I think I speak for most people when I say that checking all social accounts every day (maybe even more than once) is the norm. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, iMessage, emails, Pinterest, Facebook (the fossil of the bunch)… the list could go on. It’s a cycle at this point — a routine. And breaking it is HARD.
Picture this: You’re sitting at the table (eating dinner, working, conversing with loved ones, whatever it is that you do at the table). You put your phone down after already checking all your accounts. Without even realizing it, 5 minutes later, you’ve picked your phone back up and are checking all your accounts… Again.
That is my life. And I’m willing to bet that it’s your life too… at times anyways.
It’s the vicious cycle of being swept up and getting disconnected from the real world right in front of you.
I’m making it my goal this month to get into a weekly habit of taking social media breaks. Do you want to join me?
I’ll tell you why you should.
1. It gives you an opportunity to rest and recharge.
ESSENTIAL. There really is no more important aspect of self-care than this.
Resting and recharging will ensure that you are your best self. This, in turn, ensures that you have your head on straight, set priorities, have a better work ethic, make time for loved ones, and commit to making self-care a routine.
It is so so important to focus on self-care. For me, that often involves making myself number one priority — which can be a hard pill to swallow for some people. So if you have a bad habit of never putting yourself first, this is especially important: put yourself first. Those that rely on you will be thankful for your new sense of life after some true rest and relaxation.
Social media (and technology in general) makes this difficult because it is a big, fat stressor and distraction from life. It will give you a false sense of reality based on other’s idealized interpretations, distract you from your priorities at work or at home, take the place of substantial interactions with others, keep you awake at night, etc. There’s evidence of it’s harmful effects all over the place (In case you didn’t know… I love my research)! So put it all down for a day. Focus on self-care — rest and recharge.
2. It allows for you to reflect on your life and goals without the influence of others.
This is important. Like I said, social media can give you a false sense of reality based on other’s idealized interpretations of their own lives.
I’m sure we’ve all been there — seeing someone else’s success and wondering/wishing why we haven’t reached that point or why we can’t have that, live that lifestyle, or go there.
It can become a huge stressor, confidence killer, and create insecurities.
Author/blogger, Mark Manson, talks about this concept multiple times throughout his “counterintuitive self-help book”. He says, “The problem is that the pervasiveness of technology and mass marketing is screwing up a lot of people’s expectations for themselves. The inundation of the exceptional makes people feel worse about themselves, makes them feel that they need to be more extreme, more radical, and more self-assured to get noticed or even matter.” Sound familiar? This quote stuck with me for a while after reading it because of the harsh truth behind it.
If you want a no rules, no BS, no holding your hand type of self-help book… then please check it out! You won’t regret it and I guarantee that every page will have you laughing, shaking your head at his honest as honest gets attitude, or nodding in agreement with 9/10 points he makes. I talk a little more about it down below. So keep reading!
Anyways, taking a break from all that outside influence is an amazing way to just reset your mind. This allows for you to reflect on your own life and where you are at in accomplishing your goals, without feeling the influence of the way others are presenting their life.
Focus on your reality. Not the reality of others. Which is usually distorted anyways by how they choose to present themselves online.
3. You’ll instantly feel more inspired.
As a blogger, I spend a ton of time on social media. Taking a break from it all for just one day a week is a surefire way to prevent burnout.
When I stay off social media, I can put my energy into something else, focus on my loved ones, and a majority of the time… take a much needed reality check. This way I can make sure that once my break is over that I can jump back in full throttle, full of ideas, and full of motivation to get where I want to be.
Now let’s talk about how we accomplish this goal together.
1. Set the vibe.
Wake up, and immediately set your intentions and tone for the day. Aka relaxing. Put on some fuzzy socks, light a candle, make a cup of tea, and grab a book or turn on your favorite guilty pleasure series (whatever your big ol’ heart desires).
I have a very specific relaxation routine… It often involves all of the above.
My FAVORITE candles are from a brand called M. of W.G. because the scent of the candles are unlike any other candles I have ever owned. I’m slowly starting to gravitate away from the floral, sweet scents that used to fill my rooms at all times. Now I’m absolutely obsessed with more “manly” scents, like this bourbon one.
I got that candle for my boyfriend as one of his Christmas gifts, and I actually think I like it more than he does… It’s one of my go-tos for when I want to sit on the couch with my current book and relax (and it is lasting for FOREVER it seems like).
My current book that I’m loving at the moment is this one that’s all about giving zero fucks when bad things happen to you. It’s about embracing these bad things as what they are… an inescapable part of life. The author, Mark Manson, believes that traditional self-help books about positivity are a big pile of BS. Which is why he wrote this counterintuitive one about how to stomach the lemons, instead of trying to make lemonade out of the lemons.
If I’m not reading my book, I’m most likely in the deep dark depths of Netflix or catching up on current episodes of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. Did you watch 13 Reasons Why on Netflix? If not, you should. It was so raw and real. And honestly, it’s a good watch for ANYONE.
So light your candle, grab your book or turn on your tv. Set your vibe.
If you have a hard time with this, or if you just have too much to get done, this could also be a good time to focus on chores. Start some laundry and read between loads or clean the house with your favorite music on. Balance real life responsibility with your relaxation.
Whatever it is that you want to do on your “rest” day, plan to do it and start first thing.
2. Put all the temptation away.
Put away your phone, laptop, tablets, anything that will tempt you.
I know this might not be possible for some people to take a COMPLETE rest day from technology. So, if you can’t commit to that, at least commit to no social media for the day.
It is so easy for bloggers to schedule social media posts out for the day, and even schedule blog posts. Hootsuite and Buffer are sites that you can schedule Facebook and Twitter posts on. Board Booster and Tailwind are pin scheduling sites so that you can keep your Pinterest active all day.
Board Booster is the one I use for keeping my Pinterest account active all day long. It’s SO easy to use, has plans starting at $5 a month, and offers a free trial for you to get the hang of things.
WordPress is also the easiest ever to schedule a blog post to go out at a certain time/day. See, no excuses for not praciticing self-care and rest away from your social media, bloggers!
3. Commit. Commit. Please commit.
Learn to make this a routine. Which is perhaps the hardest part. Don’t just do this one week and then forget.
Although I’m sure after one week, you’ll be like “hell yeah this is great let’s keep it up.” Right?
Once a week. Don’t forget, you can also use this as an opportunity to keep up with chores. You don’t need to commit an entire day to doing nothing but relaxing. You just need to commit an entire day to focusing on something in the real world that will benefit your life. Instead of focusing on the false sense of reality that is presented within social media.
So, let’s do this. Let’s commit to one day a week for no social media (preferably no phone, laptop, tablet at ALL) but hey just commit to something, okay?
And honestly, if you don’t feel 100% better after a few weeks of this new routine, I have a great satisfaction guarantee policy. To compensate for the discomfort of the newly rested and recharged you… I can give you 10-20 things that will immediately stress you out again and bring you back to normal.
Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest!
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