Happy Tuesday, ladies! I’m almost back to 100% which is awesome but it’s a little sad I lost my weekend to a head cold. Anyway, I’m excited to share this post with you for one, because I adore this outfit. And two, because I think it’s really important. I am, without a doubt, an introvert. I’m perfectly content staying home and working on projects all day, this blog was one such project. But there is a huge social aspect to life and to blogging. And increasingly, social media has been becoming more and more important for both, which means quiet time at home becomes another potential social and work hour. Extroverts, rejoice. But even without the face to face, social media can be draining. So today I’m talking about 3 signs that you need to take a break from social media to rest and recharge.
YOU ALWAYS CRITICIZE OTHERS OR YOURSELF
This is the most dangerous signal that you need a social media break. If you don’t catch it early, you’ll find yourself feeling dejected, overwhelmed, and inadequate. So pay attention to it because it often starts subtly.
Social media should be inspiring and fun. When you start to log on and feel a little green monster take a seat on your shoulder, you know you have a problem. I’ve talked about how comparison can be good, but it can easily be dangerous as well. Social media should inspire you, if your comparisons lead you to build new things, you’re on the right track. But if, even for a second, you look and think “I’ll never be that good” or “She probably just did x to get y and didn’t actually work for it,” then you need to turn off the phone or computer or what ever it is and take a break.
Now would be a good time to check out this post on self-confidence hacks, particularly the section on a me-first kit. Essentially, you need to find an activity that draws you away from social media and provides a result that proves your capabilities to yourself. For example, going for a run and working to improve your time. Or painting a picture you’ve been meaning to paint. Something that you can compare to only yourself and have a visual representation of success. After you’ve had that reaffirmation of self a few times, you can get back on the social media train.
IT’S EASIER TO ***INSERT DIFFICULT TASK*** THAN TO POST
This is your big flashing red signal that it’s time to take a social media break. For me, email is one of my most challenging tasks. I don’t know why, but sitting down to respond to an email takes all of my energy. In fact, I usually have to do it first thing in the morning or I’ll never be able to bring myself to do it. So when I go to my social media, then close out and end up responding to email instead, I know I need a break. Because at that point I would rather be tackling my most difficult tasks than enjoying the inspiration and conversation of social media.
Think about the tasks that you find the most difficult to bring yourself to work on. Make a list of those things, mental or physical. When you find yourself starting on those tasks when you should be working on your latest social post – you need a break. Just skip the social post, or cut back on the number of posts you make. And don’t worry about responding or networking until you’ve had a little breather.
YOU CAN’T THINK OF WHAT TO POST OR SAY
This is probably the easiest sign to see, but it can mean two things. An over-saturation of social media can kill your inspiration and make it difficult to think of what to post. But social media can also be inspiring, it can help you decide what to post. So don’t just assume that because you can’t think of something to say, you need a break.
Instead, evaluate how you feel when you open your social media. When you see other posts, do you think about how you could build on that post or respond to it? If you can follow a train of thoughts related to the post, you probably are doing okay. But what if you see other posts and immediately feel overwhelmed, without considering other ideas that might stem from that? Well, then you’re probably in need of a social media break.
For me, this is the first sign I catch and is my signal to stop now before it gets worse. Often, I’ll check Instagram and be inspired about new places to take photos based on a post I saw or a new color combination for a piece I’ve been wanting to style. But sometimes I see a post and I just feel anxiety, I don’t know how to process the image I see and that’s when it’s time for a break.
What do you think? What do you do when you need a social media break?