Stay Calm in the Whirlwind of Social Media

For as long as I can recall, I’ve been a water girl.

Getting me out of pools, lakes, oceans, rivers (and let’s be honest, even the bathtub) is a mission. Accolades go to my mother who always managed to tempt me out, even out of the lake which is a huge feat! 

This water loving trend has continued into adulthood.

Call it part of my self-care routine, I take deep comfort in the calming flow of water - no matter its source. It grounds me, and dulls the noise around me. And if you place that nourishing water in the midst of the grounding energy of the mountains and my soul is very grateful.

I have sought water out in all corners of the world.

I’ve rappelled down waterfalls in Costa Rica (terrifying), white water rafted in Switzerland, lazed in hot springs in Thailand, and surfed in Panama. I’ve even skinny-dipped on the shores of Vancouver alongside a family of seals (epic). 

Water's nourishing power even has me tied to my water-bottle.

I kid you not, I would rather forget my phone at home than forget my beloved water-bottle. Endearingly termed my "sippy cup" by a friend of mine, my water bottle is my side-kick. I drink more water than is likely humanly required. And I’m proud of it. 

My deep love of water is a part of me, and remains something that I can rely on to keep me grounded in a noisy, hectic world. 

Ok now for how this connects to you and your life. 

Recognizing when you need a time-out

In an age of instant gratification, there are any number of reasons to avoid going more in-depth with yourself. Whether it be the 7 new notifications you have on Instagram, the new news story that popped up on your feed, the work email you have yet to respond to, or any number of other pressing concerns. The distractions are numerous and they are tempting.

Your real story happens offline - your Insta story merely captures segments of the real deal.

So often we allow such distractions to unhinge us, and dull our sparkle. While they may provide instant gratification, it is rarely a lasting satisfaction.

And let's be honest, there are pressing issues that need our attention. Not just within our own lives and selves, but within the broader context of the world - #climatechange, #GretaThunberg<3.

At my most unhappy, I often looked to anywhere but myself for inspiration.

I was building a career that I loathed, and craved anything but what my days held. I stopped at a cafe for coffee and envied the baristas, I scrolled through the news and envied the writers. I envied pretty much anybody I saw on the subway - anyone going anywhere other than where I was headed for my 9AM - 5PM (or let's be real, 9AM - 8PM). They all became the target of my envy.

But in the midst of my envy, what I failed to do was take time out to pay attention to what was going inside of me. To head to the pool, and delve into the water for some grounding - time- out from day-to-day to check in with myself and what I wanted.

So what's the trick to checking-in with yourself while still feeling "in the mix"?

As much as I'd love to tell you that there's a formula that will take you from anxious to grounded, there's no one way to go about it. The trick is to figure out what works for you - and awareness that you need that check-in.

Breathing can ground you in the event that there are no mountains or bodies of water present - or containers of Ben and Jerry's, or gardens to prune - you do you.

Taking a break from Instagram and the barrage of hearts may ground me immensely, but not bring you much calm at all. We're all different, and so it's important to create a personalized check-in. Whether that be a quick breathing exercise, a deep meditation, a dance session in your bedroom, or a quick stop at the gym.

What I can tell you is that grounding yourself, no matter your mechanism, works best if you know what brings you internal stillness, or at least reprieve from the day-to-day demands.

You have to be your own referee in life, and call a time-out when you need it. Even if you're in the last period with 20 seconds on the clock in a Stanley Cup final. Even Sidney Crosby needs to ground himself sometimes, perhaps even in those final 20 seconds. If you don't set the boundaries, no one else will.

Believe me, once you make the time for that check-in, you will become the author of your own life, and that is as an empowering moment.

So once you have the awareness to recognize that a time-out is required (yay), what do you do to ground yourself?

Coming back to your breath

Try this with me. Take a deep breath-in to the count of 4 and then let it all out to the count of 5.

How do you feel?

A little bit calmer, right? Even a smidgen.

Do it three more times. And really take it all in.

No matter where you are, or what you're doing, this body check-in will calm your limbic system and bring you back to the present moment. It's almost magical in its effect.

Breathing can ground you in the event that there are no mountains or bodies of water present - or containers of Ben and Jerry's to devour or treadmills to hit up - you do you.

There's also the magical effect of natural supplements such as magnesium and turmeric. In fact, studies have shown that curcumin has an antidepressant like effect and can improve mental health. If it helps control depression and anxiety, even the smallest amount. Use of such supplements definitely fits a more holistic approach to your well-being.

Create space and time for meditation. It's worth it. I promise.

Muting Notifications for a Hot Minute

Part of my love-affair with all things nature is that it forces me to un-plug. Not much wi-fi in the great outdoors. So for me, it helps me to disconnect and connect all at once.

And muting my tech doesn't just give me freedom from being accountable to every whim my phone has in store for me, but it forces me to take in my surroundings like it's 1960 (like "Hey Jude" is playing in the background as I take in a glorious sunset).

And when that twinge of phone separation anxiety kicks in (which it will), remember this: your phone isn't your baby, it doesn't need your constant attention to survive. Those dating matches will still be there, and you can catch up on your newsfeed later. It will wait for you to feel more grounded, and write your story.

Your real story happens offline - your Insta story merely captures segments of the real deal.

Finding your water and mountain equivalent

Central to figuring out what grounds you is figuring out what triggers you. Is dating a trigger? Well removing yourself from dating altogether isn't a great option, because it means you miss out on the potential for meaningful companionship. But giving yourself a moment away from the demands of dating, to ground yourself, ensures that you are more present and likely more capable when you jump back in.

Your shine is bound to be much brighter when you're connected and checked in with yourself.

Embrace what makes you feel calm in a jiffy. Is it knitting? Is it shooting hoops? Is it baking (yum)? Is it meditation? Is it yoga? Whatever it is, make sure it works for you.

Check-in with yourself. Notice your triggers. Find your grounding tools.

You will be better for everyone around you.

Now, excuse me while I go for a swim.

Overwhelmed by online dating?
Replace :) with an actual smile. Get to know your matches IRL with Wandure.

Check out our 'gram

Follow us to hear about when we launch in your city
We love comments
Subscribe now to never miss a beat...
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Further reading
How the World Celebrates Love - Valentine's Day
Olivia Johnson
February 14, 2020
read post
Do Dating Apps Make us Better at Dating?
Olivia Johnson
January 17, 2020
read post
Tinder in Montreal
Olivia Johnson
February 10, 2020
read post
Dating and Dopamine: Swipe, Match, Reward
Olivia Johnson
December 13, 2019
read post