the first days of rest.

“take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop.”

– ovid

it’s been three days since i deleted my social media apps from my phone, and oh boy, is this going to be a game changer.

for those of you not following me anywhere else (like instagram/twitter/facebook), i made an abrupt decision at the end of december to do a social media cleanse. i like to think of it as a fast, because cleanses are not really something i’m into, and the concept of fasting – periodic abstaining from something for the benefit of your inner self – speaks more to my soul. i made the decision to take a “rest” from social media after giving some thought to what i wanted my 2018 to look like. what i realized when i really sat down to take stock of my life, was that i felt stagnant in almost every single area – work, family, friends, inspiration. nothing felt bad to me, it just felt stuck, like it was all moving along without me somehow. i’ve never taken a break from social media before…ever, so this was a big decision for me, especially considering how many of my friendships use it as a main form of communication.

but as of january 1, 2018, i signed off from all social media, and haven’t looked back yet.

i’m following the rest retreat being put on by amanda at homesong blog, because i felt like i needed some direction and structure to this effort, or it would just feel kind of pointless. so far, it’s been a really good decision. it’s given me an outline for how to do this in a thoughtful, productive way, instead of just muddling along on my own. i have made some exceptions to a full social media fast; for example, i will be checking in on instagram every friday to share a photo (and probably an insta story) along with some thoughts on the process, and to see what you all have been up to over there. i have also picked pinterest back up (on my  computer only, not my phone). i find that when i’m feeling uninspired, pinterest is an amazing tool for me to start feeling creative again, whether in my home or my style or my blog. i haven’t touched pinterest in MONTHS, which is pretty telling for my current state of uninspiration, so it felt right to actually start again as part of this fast. this might feel counter-intuitive to some, but it was right for me.

(pillows || fluffy pillows || blanket || diffuser)

i’ve only been doing this for a few days, but it’s been much less difficult than i thought it would be. it’s a weird feeling to go to your phone by habit, but not really have any reason to be on there. it makes you realize how often you look at your phone just to kill time, or because you don’t want to think about whatever is happening, or just to distract your mind from any substantial thoughts. it takes a total rewiring of your brain to change your instincts to not pick up your phone in between activities.

one thing that’s made it easier for me has been to create a space for myself to spend time in during the evening instead of just sitting around scrolling instagram. currently in our lovely, tiny house, i don’t have an office space of my own. there are plans to create one for me this year, because having my own area as a home base has been a dream of mine for a while, and i’ve got big ideas for that. in the meantime, i’ve made a little nest for myself on our bed (pictured above) with lots of pillows, a cozy blanket, my laptop, a journal, a couple books, and my diffuser. it’s been wonderful to take time the last few days and actually do some focused activity like reading or blogging without the constant distraction of my phone. do you guys know how long it’s been since i’ve made time to read a book?? so long that i’m embarrassed to say it, so i won’t.

(sweatshirt || joggers || slippers)

[this is the most ridiculously comfortable outfit, and i will be wearing it in my nest a lot]

like the quote at the top of this post says, “a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop”. i’m hoping that through this social media “rest”, i will come out on the other side more inspired, more fulfilled, and with a better “crop” to offer to my family and my community. i’d also love to share what i’m learning through the process, and how it is helping me achieve that goal as i go.

here is what i’ve learned from my rest so far:

  • it’s kind of ridiculous how much more time i have on my hands during a day when i’m not wasting it watching people’s instagram stories or snapchats at random points throughout.
  • it’s been easier than i thought it would be, but if i’m being honest, there have been a couple of times where i’ve gotten a bit itchy to check what’s going on out there on instagram (facebook and twitter, not so much).
  • i don’t miss twitter at all, and i’m realizing how much rage it actually caused in my soul, for no reason.
  • i miss instagram the most, because i’ve made it a lovely place for myself, but i’m starting to think of better, less wasteful ways i can spend my time there.
  • i feel like a better mom already, because if i’m on my phone, it’s for a reason, not just to escape the constant noise my kids have a tendency to make. (although it turns out they make less noise when i pay more attention to them…)

here is what i hope to accomplish during the rest of the month:

  • i want to build a new daily routine for myself, from the time i wake up to the time i go to bed. i want it to be thoughtful, realistic, and something that gives me purpose, because i’m learning that more structure might be good for me.
  • i want to work on renewing relationships, both within my family and my friendships. i’ve not been as mindful of the people in my life as of late, and i want to change that. this includes my husband and friends far and near.
  • i’m hoping to renew my passion for blogging with the new inspiration and space in my brain. i’ve missed it a lot, but even when i’ve had the time to do it, i’ve felt totally uninspired to do it. i’m hoping this rest from the norm will jumpstart my creativity in a positive way.
  • i want to come out of this feeling like a more engaged, energized mom. i have two amazing kids who are growing up faster and faster, and i want to take the time to watch it happen with minimal distractions.

if you made it this far, thanks for sticking around. it’s not the usual humorous, light fare you find here, but i’m hoping that it sparks some conversation either with others or with yourself about how social media is presenting itself in your life right now. i want to hear in the comments if you’re feeling more like me, with the burnout and stagnation, or if you’ve made a really great place for social media in your life. i’d also love to hear tips on how you manage your social media addiction use throughout your day…i need them!

lots of love, i’ll see you back here soon!

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