I knew I needed this recent break from Instagram when I woke up in a cold sweat 3 weeks ago, stressing out about what to share next on Instagram.
Boy, was that ever a LITERAL wake-up call! I realized that my relationship with social media had gone sour and gotten out of control, and I had also lost sight of my goals and values regarding social media (namely Instagram, which is basically the only platform I currently use.)
Over the past 3 weeks of taking a break (I'm calling it my "Spring Break") I've really been able to take a step back and assess where I can be more purposeful and intentional- on social media, in design, at work, in life. I'm still learning, but I look forward to implementing a healthier, more purposeful mindset going forward. (No more feeling like I must post something on Instagram at least 3x/week, and share on my Instagram stories, no matter what, because I read somewhere that's what I should do...!)
Now if you're reading this and are saying, “This seems a little dramatic for an app that you have on your phone, Jaina..” well, I completely agree with you 😂 But I also will tell you that you're probably lucky that you've never been affected by your phone/social media like I was 3 weeks ago, and could I please ask you about your favorite past time so I could pick up a few new hobbies. 😊
But in all seriousness, I can bet you I'm not the only one who has felt this way about social media. It’s seriously disturbing how bad you can get sucked in and feel so lost and helpless!!
Once I made the decision to step back from Instagram for as long as I needed, I immediately felt more at ease, and I finally felt like I had time to slow down and re-prioritize. I also had 2 days off from work last week, which were planned before I decided to take this social media break, but the timing worked out nicely!
I had a very enjoyable Spring Break:
I got a head start on spring cleaning around the house
I visited a greenhouse for some creative inspiration and plant therapy
Got a facial
Loved on on our 2 cats
Worked on some bridal shower planning for my sister, and my sister in law
Treated myself to lunch and a turtle mocha latte at a coffee shop
Went out to dinner to celebrate some girlfriends’ birthdays
Did not do ANY embroidery or Etsy work (and it was wonderful to take a break, I feel much more inspired!)
I also wanted to share some things I learned from this Instagram break, in case it helps anyone reading this:
You are allowed to change your plans.
You are allowed to say “No, Thanks” and take a break when an obligation/task/habit feels empty and no longer aligns with your goals
You do not have to complete an Instagram challenge if you start one 😉
You are allowed to slow down
You should be honest with yourself every day- that’s step one before you can be honest with anyone else.
In no way should you ever feel stressed about sharing on social media. It should always be fun! (Even if you use it for business!)
Don't be afraid to do things your own way- let yourself be inspired by the way others do things, but don't feel obligated to fit a certain mold. Edit your photos the way you like them, write your content the way you would speak it out loud to a friend, share as much or as little as you are comfortable with.
Start to reach for your phone, but then put it back and just smile to yourself and commit to straightening your posture, stretching your neck, listening to the birds, gently training yourself to live in the moment, and live offline for a bit longer before you check your phone for the 27th time today. (I know, I was there 🖐🏻)
Take a break from Instagram. It will be there when you come back- when you're ready!
I look forward to being more intentional and going at my own pace. I guess maybe this is the first big lesson I learned this year: it's important to slow down and hold on to your voice, especially when it comes to social media, because it sure is easy to get lost out there!
Ok, I hope this was helpful to read. Maybe you're feeling the same way too? Or maybe you just needed a reminder to slow down for a minute. I know I definitely don't regret taking a "Spring Break" from posting, and I will for sure be practicing this as often as I need to!
I'm happy to be back on Instagram. I'm feeling re-inspired and refreshed! Happy Spring, people!