Standing in the middle of the aisle 2 and staring at a small package of almond flour in a total daze, I suddenly snapped out of my little hazy bubble of disbelief when I heard my kids calling out “Mooooomy!” while running towards me with some snacks in their hands.  
As my husband approached me, I contemplated putting the flour into the cart, but instead placed it back onto the shelf with a sigh.  

“Can you believe how much it is for a tiny bag of almond flour?” I said as we walked away towards checkout.  

I was trying out this new KETO diet which restricted carbs (which is pretty much the devil in disguise because I love my carbs) but wanted to attempt making my own “KETO bread” from home.  It’s a fantastic diet (and I know it works from those that tell me) but my goodness is it expensive.  That is the unfortunate thing about our food industry.  The healthier something is, the pricier it is.  That, however, has not stopped me from being very conscious about what I feed my family on a daily basis. 

Much like what we put into our bodies every day, everything we consume will affect us — either for the good or for the bad.
For example: our environment, the people we surround ourselves with, the books we read, the music or podcasts we listen to, and something we fail to realize and is constantly in front of our eyes, technology.
Yes, technology.  But I’m not just talking about the potential hazards of blue light (something I’d love to talk more about in another post!) or the risk of dropping your phone on your face if you choose to scroll aimlessly online before bed — I’m aiming at social media, specifically.
Ahh, good ol’ social media.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube… we love it, and we hate it.

I often sing praises when it comes to the world of social media.  
I annoy friends and family with how much I talk about the benefits and fun of social media (including my excessive use of Snapchat filters).  I get some judgey-mcnasty vibes from some of my tweens’ friends parents when they find out I allowed my daughter to open her own private (and heavily monitored) Instagram and TikTok account. *shrugs*
But being heavily exposed and allowing myself to be more vulnerable online because of my blogging and social media work, I truly felt (and continue to feel) the effects these platforms have created.  This makes me ponder and draw concern for the mental wellbeing of my own child.  It’s hard enough to sometimes find that healthy balance for adults, but what about the more fragile minds and hearts of our youth?

One of the biggest concerns is FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).  Facebook and Instagram is infamous for instilling that nasty feeling in most people.  Especially because these platforms are designed to showcase our highlights.  I have to say though, I’m thankful I don’t suffer much from FOMO but there have been times, especially as a mother.  I’m not an avid traveller (more so because I have a severe plane phobia so travels are unfortunately limited) so at times I feel pangs of jealousy or sadness whenever I see other families enjoying travels abroad and wish I was able to do the same for my children. 
With that said, I make sure to focus my attention back on everything I can and do provide for my family to ensure they don’t miss out on living their best life. Or better yet, to learn to appreciate and channel the fine art of JOMO – Joy Of Missing Out.

Recently we celebrated a joyous occasion out of town, my son’s “champagne” 7th birthday, and I feel what made it even more special was the fact that my digital presence, particularly on social media, was limited and focused on enjoying every special moment with my family.  
Don’t get me wrong, I posted a few instagram and facebook stories to share our happiness and excitement with our loved ones, and of course the obligatory Facebook birthday shout-out, but the fact that I didn’t spend countless hours glued to my phone, responding to comments or scrolling through timelines made my experience this past weekend even more pleasant.
JOMO.
I focused on the NOW and it was just the best experience.  I felt nourished and refreshed.  But most importantly, my family got ALL of me and not just a piece of me with the other half dedicated to technology.

The JOMO Diet

Much like any diet you go on, focusing on moderation and overall feel-good health is the successful concoction.  And this is something that I am thankful TELUS understands.

Watch this video to learn more about nourishing and depleting online activities, and how our digital diet is key to our well-being.

I have shared a lot about TELUS Wise in past posts which is a free, educational program that offers enlightening workshops and resources to help Canadians have a positive experience as digital citizens. Workshops and resources cover topics including: protecting your online security, privacy and reputation, rising above cyberbullying, and using technology responsibly.

My kids and my husband and I have utilized TELUS Wise many times and I have proudly shared this program with my kids’ educators, family and friends.

Now offered free-of-charge, the new happiness workshop equips teens in grades 9 through 12 with the necessary skills and best practices for ensuring mental resiliency and well-being in our digital world. The workshop invites youth to think critically about their digital diet and the nourishing and/or depleting effects it can have on their well-being, while offering tips to help them break unhealthy digital habits. 

The happiness workshop, developed with input from expert psychologists, Joe Flanders from McGill University and Laurie Santos from Yale University, is available in English and French, and tackles relevant online issues facing youth such as excessive digital use and comparison to others. The happiness workshop is available online and face to face, hosted in-person by a TELUS Wise Ambassador. The online workshop can be completed individually, or as a group, in a classroom setting for example.

Additional tips offered in the workshop include taking occasional digital breaks, being aware of and limiting the social comparisons we let in that can get in the way of our happiness and practicing the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO) as opposed to the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).

Learn more about TELUS Wise and check out the super helpful happiness workshop here.

 

As a mother of a curious and fast-growing tween and that works (lives and breathes) social media on a daily, here are a few of my personal JOMO diet tips for prevailing in a digitally-driven world:

  1. Limit the amount of time you’re online (especially on social media platforms).  This one is a given but not always easy! Hopefully the next few tips will help.
  2. Remind yourself that everything you see online are often edited and curated highlights (and that your life and everything in it is just as awesome!).  
  3. Stop focusing on likes – this one is a hard one for so many because we live in an age where people seem to think likes  equal popularity. It doesn’t. It just means you have friends that are online a lot and may benefit from a JOMO diet (LOL!).
  4. Focus on you – spend more time doing what you love or taking on a new hobby. 
  5. Remind yourself you don’t have to share everything online. 
  6. Stop carrying your phone with you everywhere!  
    Put it somewhere far away when you don’t really need it so you don’t feel tempted to conveniently pick it up and scroll.
  7. If you follow someone that makes you feel sad or unhappy in any way – unfollow!  
    Your mental state and happiness matters so much more.  If it’s a friend of yours and you don’t want to offend them, utilize the options Facebook provides to limit seeing posts from them.  Bottom line: you don’t have to sacrifice your digital wellbeing for anyone. 
  8.  Know when you need a digital break and take it.  
    Really, delete those social media apps from your phone and re-download when you’re ready to come back.  You will have lost nothing but gained a fresh new perspective and more time doing all the things.

Now that’s a diet I can happily (and successfully) follow! Join me and don’t forget to share with those that can benefit.

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post as a #Team_Telus ambassador; however, all opinions expressed are entirely those of the author.

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