Well hello, friends! I’ve been offline for two weeks, but it feels more like two years (in a good way). Taking some real time off was incredibly necessary for my mental and physical health, and I learned a lot about my relationship with social media along the way. Amalia was off of school and our sitter moved on to another family, so I had both kids with me the whole time and spent a lot of extra time with the two of them.
We took a family vacation to Newport, RI, Anel took Amalia camping, and we did lots and lots of swimming and playing. I also did a lot of cooking and focusing on my physical health while working with a nutritionist and I’m excited to share some of the ways that she’s made it easier for me to make healthier eating and drinking choices.
As of yesterday, both kids are off to school and I’m ready to jump back into work!
I feel refreshed and recharged but also more clear about what I need to do to make this all work for me going forward. To be completely honest with you, if Instagram didn’t makeup 80% of my income, I’d probably take another week or two. But it does, so I’m back there as of today too.
Before I share how the break was and some of the changes I’m making, I want to thank the brand partners that allowed me to push out our content last minute in order to have this time off. Thank you to TULA, Hanna Andersson, Equilibria, Necessaire, Philips Sonicare, and Our Place for giving me this time with my kids that I needed more than I knew!
When I decided to take the time off, I knew it would mean a financial hit for our family’s August income but Anel was so supportive and promised we would figure it out. Then I brought it up to Carly who manages all of my campaigns and she wrote back within minutes supporting the decision as well. She talked to the brands I just mentioned and every single one of them agreed immediately to keeping our partnerships put posting them at a later date.
For the first few days, I would reach for my phone to scroll the ‘gram at least once an hour. It was so ingrained in my brain, it would happen without me even thinking about it. After I got over that, I would still start to create content as I was doing things like cooking dinner or trying on a new dress. That took about a week to stop and for the last week, Instagram was not on my mind at all!
The only time it would come up is in friend group chats when someone would reference something from another friend’s stories and I would be out of the loop.
My New Instagram Rules
Only check DMs 2x/day: Obviously being off Instagram meant being more present with my kids and husband but I didn’t realize to what extent. I would find myself answering DMs instead of doing something for my children and that is not ok with me. So going forward, I’m going to check and answer DMs once in the morning and once in the evening and leave it at that. The amount of times I’m drawn to open my phone to frantically answer DMs has become out of control and I’m hoping this plan makes it feel more manageable.
Take weekends off: Following my friend Jess’s lead, I’ll be signing off of Instagram every weekend from Friday afternoon through Sunday evening.
Take real vacations: Every August we have a two-week break when the kids are off of school and I plan to take at least one of those weeks every year completely offline again to reset. Next time, I’ll obviously plan ahead for it. I’ll do the same for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Spend less time watching stories: Like everyone, I get sucked into stories and find myself caring way too much about strangers online. I love a good story binge and, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stop completely, but I will set limits once I figure out what feels good.
Connecting with friends: The main thing I missed about being on social media was connecting with friends. I realized that with certain friends, we chat a lot on DM and connect after one of us posts a story. Seeing content from college pals or the people I was close with growing up reminds me to be in touch with them more. In addition to continuing to do that, I was reminded over the last two weeks to connect with the friends I don’t see often outside of Instagram as well.
What about the blog?
I’m back to blogging regularly (not daily, but at least 2x/week) now through the end of the year. Wahoo! I have some fun guest posts coming up as well as the usual parenthood, recipe, decor, and lifestyle content for you. I’m really happy to be back here. I’ve missed it and I’ve missed hearing from you!
Photo by Julia Dags.