It was earlier this morning that I sat in my living room and finally breathed a sigh of relief, the social sabbatical was coming to a close.
But that wasn’t what made me breathe a sigh of relief, I was relieved because I finally had the time and space and expansiveness to see more — both literally and figuratively — than I had in a long time.
On March 8, 2019, I made a spontaneous decision to take a break from social media for no other reason than I saw a friend do it and wondered if there was any value there for me. I decided to experiment with the break to see if it would improve my quality of life.
Sixty six days later I can confidently say, yes — taking a break from social media has improved my life in ways I never anticipated sixty six days ago.
The biggest take away from my time away was...
The biggest take away from my time away was a realistic look at how burnt out I really was.
If you really know me, you know I have a tendency to overwork. It doesn’t mean that I’m more productive, unfortunately, I just have a thing about action. I’m learning that that without action, I feel worthless. I’m also learning that isn’t true. My head knows that I have inherent value without all the stuff I do but its a little harder to get that lesson into my heart. As a result, my life is a long series of overworking and I’m now learning to take more focused and powerful action because contrary to what I’ve thought for many years, not all action is good — some action is just spinning your wheels making you exhausted and ineffective.
Which leads me to another powerful take away from this experiment, which is — some of what I thought was self care was really self sabotage and I’m finally ready to stop tolerating my own silly behavior (*ahem* mindlessly scrolling social media...)
For example, snacking on wine or chocolate in the evenings tasted good and felt good during the moment but it was/is sabotaging me from getting up early in the morning to do things that make my future self proud — like devotions, journaling, exercise.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m condemning wine or chocolate, I’m not. But in my life, I’m noticing that the wine and chocolate were/are happening too consistently to be considered an occasional treat, I was turning this supposed self care ritual into a daily habit with consequences I didn’t/don’t want to bear.
To tie it all together, I’ll say that I feel like social media is junk food for the brain. It’s quick and easy to consume and it can be easy to binge on if we’re not careful. And really, what is the nutritional value? How does it support our best life?
Going forward I intend to keep a tight reign on my social media usage and get connected (perhaps reconnected) with friends and colleagues the old fashioned way — phone, anyone?
This also means that you’ll see me in your inbox much more frequently than you have in the past. As a matter of fact, I’m considering experimenting with daily email newsletters for a while, be forewarned! And if that’s not your thing, hit reply and let me know or go straight to the unsubscribe button at the bottom of this email — I won’t have hurt feelings, I promise. I’m getting better at accepting and celebrating the fact that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.
In closing, I invite you to consider taking your own social sabbatical. What if it created some much needed space and bandwidth in your life and work?
You might also consider reading Courtney Carver’s, Soulful Simplicity, which provided some inspirational perspective as I went through this adventure.
Finally, I invite you to join me in my next challenge :: I am getting ready to embark on a new experiment meant to help me learn more obedience — the goal is to complete a 90 day ultra marathon! I intend to run a minimum of 1 mile per day for 90 days beginning June 1, for a total of 100 miles — I know the math doesn’t add up, but cut me some slack. I promise to get those 10 remaining miles in there!
It’s my hope that I will learn to overcome negative emotions by committing to consistently running at least 1 mile per day no matter how I *feel* about it. I sense that learning how to make my future self proud even if I don’t *feel* like it in the moment will be conducive to even more personal freedom. If you’d like to join me, hit reply now so that we can make a plan.
Thanks for taking this journey with me. I look forward to seeing you on the other side!