Following a difficult postpartum season, I went on an unintentional but amazing social media sabbatical. That social media sabbatical lasted about 9 months and helped me heal from anxiety and overwhelm in my life.
Taking a social media sabbatical was one of the best decisions I’ve made as a business owner, mom, partner, and human being. It’s also something I’m going to be repeating regularly.
On today’s podcast I’m going to share some of the things that made this social media sabbatical so effective, as well as my major takeaways and learning experiences.
Why take a break from social media?
In the book Habits of the Household, author Justin Whitmel Earley talks about how we as human beings change constantly. We grow – with every new piece of information we consume. And if you think about it, we consume every second of every day. We see, we hear, we touch, we think, we listen, we scroll.
And that was the crux of the matter for me. How much am I consuming, and how is that changing me in ways I don’t approve or that don’t align with my values, goals, and desires?
What voices, stories, just things was I allowing to melt into my subconscious and become who I am? It was convicting for me to look at my bingeing habits, the way I consumed out of sheer boredom. I had been saying I was burnt-out for so long, but was I really?
Was I burnt out, or had I consumed so much I couldn’t digest and hear my own thoughts and create? So, a social media sabbatical it was.
What I did on my social media break
My social media sabbatical meant no social media. I didn’t have a timeline. I was just taking time off until I felt like ‘me’ again. That happened to be a few months.
Here’s what I did that made all the difference for me:
- I crafted new and revived old routines. Instead of watching Netflix before bed, I pick up Harry Potter and read. Before diving into my work day, I journal three pages.
- I walked without audio. I talked in depth about this on a previous episode, but these were transformational for me. I began to hear my own thoughts again, to follow my curiosity and joy, and to create new ideas that inspired me.
- I made simple dinners. I am not a cook, and I don’t think I’ve cooked the majority of our meals since we’ve been married. But I wanted to, so I got a recipe book and went to my mom’s and wrote down all my favorite recipes. Turns out, cooking isn’t so bad!
- I sat outside. Played outside. Walked outside. Breathed.
- I listened sparingly to life-giving podcasts. Specifically, the two podcasts I binged were the Work and Play Podcast with Nancy Ray, and the Best Today Podcast with Shunta Grant.
What’s changing as I come back to social media
My mentality as I approach returning to social media is completely different. I don’t want to rely on social media for my business. Here’s what I’ve learned, and what I’m doing differently going forward:
- I pared down the list of who I was following on social media. My new rule – if I haven’t read your book or had a Zoom call with you, I wasn’t following you. I started with over 2k people I was following and ended with 64.
- I don’t want to rely on social media for my business, so I’m not. I’m leaning into search engine optimization, networking, and referrals. I’m creating a plan to maximize these three pillars for my business, and I’m stepping off the flywheel of fleeting content!
- I know my boundaries. Social media isn’t bad, but I’m addicted. Once scrolling, I can’t stop. So, I limit social media to once per week, if I feel like it. If it’s not my day to be on social media, I’ve deleted the app from my phone completely.
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