Over the past few months, I’ve had an itch to write a blog post. Thoughts have bubbled up to the surface that I have contemplated sharing, but have given in to the distractions of life. I’m tired. I’m trying to do all of the fun things. I’ve got too much going on. Nobody cares what I have to say. Ya know, the typical reasons to stuff my thoughts away. Tonight after catching up with my lovely cousin, Ashley, for over an hour on the phone, I was drawn to my computer to write.
The changes in my life have, in the past, been driven by big blow outs, problems that I’ve ignored for too long and desperation for things to turn around. It felt weird to make a change when I was content with my life. My recent journey has been a desire to improve before I reach the point of extreme need for change, acting in a more preventative way (rather than my go-to reactive nature).
Maybe you’ve noticed I’m less active on social media. A few months ago when I accepted a full-time position, I made the decision to pause (possible completely end? I’m not sure yet) my online community. I had built close relationships with others trying to make healthy, sustainable changes. I shared my knowledge as well as learned from brilliant guest speakers. I had brought my vision to life and I am proud of that. But… I also felt the mental exhaustion that came with trying to be inspirational and “on” for others nearly every day – a continuation of how I felt teaching a packed schedule of yoga classes.
I had surface level excuses for why I quit teaching yoga (“What? She quit?”). After stepping awhile and feeling a GIANT sigh of relief, I realized I was completely burnt out. I had taken on the emotions of others rather than exploring and processing my own. I had zero desire to practice. My love for the mind-body connection is what made me become a teacher in the first place. And it was gone. How could I continue to teach when I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching? I felt like a phony, a fake. I held feelings of resentment towards yoga (and quite honestly, still do). It’s something I’ve started to unpack in counseling, but for now, I am allowing myself to just step away.
Stopping my online community and having the security of a full-time job meant I no longer had to sell myself on social media – yes, this is exactly how marketing and trying to beat the algorithms of Facebook and Instagram made me feel. Any time I posted, I would “analyze” the “results”. Did I get enough interaction? This post didn’t get as many likes, people are probably annoyed of me. Why can’t I grow my following like so and so? I’m not good enough to do this. All thoughts that continually flowed through my mind.
I decided to take one full day off of social media. No posting, no scrolling, no checking notifications. That one day quickly turned into an entire weekend off. Sunday, I logged on to see all that I had missed. I quickly realized… I missed nothing. Within ten minutes, I logged off and deleted the apps from my phone. I instantly felt relief. I waited a whole week to logon again (using my iPad). I thought for sure I had missed out on something this time – FOMO is real y’all. Nope. Instead, I realized I had gained. I gained productivity. I gained presence. I gained self confidence. I gained hours of my life back.
In the following weeks, I have kept the apps off my phone and have decreased my time and energy given to them and others even further. Woof. The clarity. It’s unexplainable. You’ll just have to see for yourself. If you’ve been contemplating taking a break from social media, here’s your sign. Do it. Start with a day. Quit cold turkey. Do whatever your heart desires. But do something. I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Normally, I write blog posts for “content purposes”. Don’t get me wrong, I still hope to have some sort of positive impact. This time though, I wrote for me. I hope to do this more often, so if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my blog! But I may also wait another 6+ months to write again. It’s a toss up (insert shoulder shrug emoji). Thanks for reading!