journey. However, I’ve found that so many of us offer a lot of advice to others but don’t talk much about our own self-care practices.  Or at least I find that there’s a lack of transparency when it comes to talking about how we cultivate the time to practice these things we talk about. It leads me to ask the question- If we are constantly posting and offering other people advice on how to practice self-care then when do we really get the time to practice these things ourselves?  

Recently I’ve made a commitment to use social media in a way that is better suited to my own personal needs. I love connecting with others and I want to maximize the benefits of social media. However, I want to be able to switch off without feeling guilty. I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out and I don’t want to feel drained.  I’ve been practicing a few things over the past few months and they seem to be working well so far. For anyone who finds themselves in this dilemma, this list should be helpful to you. 

5 things you can do to not feel drained by social media:

1. Take breaks- Plan a day every month where you go completely social media free. If your brand/business is reliant on you constantly posting, then plan your posts in advance and set a timer to post them on that specific day. That way all of your work is done for you and you can enjoy your social media free day without feeling guilty. More importantly, taking breaks is good for your mental health. It makes you realize that there’s a life beyond social media to explore and needs nurturing.

2. Plan the amount of time you want to spend using social media- Prioritize certain time periods throughout the day or the number of hours you spend on your phone. Set yourself a maximum amount of time you want to use being online and aim not to exceed that limit. The chances are that when you’re exceeding that limit it’s because you’re wasting time aimlessly scrolling on your socials out of boredom.

3. Set times where you absolutely do not check social media- I have this rule that I don’t check any of my social media accounts first thing in the morning. In fact, I won’t check my socials until after 9:30am. I am a firm believer that what you consume as soon as you wake up can have a lasting impact on the rest of your day. If you’re feeling pressure to post or you see something negative first thing in the morning, you’re going to be anxious and overwhelmed. You want to start your day in the best state of mind possible. I’ve found that by implementing this rule especially I feel much more confident and less drained.

4. Have a hobby that does not involve using social media- I find reading and doing crafty activities keeps me grounded. It’s important to enjoy other things outside of being online. Imagine if the internet goes down for a whole week? You have to think about other things you’d enjoy doing and do those things on a frequent basis.

5. Decide whether being constantly active on social media is necessary- If you find being overly present on social media more draining than fun and you aren’t using it for business purposes or to push a greater cause then you should re-evaluate whether it’s necessary to use so frequently. I know there’s a lot of pressure to be on social media but you don’t have to use it because of everyone else. You are in control of how much you use it and you get to decide when you want to switch off.

Questions for you: 

How do you carve out time for yourself?

Can you relate to anything above? Or if not what is your perspective on this topic?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Love Ash, xx

Copyright © AshAlves 2018, All Rights Reserved

Free Printable Worksheets

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Hey guys,

I have made 5 printable worksheets. Download your own FREE printable PDF worksheets here. You can print the pages in their original A4 format. LINK- Ashs Worksheet Printouts

This document consists of 5 worksheets:

  1. Short term goals- listing your goal and 5 mini goals to aim towards it
  2. Gratitude- Listing things you’re grateful for.
  3. “I keep my cup full”- Affirmation task
  4. Non-judgemental space- Debunking limiting beliefs that stop you from your own growth
  5. “Trash Thoughts”- Debunking negative thoughts

Worksheets are an amazing tool for self-reflection and exploration. Follow the notes on each page and work through the sheets. This task is helpful for understanding self-defeatist thoughts and replacing negative narratives we tell ourselves with positive ones. If you are working on a project, a business, finances or personal growth there’s an exercise called ‘short term goals’ that is recommended to be used to track your progress, motivate you and set attainable targets. 

 

I Hope they’re helpful 😊✨

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2018, All Rights Reserved

How to overcome feelings of Jealousy: Tips & Practical Steps

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (8)

 

Have you ever seen images or heard of someone’s success and instantly felt a wave of jealously overwhelm you? Has this made you feel inadequate and made you doubt your own accomplishments? Well you’re not alone. We all have our own demons and i’ve tussled with this one.

I’ve battled with jealous thoughts for years. I didn’t know how to reach out and talk about it to anyone because I found it quite embarrassing. No one want’s to be perceived as a “hater” so I suffered in silence. Over the years my jealous thoughts became self-destructive and severely affected my self-esteem. It evaded and destroyed all aspects of my life. I didn’t want to pursue my career goals because I felt like others were smarter,  more experienced and had better connections than me. Seeing other people pursue the career goals I was struggling to achieve made me insecure about my own capabilities. Being on social media sites, especially Instagram, made me more self-conscious about my body. I never really suffered from body insecurities growing up- I fell into societies perception of desirable ‘slim bodies’. Then slim-thick hourglass shapes became the new trend and now every image of this body made made me despise my own.

It affected my friendships. My jealousy inhibited me from being a supportive friend to others. If someone came to me with good news, i’d express how happy I was for them. However deep down inside my intentions did not match my words- I felt jealous and their success reminded me of the things I wanted in my life.  I think this was the most painful part of experiencing jealously. I couldn’t truly celebrate my friends as I was so blinded by my own insecurities.

I had a realisation one night after torturing myself with negative self-talk that if I continue to feel low about myself because of what others are doing, I would eventually destroy myself. Apart of me knew I couldn’t let it get that far. I wanted to unconditionally love myself and genuinely be happy for other people’s achievements.

I began my journey of understanding my jealously and getting to the root causes of it. I realised that the things that I envied in others had a direct correlation to my own personal insecurities. To defeat jealously I had to get to the root causes of the things that inhibited me from accepting and loving myself. This year I must say i’ve made significant strides with addressing this issue and it was only possible by doing a few things to help along the way.

If you’re currently battling with jealously here’s 4 practical techniques that might help you:

1.Writing- When you start to feel jealous, write down your feelings. You need to write unfiltered and get it all off your chest. Don’t judge yourself whilst you write. Once you’ve written your thoughts down, go through what you’ve written and begin to fact check everything. Ask yourself, how much of this is true? Am I being too harsh on myself or the other person? Begin to deconstruct what you’ve written and you’ll begin to unravel the reasons you feel jealous and might begin to realise that you have nothing to feel jealous about. I’ve written an example of how to do this below in ‘debunking your jealous thoughts’.

2. Affirmations- Affirmations are a great way to reprogram your mind to focus on positive and affirming thoughts about yourself. Part of the reason why we feel jealous is due to our own insecurities, so by reciting words that make us feel good about ourselves we begin to undermine our negative self-talk. I’ve listed a few affirmations below for you to use but I recommend finding ones that uplight and empower you.

3. Mindfulness- Go into a quite space and take 10-15minutes doing mindful meditation or breathing exercises. I find that when i’m overwhelmed by jealous thoughts, meditating allows me to think rationally and find peace with the present moment. There’s apps you can use such as Headspace if you aren’t used to meditating and need some guidance.

4. Stay in action- If you are envious that someone has achieved something that you want, work towards attaining that goal. For example, if you have a fitness goal or want to pursue a creative venture, work on getting better at your craft on a daily basis. If you focus your energy on being your own best version then you start to feel more satisfied with your own life.

Debunking your jealous thoughts:

1. You’re making the assumption that someone’s life is better than yours because of the ‘perfect’ images they display of themselves. You don’t know the struggle’s they’re going through or are currently experiencing. People aren’t going to post the ‘bad’ parts of their life. Begin accepting the fact that social media sites like Instagram are just filtered, distorted versions of reality. It only does disservice to yourself and that person when you compare your life to a filtered snippet of their life.

2. Their success does not undermine yours. You are jealous of someone making huge milestones (successful creative venture, popularity, career, physical glow up) and it’s making you feel like you’ve barely accomplished anything. Does that mean you’ve barely accomplished anything or that you’ve got plenty of things that you are yet to achieve? Don’t let other people’s timelines of ‘when’ you should reach a certain level of success deter you from achieving your goals. You might not be there yet but you certainly will be soon. The position you are in now is part of your journey and you should embrace it. All in good timing! Remember you belong in the realm of success just by virtue of being who you are. There’s room for all of us to win.

3. “They’re more desirable than me”- by who’s standard? You’re being harsh on yourself based on a standard that was not created to benefit you. You have to begin to create your own standard of what your best version looks like and live everyday being that person. No one can be better than you because you’re uniquely made.

Affirmations to use when feeling jealous:

1. Other people’s success does not diminish my own

2. I have all the capabilities within me to achieve greatness

3. I trust my own journey

4. I am uniquely made

5. I will focus my energy on abundance and being the best that I can be.

6. By virtue of being myself I am enough

7. I am beautiful, I am strong, I am powerful, I am talented

8. I congratulate other people’s success and use their journey as inspiration to develop my own.

 

Thank you for reading!

Have you ever experienced jealousy before? OR been the victim of a jealous person?

Let me know your thoughts 🙂

Love Ash x 

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2018, All Rights Reserved

October 1st: The Gratitude Journal

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It’s October guys! I hope that everyone has a blissful month 🌻. The theme of this month is all about transition. Embracing change and making room for something greater. As the leaves fall on the ground and birth new ones, may this season remind us of the importance of letting go and allowing change to make the necessary shifts in our lives.

Octobers Affirmation:

You might not understand the chain of events or the transition you’re currently undergoing in your life right now. You might be wary of whether things will work out in your best interest. Note to self; not understanding your current circumstances is completely normal! Although things might not be clear to you at the moment, you will eventually understand why it was necessary to go through. Transition creates space for something greater. Uncomfortable change makes room for a necessary transformation in your life. Personal growth arrives when you embrace change and allow it to make you greater.

“I will take on this transitional phrase with ease. I may not make sense of it now but I will come to understand it in time.”

Question for you:

What changes are you currently undergoing?

What changes do you need to make room for?

Love Ash xx

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2018, All Rights Reserved

Downplaying Compliments and Low Self-Esteem: A confessional

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (7)

Do you ever receive a compliment and instantly deflect the conversation away from yourself? I can relate. To give myself credit, this past year I have made a conscious effort to accept nice things said about me. However, I still catch myself feeling uncomfortable or deflecting from compliments especially when I receive them in real life.

Just a little background into why I am talking about this topic. I was out one night with a few friends and one of my friends complimented my hair. I began to downplay it and ended up rabbling on about how I purchased the hair. She replied back to me and said: “take the compliment and go”. I was shocked at her abrasiveness but I’m happy that she said it as her words led me to certain revelations that I had not yet realised.

The resistance I feel towards praise stems from many years of low self-esteem. The truth is for a long time I never felt like I was enough and would always find fault in my achievements. When I receive a compliment it’s unfamiliar language to me because I’ve become accustomed to believing my negative self-talk. When I get told nice things I automatically want to respond by saying “are you sure you’re talking about me”. I know that sounds negative but this was my thought process.

Another reason why I don’t respond to praise well is that I hardly celebrate myself. Rarely do I say ‘well done’ or reward me for my accomplishments. For example, I didn’t go to my graduation despite doing very well and being the first in my immediate family to go to university. I didn’t even acknowledge the fact that finally got a new job, one which brings me more joy. Not once did I organize a meal or self-care days to really celebrate my accomplishments.

Another revelation I had was that I’ve somehow conflated self-praise with bragging. I steered away from publicly sharing my accomplishments because I didn’t want to be perceived as showing off. There’s definitely merit in celebrating privately and knowing that we don’t need to be validated externally to feel proud of ourselves. But I think that I was being unnecessarily unkind to myself by downplaying and hiding my achievements from the world. I’m starting to realize that you can be a humble person whilst receiving praise and celebrating yourself openly.

I’m trying each day to tell myself I deserve happiness. I deserve to be complimented. I deserve to receive and believe nice things about me. Irrespective of what I’ve done in the past, right here and now I deserve to be celebrated. Breaking this learned behaviour which I’ve become accustomed to is proving to be harder than I anticipated. However each day I commit to being more aware of my response to compliments and to consciously celebrate my accomplishments, right down to the smallest things.

A Question for you:

How well do you take compliments?

If anyone can relate let me know your thoughts x

Gratitude list: Sept 2018

1. My ability to bounce back from adversity

2. For discovering writing as a form of therapy and healing

3. Waking up and seeing the sunrise

4. My travel experiences and being able to experience the richness of the black diaspora

5. Growing up on India. Arie’s music

6. Having friends who support and inspire me

7. For discovering Toni Morrison,my favourite author

8. Recently being exposed to the Tarot card world

9. For trees that give me oxygen

10. All the spiritual teachers in my life- my partner, my friends, strangers, the ancestors & people who battle with adversity on a daily basis but are brave enough to live within a love ethic.

 

HEY guys! At the beginning of each month I will upload a post on expressing gratitude. It’ll either be a written post, a video, link etc. I think it’s necessary that I utilise this space not only for self-analysis but somewhere to celebrate and appreciate the beauty and wonders of life.

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2018, All Rights Reserved

Heyy I’m back from my blogging Hiatus!

Hey guys,

I’m not sure if anyone noticed but last month I took a break from blogging. I’ve spent the past few weeks in South Africa exploring the lovely Johannesburg and Cape Town! I’ll be totally honest, it was an unintentional break. Just as I was about to board my flight, I ended up breaking my phone (just my luck)! I was devastated however it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

There’s been a lot happening in my life lately, transitions I am going through and burdens I have been carrying that I had not giving myself the time to process. Not having my phone allowed me the space to address emotional needs and desires. I began to centre myself and delve into the personal issues that I realized have been weighing down on me for many years.

I learned this holiday how to switch off and truly unwind without the guilt of being unproductive. I realised that I am the most productive and in alignment with my purpose when I carve out time for self-care and prioritise my well being.

Not having my phone made me hyperaware of what I was experiencing, instead of focusing on capturing every moment digitally. I tuned into the different cultures, people, history, stories I was experiencing in South Africa. I connected with nature. I ate some amazing South African and West African food. I watched plenty of action movies. I immersed myself in the experience which is often missed when we are so focused on using our phones all the time.

Anyhoo I am glad to be back! I also want to say that I am so thankful for the support I’ve received since the beginning of the year. It warms my heart that I am able to connect with some amazing people on this platform. You all inspire me and reading your stories has helped me on my own journey. I do have a few new blog posts coming this month which I am excited about so stay tuned.

Do you take Social Media breaks? Do you think they are helpful?

 

Love Ash x

Copyright © AshAlves 2018, All Rights Reserved

How to survive a job you hate

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (6)

Do you frequently walk into work each morning and think ughhh not this again? I know that feeling all too well! Waking up to a 9 to 5 job everyday feels like you never left work. One minute you’re making your way home and the next you’re turning off the alarm for work the next morning. If you’re someone like me who’s constantly buzzing with ideas/plans of things they want to achieve in life, going to a job you’re not passionate about is mental torture.

Not a day goes by when I don’t ask myself why am I still here. Dealing with the bitchiness, microaggressions and managers breathing down my neck on a day to day basis is emotionally draining. In an ideal world I would never work a 9-5 job and just live my life pursuing all the things I enjoy. However like many others, I depend on my job to pay my bills. I don’t come from a privileged background with an abundance of savings to fall back on. The option to just quit and pursue my goals is not realistic at this present moment. Coming from a low-income/poor background does not afford you the same options as someone with a safety net who can leave their job without any repercussions.

I think society undermines the emotional and physical toll it can have on people who are in a job they don’t enjoy. Within capitalist society, it’s not about whether you like your job, but working as a matter of survival. This harsh reality requires us to find coping mechanisms to help preserve our well-being. Over the past year I have been finding new ways to cope on a day to day basis until I am finally able to make that leap to pursue my career goals. These methods have helped me and I want to share them with you.

Tips to help you survive your job:

1. Have a passion outside of work- Whether it’s reading, community work or dance classes, indulging in a hobby outside of work will bring joy and a sense of fulfilment into your life. Having a hobby can keep you motivated to continue your day knowing that you have something to look forward to afterwards. If you’re in the process of setting up a business you’re passionate about, the dislike you have for your job should act as a source of motivation to spend a little time each day working on that said idea and putting it into fruition.

2. Change your perspective of your job- I was watching a Lisa Nicols video (check her out if you haven’t already) on Youtube and she said something that had a profound impact on me. She said “see your job as your investor”. Once I heard this I stopped thinking of my job as a burden but as something that was funding my goals. When you start to feel low about your job, say to yourself I’m going to work for my ‘investor’. If you picture your job as someone who’s funding your dreams then it’ll make you feel more motivated to go into work.

3. Set yourself a realistic time period for you to leave your job (if you want to quit)- If you hate your job so much that you want to leave, set yourself a realistic and attainable deadline of when you want to leave your job. Take into consideration that your financial situation might fluctuate and any other external factors that might inhibit you from quitting i.e. whether you’ve accumulated enough experience or how long it’ll take you to find another job. I made the mistake previously of over anticipating when I could leave, only to be disappointed when certain financial burdens got in the way. Set yourself a target and focus your mind each day to preparing yourself to meet your goal.

4. Take breaks at work when you get frustrated- If you’re at work and you find yourself feeling agitated about your job, take a few minutes away to recollect your thoughts. Take an extra few minutes away from your computer screen or take a longer toilet break (do whatever doesn’t get you caught out lol). If you’re someone like me who gets easily annoyed this is important. By taking some time out, it gives you an opportunity to remind yourself of your intentions and why you’re at your job in the first place.

5. Set yourself mini goals- Dedicate some time to write down what you want to achieve every week. It’s usually recommended that you write down a few mini goals to achieve each day instead of a lengthy list. Writing down your goals and achieving them will make you feel more fulfilled knowing you’re spending time nurturing your life outside of work.

And lastly. You might dislike your job but i’m sure you can find some good aspects of it too. Your job is probably teaching you excellent transferable skills that can be used for your next job/career choice. That annoying manager is teaching you vital skills about leadership. Your retail job is teaching you how to interact with customers which is vital for having your own business. Your salary is funding those nights out with your friends and start the up money to pursue your dreams. Take advantage of the experiences that your job is offering you. The positives and negatives all make for great live lessons. And remember, you don’t have to be stuck in this job forever!

Are you currently in a job you dislike?

What are the struggles you face on a daily basis? And how do you cope, if at all?
I hope i’m not by myself in this struggle haha.

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2018, All Rights Reserved