Hey there, friends! It’s been about three weeks since I hit ‘post’ on my last post on Instagram and then signed off until April 1st. I promised to keep y’all updated via my blog, but the days quickly turned into weeks and I was enjoying my separation from social media (surprisingly) so much that I just couldn’t bring myself to even open up my blog to write.
Sorry about that, but the separation has been so good for my heart.
First things first – why am I taking a social media break? I promised to dive deeper into my explanation I gave on Instagram and so, here it goes.
I wanted to take a break from social media for a plethora of reasons. First: it had become a distraction from reality for me. I found myself opening Instagram first thing in the morning, and checking it right before my head hit the pillow at night. When sweet Kenzi was begging for my attention – wanting to show me her latest trick my eyes were pulled towards the melodic chime of my phone. Alerting me that something new had happened in the digital realm.
Second – something happened in January with the way I use and consume social media. Back in 2020 I was very mindful about always creating more that I consumed. I was very purposeful in the way I used Instagram. No more than an half an hour a day, writing captions off line, only hopping online to type them in and post, chat with a few friends and catch up with their feeds, then sign off.
Then January 2021 hit. I found myself mindlessly scrolling, barely engaging. Reading all sorts of content from people I didn’t know, didn’t follow, didn’t care about. Absurd memes, a bunch of crappy political stuff. It was draining. But I was drawn to it. Why?
I checked my app usage numbers and my daily hours on Instagram had skyrocketed. An app I was only using maybe 15-30 minutes a day in December was suddenly being used over 4 hours daily. Four hours a day? And what did I have to show for it? Headaches, and exhaustion. Feeling disconnected from my friends and family. Watching life pass me by. And I didn’t like that.
But, I’m stubborn – so I decided I just needed to force myself to use it the way I once did. So I held on. That little voice in my head, the conviction in my heart was telling me to give myself space, but I didn’t listen until a few weeks later.
One day I woke up and decided enough was enough. I decided I needed to cut ties, and give social media a reset.
Now? It’s been almost a month since I last signed in. The apps are long erased from my phone. And what have I found? What have I discovered? A few things.
So. Much. Free. Time.
I have sooooo much more free time than I used to have. And now? I fill that free time up with things that fill my soul. Working on my children’s book, working out, going to hot yoga, playing with Kenzi. It’s awesome!
A passion for blogging
Writing is a passion of mine – one that was fulfilled by writing my Instagram captions each day. But I’ve quickly realized that 2,200 characters just isn’t enough to tell some of the stories that are inside my heart. And here on my blog? I can write as little (or as much) as I want.
A new routine
With all of my time freed up I’ve been able to create a blank slate to redesign my life. Especially where I spend my time. We go on more walks, I’ve met up with more friends for coffee and playdates in the past few weeks than I have in the whole of 2021. Along with my social media fast I’ve started setting better boundaries around my sleep schedule, my choice in foods, and I’ve (finally) started drinking enough water every day.
Time to write my books
By now you’ve probably heard about my children’s book I’m currently creating. It’s illustrated by the talented Helen Bucher – and it stars Kenzi and Khloe. I’ve finished the manuscript for it and I’m in the final rounds of getting the illustrations approved – be on the lookout for a GoFundMe campaign coming soon for it! But the second book I’ve started writing is one of my story. It will be a tell-all of my time in the ICU and the miracles that happened there.
As strange as it sounds – Instagram had a pull to it. I needed to login and post. Check on friends to see how they were doing.
With that being said, I think there’s a need inside all of us to fill our free time with something that gives us life. I was filling that time with social media. Now that I’m off, I have the freedom to truly just… relax. Life has become a lot less stressful and more fun. Back the way it was last year when I had the right boundaries in place around social media.
Walking and working out
It’s true – every day (even when I was on social media) I was working towards my goal of walking again. But now that I’m off social media I have so much more time to devote to getting stronger and walking again. And I’ve seen a bunch of progress.
Last, but not least, I’m a better creator. I’m more attuned to the needs of my family, friends and self. I’ve created healthier habits, set new goals and I feel more creative than I have been in a long time.
I’ve really enjoyed my time away from social media so far… and I’m contemplating making a social media fast something I do once a year (at the minimum) from here on out. If you’re feeling that tug at your heart you should really look into it. I’m here if you have any questions about it or need tips! (Maybe that can be my next post?) 😉