Earlier this year I realized that I was experiencing kind of a burnout. & this isn’t a complaining blog post- I’m just acknowledging that I felt burnt out. It’s ok. It’s part of the job. It’s part of life. In all areas of life whether it be your job, relationship, being a mother, WHATEVER, it’s normal to experience burnout.
Creating content 7 days a week for 9.5 years gave me burnout.
I’ll never forget when I was a bartender, there was always this guy who used to sit at the bar. He was a really major, successful real estate agent, & he would always tell me that I was crazy for working 7 days a week. He would always say how you need at least 1 day off to recharge & rejuvenate. Here I was, in my early 20s, laughing at him in my head- thinking that I was this badass who could take on working 7 days a week. In reality, I needed to check my ego.
Sure, that works for a while. It works until it doesn’t anymore. It works until you’re getting headaches from looking at a screen, or carpal tunnel from typing on a phone or computer, or fatigue, or lack of creativity.
Anyway, it did work for me for a very long time. I was creating content 7 days a week & then, like I said, a couple months ago, I felt totally drained. Instead of taking a huge break & going back to it, I thought it would be strategic to take 2-3 days off a month where I had a complete social media break. I go dark. Let the phone die. Spend time with what’s in front of me. Read a real book. Spend time with my husband & Chihuahuas. We cook, catch up on our shoes, walk our dogs, meet friends at the beach. Its’ really rejuvenating. Sometimes I even sleep. Ha!
It’s nice to give yourself that break from the pressure of feeling like you constantly have to create, whether it be a blog post, or Instagram Stories, or scrolling through DMs, or letting yourself be a slave to your email inbox.
Anyways, that’s my story. I know I can be intense at time, & I’m certainly not telling anyone to emulate exactly what I do- it’s just what works for me. It’s important to have those days that are free of social media. 2 days in a row on a Saturday & Sunday works really well. I’ve been finding it makes me a better creator.
Here are the top 3 reasons you should try a social media blackout:
♡ RECHARGES YOUR BATTERIES
At times, I feel like I AM A CELL PHONE. When I’m at 1% I’m not helping anyone. Not my audience, my husband, my family or my friends. When I feel that I’m on 1%, that means it’s time to check myself before I wreck myself. It means it’s time to recharge. How I do that is by letting my phone die, turning off the TV, grabbing a REAL BOOK, & hopping into bed with my Kardashian blanket ( btw, you need one of these blankets, they’re insanely soft >> more here ). I conserve my energy very carefully & that means being of aware of the people I surround myself with & the content I consume. It’s so important that you take the time to recharge that battery so you can function as your best self.
As Tim Ferriss says: “Take at least one day off of digital leashes per week. Turn them off or, better still, leave them in the garage or in the car. I do this on at least Saturday, and I recommend you leave the phone at home if you go out for dinner. So what if you return a phone call an hour later or the next morning? As one reader put it to a miffed co-worker who worked 24/7 and expected the same: “I’m not the president of the US. No one should need me at 8pm at night. OK, you didn’t get a hold of me. But what bad happened?” The answer? Nothing.”
♡ ALLOWS YOU TO CONNECT WITH WHAT’S IN FRONT OF YOU
My dogs, my husband, my books, my family, my friends- these are all things I want to make sure I connect with & don’t neglect. When It comes to being present & being in the moment the phone is such a distraction. When it’s in your face all day, you aren’t connecting in a meaningful way. When I go out with my friends, I make it a point to put my phone away & not look at it. It would be SO PREDICTABLE for me to pull it out & be on it all the time in front of my friends & I don’t want to be like that. Sometimes I read on my phone, but it’s just not the same as reading a real book. The smell & feel of a real book really gets me off. Also, when I read on my phone I end up scrolling, & I’ve found that when I scroll I end up a little bit depressed. That’s why I keep the content I consume very minimal- I have a wellness person, a beauty person, a fitness person & about 2 others I follow on Instagram. Besides these 5 people, I don’t watch anyone’s Stories or scroll profiles. On Facebook, I’m part of my group & that’s it, because I want to stay in my own lane & I don’t want to be served SO MUCH CONTENT all the time. Mark Manson in his book Everything is Fucked, talks about why we’re all so unhappy despite having more than ever before & what’s contributing to this paradox.
♡ IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL ( & YOUR EYES )
It’s just good for your soul to get the fuck off your phone. There’s not a lot to say here except it’s therapeutic, & cathartic. It’s just good for you. It’s good for your eyes, wrists & neck. ( If you’re having issues with your neck & back from staring at your phone, you need to try cupping & acupuncture– life-changing ). & if you have carpal tunnel in your wrists like me, then try doing some stretches a few times a day. If your wrists are really bad try out this wrist exerciser.
Would love to know if social media breaks are your guys’ thing. Give me the scoop, give me the gossip, give me the tips, give me the tricks, give me the latest- I need all the help I can get.
Since it’s Friday I’ll probably be doing a blackout tomorrow, possibly Sunday too so I can hang out at the farmer’s market, baking dark chocolate chip cookies, reading my latest book ( Unbreakable by Sharon Osbourne ), & French kissing my dogs.
Until next time…
+ Other tips on protecting your energy here.
++ More details on the blue light glass here.