The pressure to spend to keep up with trends

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that the platform has been the main focus of my efforts, since starting The Renovation Lab in April. Becoming a part of the renovation/home and interiors community has been an absolute pleasure with everyone being so welcoming and kind (you can read my first post here!).

Lockdown certainly saw a growth in similar accounts, as we all came together to share our homes, renovation journeys, and interior passion, during what was an unusual time for all. DIY and decor gave many the necessary distraction to fill the extra time given to us, while we were confined to our four walls, asides from an hour of daily exercise (that already feels like a lifetime ago!).

However, it would seem that plenty can also relate to the overwhelming pressure of social media since using Instagram to share renovations, with the need for constant interaction and an abundance of content to keep up, not forgetting the emphasis on likes and follower numbers.

It seems to have taken away from the initial love of our home interests, instead inducing a feeling of not being good enough, or having to conform in order to ‘fit in’ and be as influential as possible.

I must admit that I have taken a couple of days off from Instagram this week, in order to reflect, and it has definitely reset my outlook. I’ve reconnected with my initial mission and have realised that Instagram has taken me down a different path to the one I initially wanted to pursue.

For me, interiors isn’t what I’m best at, although it is certainly an area I am inspired by. My passion to start this blog came from being fascinated with the transformation of a house to a home. Not forgetting that I love to write and support others while doing so. Therefore, my plan is to go back to sharing the raw and real parts of a renovation to provide useful information and tips for you all looking to embark on a similar journey.

On a side note, and from first hand experience, renovations are expensive, and for many being able to keep up with the latest trends and home hauls can take its toll. You also have to wonder about the implications on the environment if we are constantly buying ‘stuff’ which may only serve us for a few months.

Therefore, I’ve put together a few tips below for any home and interior fanatics to read on those days where we feel we are not good enough or can’t afford to keep up with others.

  1. You are good enough

Everyone starts somewhere. Being you is why people follow you and your home in the first place. It would be no fun if all of our homes looked identical so make sure to stay true to what you like. If you love the new trends then please go ahead and buy them. But, if you prefer more unique pieces, then you buy those too!

Also, please remember ‘quality over quantity‘. Yes, consistency is key, but it’s better to post something you’re proud of, rather than becoming a content machine, just to ensure you keep getting likes and followers. Your mental health is much more important.

2. Have a phone free day

I am totally guilty for not heeding my own advice here. As we all know, Instagram is not always as it seems, and it can be easy to believe that the picture perfect photos are other people’s reality. Why not take a step back and do another task such as reading, learning, meditating, or another act of self-care that you really enjoy?

Additional advice I recently took on board was to ‘create more than you consume‘ (I will have to update the source when I remember). I spend hours scrolling through Instagram when my time would be much better spent researching or creating. It’s better for the mind and will provide a feeling of productivity. Get those positive endorphins flowing and leave the negative comparisons behind.

3. Swap the old for something new

If there is something you do want to buy, then why not sell some of your old unused items in order to fund it? I often list things I no longer need on eBay and let the money mount up for a few weeks until I have a little spending pot for things I want but don’t necessarily need.

I absolutely love a clear out and find that it really helps me to destress. Out with the old and in with the new as they say. Even just thinking about it makes my soul feel cleansed!

4. Give upcycling a go

Perhaps you have an item in your home which no longer suits your style, or you’ve seen something on items for sale which has caught your eye. Give it a little TLC and transform it into something new. It’s amazing what can be done with a lick of paint and new furniture hardware.

Facebook marketplace is such a treasure chest if you’re willing to look hard enough and will cost you just a fraction of the price that a new item most likely would (also reducing waste). Winner winner!

5. Don’t rush

Creating a space that feels like home takes time and should be an enjoyable journey. It’s so easy to rush into buying things simply to have content for Instagram or to feel like the rooms are finished. Imagine how wonderful it would be to dress your rooms with items that bring back happy memories or photos that fill you with joy as you slowly curate your collection.

If you can afford it, then great (and please tell me your tips!), but for those of us on more modest incomes, there isn’t often much left in the pot for decor and interiors after an extensive renovation! If you’re looking for ways to save then read my guide here.

6. Practice gratitude

It’s so easy to never be happy with what you have, so this blog will hopefully act as a little reminder of how far you’ve come. It’s also important to think back to a time when you wished for what you have now.

Even though it doesn’t always feel like it, there are people who really appreciate and admire what you have achieved with your home, as we do ourselves with those we follow on Instagram etc. We must take the time to feel gratitude for what we have accomplished. There’s so much to be grateful for when you take the time out to reflect! Make a little list and read or add to it if you’re feeling low.

So, what I’m basically saying is, please just do you! We’re all here to share what we love so it’s vital that we maintain the enjoyment of sharing our passion! If you have any further tips for ensuring the ‘fun’ in posting continues, or have any ideas for Instagram posts when you don’t have anything new to share, then please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments.

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