When I first was building MaQ + Suz, which I still am, times have changed in the past three years. And even though I have remained consistent throughout this time, it has come to my realization now more than ever that as a creative person, it is vital to my well-being to un-plug from the social media world. I’m constantly on it for work, and lately the daily cycle of cranking out content has felt like it’s never-ending and yes, everyone can burn out! When everything is all about instant-gratification these days, I still think it’s completely acceptable to take a detox/break from something that isn’t always necessarily beneficial to you. As much as I love to share my life on social media, I also can really appreciate when to say no to certain things when it comes to what I do for a living. So in today’s post I’m sharing 5 reasons why you should take a social media break from time to time. Continue reading for more.
1. IT HELPS YOU SET BOUNDARIES
For many of us, social media can feel like an anxiety-fueled space, and it’s up to us to decide when to say enough is enough and not let any form of negativity into our personal space. Even on an everyday basis, I try and restrict myself to about 2 hours of social media postings and scrolling. But by setting a daily routine like a time limit of my time on my phone and taking mini-breaks even this way can be the healthiest boundary you set for yourself , which is the ultimate form of self-care. This weekend, I forbade myself from posting on social media, no matter how guilty I felt not doing so. I am exhausted, sick (migraine all day Sunday) and in need of recuperating from my job where there are literally no days off. And you know what? It led to learning other reasons why this is great to do every so often. (or as much as you like… you are your own boss, no?)
2. GET YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING
Whenever I really start to feel burnt out, I will go off the grid for a couple of days. I also have a tendency to do this when I’m suffering from writer’s block. This doesn’t bring forth my creativity per se, but you’d be amazed how great you’d feel after a full weekend of rest and just doing things you love to do, like read a book, go to the museum, have a phone call with a friend, taking a long walk with my dog, these mini-breaks not only take my mind off and recharge my batteries, it is then when these types of activities help influence my creativity. Sometimes freeing the mind and not trying to think so hard about the next amazing photo shoot actually will bring the next amazing photo shoot. Trust in the retreat your mind and body absolutely need to take every now and then.
3. RECLAIM YOUR TIME
You know you can’t buy back time, but you can reclaim it. With Apple iOS 12's “Screen Time” feature, you can track your social media usage. I'm currently using this tool and discovered that I could have likely read Murakami’s new novel in the time I spent scrolling Instagram last week. YIKES. Which in turn gives you more time for other things in your life aside from social media. Because I guarantee this is not the most important part of life by any means... it doesn’t define you as a person. Life is short. Spend it wisely.
4. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE
Others’ comments or who has viewed your Insta-stories, or what’s currently trending… Yet another distraction when it comes to social media. It all leads to nowhere. I always remind myself why I started the blog in the first place. And I think the immense desire to someone’s “15 minutes of fame” is more and more outweighing the desire to create quality content and/or visual story-telling. So when whatever I see online all starts to become white noise and very little is inspiring me, it’s time to take a breather from the overly saturated social media world. When I de-tach myself from it temporarily, it always brings me back to where I started and why. Which is really important if you want to continue visualizing the big picture, too. Remember why you started.
5. RECONNECT AND COME BACK STRONGER
This kind of coincides with number 2 in this post. But this is more about our inner work. As I just said, social media is not the definition to life, nevertheless, it doesn’t define you. It’s a brand, a label, a front to what really is reality. Because in the world of advertising, not everything is ever the complete truth. And the same goes with what I do. Every photo is staged. Choreographed with makeup, hair, clothes, location, a lens, etc to end the final result with a quality image and a story behind it. It’s simply never just a snap. So when it comes to comparing yourself to others, for example, be clear about your goals and do the self-work IRL to come out confident; it will help curb the anxiety that the Instagram comparison game creates. Focusing on other parts of your life aside from social media/work isn’t just a simple “distraction” from the other not so glamorous side to what I do, it’s always a resetter. It helps me regroup and reconnect with loved ones and yes, myself. Sometimes a little self-care goes a long way, and if you’re feeling a bit unsure about what you’re doing online, it’s time to take a step back and regroup, reset and reconnect. And in the long run, you will always come back stronger. Remember this too… social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.