This past weekend I felt lead to take a break from not only social media, but from my phone as well. I have taken a little sabbatical from social media in the past, handing over my passwords to a friend and logging off for a weekend / a week. Both were so wonderful and so refreshing, but this time around I needed to take that one step further.
In our generation, we are constantly connected. In my case, I am doing one of the following at all times: answering emails, replying to Instagram & Facebook messages, meeting someone over coffee, texting or answering phone calls. If I'm not doing one of those, I am scrolling through Facebook and Instagram to pass the time in between.
So normal. So our generation.
But, there comes a time when it all becomes too much. When being connected truly weighs you down & there's a fine line of being overly connected and never actually shutting off. I hit that point last week where I just needed to step away. I needed to not feel needed. Goodness, that sounds so selfish when I type it out, but hey I'm here to be transparent and honest!
I decided to take a 48 hour social media sabbatical, as well as completely powering down my phone. So good for the soul, y'all. So so good. While on this little break, I was able to think through some huge positives of doing this every so often. With that, I wanted to share my thoughts on why taking a sabbatical from screens and social media is such a game changer.
1. It allowed time to be fully present
I find myself passing the time by scrolling through Instagram. Scrolling while waiting in lines is my guilty pleasure, and I'm sure most of you can relate. I hate waiting haha. But even more so, I find myself scrolling when in the car with friends, when on date nights, while I'm on the couch watching movies with Braden, and the list goes on. You get the point, I'm plugged into social media or my phone at all times. Putting the phone down allowed for me to be fully present this weekend. It allowed for space for genuine conversation & connection. No distractions.
2. A less cluttered mind
I've never realized just how much my phone buzzes, dings, or rings throughout the day until it doesn't. With the constant reminder of emails, texts, social media messages, etc I feel like I'm constantly using my brain to think through responses & to answer questions. Constantly spinning your wheels causes burn out, and a cluttered mind overwhelms me. Turning it all off and not feeling the need to answer everything right away helped me feel so much less cluttered and overwhelmed.
3. The freedom to feel normal
Gosh, this one is a little too honest. But, that's why I'm writing this. In the photography industry there is an unspoken expectation for your posts to reflect your work. If I posted janky photos on my Instagram it would in turn hurt my business, sounds silly, but it is true. Therefore, anything I post is well thought out, edited to match my style, and has an honest caption to go along with it.
I try to fully be myself on social media, but that doesn't mean I'm not guilty of the highlight reel. Not having a phone to capture our weekend moments + not being able to post anything gave me the freedom to feel like a normal human. Messy hair, workout clothes, no make up, normal. Yes, this is my norm (if you've seen me at Starbucks during the week, you know this to be true haha). But, those aren't the things I share. This weekend I felt so free to not have to have it all together.
4. Less fear of missing out / longing to follow the crowd
The only people that I were reachable this weekend were Braden, Sampson, and one of my best friends. I spent more time with Braden and Sampson at home this weekend than we have in months, mainly because there was no fear of missing out. I didn't know what was going on, therefore I didn't feel like I was missing out. This enabled Braden and I to have more quality time & more honest conversation than we've been able to have in a long time. Uninterrupted, no distractions, just a fun and light weekend without the longing to do more.
5. Creates intentionality with content & with others
I try to keep my content intentional and honest, as well as sharing our day to day and pretty images of my clients. I strive to be myself 100% of the time. When I take breaks, this allows space to evaluate if I'm still being true to who I am.
Also, it makes me evaluate if I'm still giving my best "yesses." Usually when I feel overwhelmed, the common culprit is a calendar busting at the seams with sessions, meetings, coffee dates, walks, etc. My social capacity is smaller due to being an introvert at heart, and if my limit is surpassed it leaves me feeling so tired and creatively exhausted. When I take a break from it all, I'm able to evaluate if I'm doing too much, am I saying yes to things that aren't my best yesses.
6. It creates space to see Jesus move & work on my heart
And last, this is one of the biggest things I've learned through taking little sabbaticals. During the week I try to start each day with my coffee and quiet time. Recently, I worked through Lara Casey's Write the Word journal and loved the structure it gave. Since finishing that, I've had a harder time sitting down and having my quiet time. More distractions, less structure, etc. When I take a sabbatical I start each day with quiet time, it just always happens that way. Mainly, I believe it's because I don't feel like I have a thousand other things on my to-do list.
Whenever we take the time to sit down and to just listen, Jesus always answers and has something to teach. For me, it was to take more time to slow down & to just be.
My hope is that you may feel inspired to take a little sabbatical of your own. That will look different for everyone. Some may need a break from social media, some may need to turn off emails on the weekends, some may just need to hand over their phone to someone they loved for a day. Whatever that looks like for you, take the opportunity and give the Lord some space to move. I promise you won't regret it!