Meet my friend, social media — the one relationship that manages to push me forward and hold me back at the same time and the one that I have a true love-hate relationship with. You may have noticed my absence of blogging for over a month now. Where have I been? How have I been feeling? Well, I did something I never thought I’d realistically be able to do. I took a break from my good friend social media. And guess what? I actually liked it. That’s not to say I didn’t miss my friends and the honest social connections I have made throughout my blogging journey. However, I knew that if I was going to continue this job that I truly love so much, that I needed to take a creative break. I’d like to say that this social media break was for my followers so that I can keep producing great content, but I will be fully honest with you: it was for myself so that I can move forward in this journey of building and accomplishing my dreams daily.
Much of my job as a social media influencer is just that: social media. And if you aren’t “social” on social media then you are missing out on a big outlet to make raw and honest connections with your audience. That’s absolutely what I love and strive to achieve daily. But dare I say it, there’s also something about social media that I hate; it’s time-consuming, draining, and a struggle to keep up with. It’s difficult to always stay connected and admitting you need a social media break isn’t failure — it’s empowering. Amidst my love-hate relationship with social media, there are many things that I adore about it.
- It’s a creative outlet. I get to curate the content I want to share and stretch that creative muscle daily. Creating fresh content is not only fun, but it’s extremely rewarding. Social media helps me get there.
- It’s an opportunity to learn. There are many aspects of social media that keep me constantly learning in an ever growing market of technology. I am the type of woman who loves a true challenge and the constant changes in algorithms of social media (although it drives me mad from time to time) gives me something to learn about. I love to research, study hard, and use the tools I’ve learned to enhance my business.
- It’s a necessary marketing tool. The truth is without social media my blog would not be here. I need social media to grow my audience, to market my blog, and to find more people to encourage and connect with. Using this tool is fun and gives me an opportunity to be social in ways I have always avoided before.
- It allows me to make honest connections. If you ask me what my favorite part of my blogging journey, I would say without a doubt you:
- The reader who takes a few moments out of their day to read my posts and captions.
- The fan who supports me by following me on all social networks, even the ones I admit I’m not the best at.
- The commenter who replies with authentic and truly heart-warming comments I am endlessly appreciative of.
- The follower who reaches out through a private message or e-mail just to let me know how much I’ve encouraged them or touched their life.
- And most of all the many, many friends I’ve made through social networking. The connections I have made along the way are remarkable and I’m still in awe by it daily.
Why did I take a social media break?
FACT: I was internally and externally suffering. I was running myself into the ground and not taking time for the things that were most important. I was putting so much of my focus on my work and my identity through my job, that I was losing my happiness and my health. Furthermore, I let myself get into my head about my writing skills and lost my voice. I was still searching for something. I was waiting for the flame to ignite and my passion to burn for what I do once again.
Then it hit me. I need a break. I work day in and day out creating content for my blog and often forget what’s most important — me. I don’t say that in a selfish or ill-hearted spirit (if you truly know me, that’s not my heart), but I was putting too many things first before self-care that I was allowing myself to get burnt out. Fast. We live in a society where self-care isn’t encouraged as often as it should be. So many of us are overworked, undervalued, and drained. To me, that’s backwards from how it should be.
Self-care should be a priority.
If self-care isn’t a priority in your life right now, make it one.
I started focusing on being present in any given moment and strive for following my heart. I started to refrain from filling my time with the noise of social media and instead focused on the here and now. Living life to its fullest is powerful but it can bring you to a place of realizing that beauty exists in the simplest of mundane activities.
This looks different from person to person, depending on what you love and what brings you to a clear mental state. For me, it’s nature. A walk or a hike to a gorgeous viewpoint resets me and inspires me to write. For others it might be yoga, exercise, meditation, prayer, reading a book, listening to music, drawing, playing an instrument, or maybe even taking a bath. Whatever it is that helps center you and find your grounding, embrace it.
Remember your “why.”
As I took the time to clear my head, I remembered something that was pressing on my heart — my calling. I know my why (read about it here) although I have to remind myself of it often. I wrote about “why I blog” to illustrate to my readers my heart and authenticity, but in reality, that post was for me as well. I go back and read it often. Remembering my purpose and my passion inspires me to keep going even when I feel stuck.
You probably know me as an optimist, an encourager, and someone who loves inspiring quotes. I share them all the time on Pinterest and Twitter. I love them so much I even enjoy making up my own (AKA #MOLLYSWORDS).
This month I tried something that to be honest, felt pretty awkward at first. I wrote a letter to myself. I encouraged myself as I would one of my friends. It was an exercise in self-love and to be quite honest, I wasn’t sure how well I would do. But I gave it my all and reminded myself of my ambitions, my gifts, my talents. I even took the chance to refute all self-doubt and rid myself of the insecurities that exist within me. When I finished, I felt relieved. But it wasn’t until I really needed to hear those words that I re-read it to myself and felt amazing. In that moment of self-defeating thoughts, I said exactly what I needed to hear without the support of anyone but myself, and I felt stronger for it. I encourage you to do the same. You deserve to love yourself and remind yourself of your purpose.
In a nutshell, I want to remind you of the importance of self-care. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first and value your time. Self-love and self-care exists for a reason and it is something to celebrate. Embrace the little moments that you hold dear and enjoy life as it comes by being present in each moment. Practice mindfulness and do not let the worries of the world hold you down. I am certainly not an expert at it, but it is a continual process of discovering more about myself and learning to be kind to myself.
Did my social media numbers suffer? Yes. Did my blog page views go down? Unfortunately. Did I lose social media followers? Yes. But to be honest, those who aren’t appreciating someone who is prioritizing their lives in a healthy way, are missing the entire point of authentic relationships — even the ones formed through social media. If you stuck around, thank you from the bottom of my heart for still being here and cheering me on. I come back to you with a full heart, ready to give. Thank you for being open to receive from my heart.
I hope you’ll join me in practicing self-care and being kind to yourself always.
Skirt: Bliss Tulle Maxi Skirt in Whisper Gray (Similar from ASOS in pink)
Top: ASTR (sold out) Sheer lace top (similar) | Faux Fur Scarf: BCBGeneration
Necklace: ADORE Swarovski Elegance Y Necklace | Bracelet: ADORE Swarovski Crystal Bangle
Earrings: ADORE Swarovski Elegance Arc Jacket | Rings: ADORE Swarovski Elegance Coil Ring
Photo Credit // S. Weissbach Photography