The morning sun breaks through the gap in your curtains landing on your face, the sound of your neighbour’s frustrated voice bellowing at their kids to get dressed waking you out of your slumber.
You yawn, stretch, wipe the sleep from your eyes then reach for your technological slab of possibilities. You scan the many notifications your phone received overnight, catch up on those group chats, emails, Facebook notifications. Oh crap! Its Becky’s birthday, you better send her a virtual prezzie and wish her a good day so she knows you are thinking of her #birthdaylove.
You scroll down your feed and see that Lizzy from school is on yet another holiday somewhere exotic posing by the pool at sunset with a fruit adorned cocktail #blessed. Annoying. You scroll through the funny memes and gifs, watch part of a video about how you are the keeper of your own happiness and feel a bit better. Then there’s a video of your girls who all went out together last night laughing, dancing looking glam #squadgoals. You roll your eyes wondering why you weren’t invited. You like the post leave a comment, “gutted I missed this *sad face*” and decide to check Instagram.
Steve’s wife is pregnant for the 4th time. Caption reads, “hoping for a boy this time” with the image of him surrounded by his girls painting his nails, putting bows in his hair, make up on his face and his wife holding the scan picture #outnumbered. You laugh, like the picture, post a laughing face emoji and a say congratulations and continue to scroll. You see Jenny down the road is celebrating her son’s first birthday and has filled her lounge with a mountain of presents she has also posted a series of smash the cake professional pictures of her little cherub cutely going in head first to the massive sugary icing covered cake.
You tut and continue scrolling through the sea of Insta mums bossing it in their sustainable slogan tees telling you that you too could be living this life, running your own business, still doing the school run, looking glam #mumboss. Another in their Instagram worthy home with a gorgeous bed full of cushions, with lights wrapped around the posts. that rug that’s everywhere and a shelf full of must have images, luscious green plants and a staged photo of her and her chiselled husband in bed, their well-groomed children in matching pjs lying in between them with a caption, ‘there’s no better way to start the day than hugs from the ones you love #myworld’.
You look over to the lump of a partner next to you snoring away then back at the image of the perfect family on your phone you lift the covers and glance at your holey stretched out ripped stained tee. Feeling like a slob you promptly cover yourself back up. After 45 minutes of scrolling and comparing yourself to those online you get up and get ready for the day. While brushing your teeth in the bathroom you prop your phone up against the tiles behind the sink so you can catch up on everyone’s Insta-stories.
Brad and Lucy are at the gym together #couplesgoals. Your favourite influencer is at a swanky restaurant you make a note of it for your future date night. You notice a few of the Insta mums are sharing the same product and this is why they all have such great skin #gifted. You look at your dull dry skin in the mirror, dark circles under your eyes and then swipe up to buy the product that has made all these women look like they are glowing. You shower, dress as quickly as possible because it’s rare that the kids aren’t up yet and this gives you a chance to put some make up on. You go to the kids’ room only to realise that they have been up for a while trashing their bedroom and helping themselves to your organic biscuits downstairs. The only issue is they didn’t eat them because they didn’t like the taste of your poo poo biscuits, so instead they crumbled them up and stomped them into the carpet along with the new cruelty free eye shadow palette you treated yourself to.
You’re raging as you look at your far from Instagram worthy lounge. You shout to your partner to wake up and take the kids so that you can deal with the mess and make packed lunches for everyone as you didn’t do it the night before because you were tired and tried to get an early night but ended up scrolling through social media and fulling into a YouTube ‘how to’ rabbit hole. While your partner wrestles the kids in the bathroom you quickly check your phone again. Your friend who had a baby a month ago, wears some gorgeous matching lingerie while holding her new baby in the reflection of a bathroom mirror with the caption “I can’t believe my baby is a month old already and I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight aren’t our bodies amazing” #snapback. You say out loud “are you frickin’ serious! That’s not a mum bod she only had that baby a month ago how is that fair!” You like the picture and reply to the image.
Does this morning routine sound familiar? Do you reach for your phone before you reach for your partner? Your toothbrush? Your morning perspective? It is so easily done, then before you know it these mini blows to our self-confidence become a bigger problem. Each time you go back onto social media you are feeding that negative mind-set and the compare-itis gets out of control.
There are people out there whose mental health is suffering because they feel they are not enough because their life doesn’t match up to those online. Trying to be a sustainable, cruelty free, charitable, healthy, entertaining, domestic goddess, interior designing, fashionista, jet setting, social butterfly extraordinaire is exhausting if that isn’t what you are naturally into. In an ideal world, every meal would be balanced and full of organic veg and the shampoo and cleaning products would all be natural and nontoxic but unfortunately that lifestyle is an expensive one. So, if you must buy the 80p toilet cleaner instead of the £4.79 one don’t feel bad about it. If you had to feed the kids chips, nuggets and beans for another night because you were too exhausted to cook the healthier option you had planned, at least you have fed your child.
I highly recommend taking a digital break to refocus on what it is you are doing and why you are using the different platforms, stop exposing yourself to the images that make you question your self-worth. Curate your feeds to fill you with daily good feels. Remember there will always be someone with more than you, so appreciate what you do have instead of comparing your life to theirs. Someone else’s successes are not your failures!
Below are a list of 10 Instagram accounts that I follow that get me thinking, inspire me to do more of what I love, are body positive, full of encouraging and empowering content. Some you may have heard of others may be a welcome addition to your feeds.