Why you need to Disconnect to Reconnect (tales of a social media detox)
Last week, I went on a social media detox.
That meant no Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for 1 whole week. (I did use Pinterest, solely for a fun little project coming soon :) ) I've written about how to cleanse your social media feeds to help your relationship with food and your body here as well.
I had decided a few weeks prior when I was honestly feeling burnt out and stuck. The last 3 months were packed full. Busy. I was coaching a ton of new clients, coaching a cross-country team, and trying to keep my blog and social media running non-stop to connect with all you awesome readers. I literally had to stop myself because it was becoming more of a hassle and a "to-do" than something I actually wanted to do.
That's how I know something isn't working. When something I used to love becomes another task, or when I start procrastinating, I need to take a step back.
I needed to disconnect for a while in order to reconnect with myself. To figure out how I to make this wonderful blog and business sustainable. I needed to practice what I preach and create a sustainable and pleasurable life for myself.
So, I put it out on social media that I was taking a step away, which was totally for accountability for myself. Before the "detox," I imagined myself having so much time to write all the blogposts in my running list of posts I want to write and ones you've requested. I imagined myself brainstorming and creating all week. All the space was so enticing.
Yet, when it came time to take myself off social media, I was really able to listen to what my body and true self wanted.
I just wanted to REST.
I just needed a physical and mental break for a while. Time to read (reading Move your DNA and Daily Love: Growing into Grace), do more restorative yoga, and a few days without any commitments. Luckily, beside a few small things, I was able to carve my schedule out. I was also house-sitting at a house with the most gorgeous view of the mountains, and nature is so grounding for me.
I spent the week doing a little work during the day, followed by lots of reading, some movie time with my man, and at-home yoga sessions with a mountain view (& we got one more beautiful + warm fall day!). I felt stress dissolve - stress I didn't even realize was there.
At times, I was surprised to find myself anxious about a few things. Even when I was giving myself rest and relaxation, I felt anxiety in my stomach and gut. It took me a bit to realize that I was used to avoiding the real problem and anxiety by just hopping on social media.
When I didn't have that crutch to help me cope, I just had to feel the anxiety and explore it. To breathe through it and let it dissolve away. I realized that social media was a way to cope with anxiety that comes with running a business. As a sensitive introvert, I needed time away from the constant stimulation and to address the FOMO (fear of missing out). My life was better without the FOMO (fear of missing out). Nothing drastic happened when I didn't read the latest MUST-READ tweeted articles.
I was worried that my blog would stop. Of course, it kept running. People still visited it, and I had a few super high traffic days from others sharing posts. So, thank you to whoever that was, and thank you to all you readers here :)
What surprised me the most was when I came back on. I wasn't even that interested in spending a lot of time or "catching up" on what I missed.
I spent a few minutes on Instagram and Facebook, then turned it off again. I haven't felt called to obsessively scroll through and seek inspiration from others. Yes, I love reading others' inspirational messages and connecting with others, but I also have a real in-person life. I have tons of amazing people around me to connect with real touch - puppy cuddles, hugs and kisses. That's what really helps me relax and connect.
My social media detox helped me connect back to how I want to use social media: with intention.
To share to help rather than as another "to-do." To share articles I loved, and blogposts that inspired me. Personally, I've seen the messages that really come from the heart connect best online and get the most engagement.
I gave up the expectation that I had to DO MORE WORK when giving myself this rest. Instead, I just viewed it as a little retreat. To remove the clutter from my mind in order to listen to my intuition and desires.
Your turn: I highly recommend you trying out a social media detox.
The holidays is the perfect time because there's tons of family and friends around. If the holidays are hard for you, it may feel nice to remove yourself from all the holiday cheer tweets and explore what you need during the next few months.
Just, go all in. Don't half-commit. Commit fully. Remove the apps from your phone. Block social media on your computer with the StayFocusd app. I personally didn't really have the desire to check it, but I know on the first day, I found myself clicking into my phone out of habit.
For me, I'll be using social media minimally and intentionally from now on. I'll let you know when I'm doing my next social media detox, so you can feel free to join me :)
I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
- Have you ever done a social media detox? (for a day, week, longer?)
- What was the best part for you?