I took a Social Media Detox over two weeks ago. It was half intentional, half by accident. My health hasn’t been all that good recently, changing medication for anxiety and depression disorder left me feeling completely wiped out. While the change drastically improved my mental health, physically I was left feeling drained. Little energy, headaches, fluey and feeling a little bit sorry for myself. I also had to take time off from my job as a Nurse. Sitting at home typing words on my phone or laptop and taking breaks when I need to is completely different to being responsible for patients all day, standing for hours and completing tasks that you are legally responsible for.
Previously I had continued to blog when I was on sick leave due to depression. It gave me a therapeutic element to my day, allowed me a little online social life and it could be done from my bed. This time however, I had no energy or motivation for any of it. Plus, not everyone understands when your illness is invisible. They see you with makeup on your face and think you are pulling a sick day when on the inside you are struggling to put one foot in front of the other. If we lived in a world where others just let people get on with their lives instead of judging or inserting themselves, we’d all get along a little better.
Anyway, to really concentrate on myself and my health, I stepped away from social media. A social media detox if you will. My intention was to just stay away for a few days but the more time that went on, the harder it came to come back. What did I learn while I was away?
Lessons I Learned From My Social Media Detox
1- Not as many people will miss you as you think. Some of my lovely followers on Instagram messaged regularly to check in but far fewer ‘friends’ did the same. Isn’t it funny? I’ll go into that more in another post but for now let’s just say my eyes are opened.
2- Life offline is blissful. No comparisons, pressure or rushing. No rushing to be available to post at 8pm, no asking people to like a photo, no pressure to post to stories, eating food as it arrived, living in PJ’s and tracksuits, not wearing makeup and living in the moment.
3- Others will notice you don’t have your phone in your hand. My mother told me it was a pleasure to be around me and just chat without looking at me in a corner checking my phone. That really opened my eyes. Had I become that person? What else did I miss? At one point my phone was lost and it was 7 hours before I realized. Who would have thought?
4- Not comparing myself to anyone else felt free. Watching stories of those on press trips, opening PR packages, wearing lovely clothes used to drain me. Not doing that, freed me up to just enjoy myself and what I had.
5- I have had a birthday, hotel visit, night out and meals out during my social media detox and not one photo was taken. Guess what? I can still remember them. Memories are made in the moment and not on my phone. Huge lesson there.
6- I literally stopped. Previously I had been working, balancing the house, trying to get social media work done, copy for the magazine, videos recorded etc… Once I stopped I realized just how tired I was. I will never live life at that pace again.
7- I found myself only watching stories of people I had an interest in. Who made me feel good and who’s content I wanted to keep up with. I follow over 800 people, I watched maybe 10 people’s stories. That is 790 people I’m following just because I feel I have to. Eye opening.
What I Got Up To During My Social Media Detox
The focus was on complete relaxation so we didn’t do much! Padraig and I enjoyed a beautiful over night stay in Fota Island Resort. I had a full body massage, we ate, I drank gin, we watched Line of Duty and we slept. If you ever need to switch off then Fota is the place to go. I have a full blog post on it HERE if you fancy more details. You can also visit their website HERE.
I spent time in West Cork with my family. There is no phone reception, I wore a tracksuit and again we drank gin and talked about good times with my Nan. I don’t think I have fully accepted that she is gone. Visiting her grave is too painful. There are photo’s of her all over my house and I love remembering her unique ways and sayings.
I celebrated turning 38. Spending my birthday with Padraig, Finn, Mom, Dad and my Sister was heaven. A quiet family dinner and a duvet day watching Line of Duty again. No Instagram photo’s, no fake happy birthday wishes from people who really don’t care but I enjoyed every second. My mother bought me a locket with pictures of both grandmothers and it is my prized possession.
We had one night out with friends for the launch of Voodoo’s new rooftop terrace ‘Afterlife’. Judy Hops did a fantastic job as usual. I’m not really one for events these days but I’m glad I went and I got to wear my new ASOS suit which I think has now gone into the sale. I also treated myself to these mules from River Island and they are the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve worn in a while! Can’t seem to find them online but I’ve linked similar in the Shop My Post below.
I took a lot of baths and gave myself lots of facials. I have been loving Oskia’s Renaissance Mask to exfolidate, Murad’s Pore Extraction Mask for a deep clean and Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask to hydrate.
Ending The Social Media Detox
As much as I think I would love to give it all up, in the long run I’ve worked too hard to get where I am to walk away now. I tell you what will happen though. Going forward I will be placing a much heavier value on my time. I’m going right back to basics where I blogged for the love of it and not for the numbers. Falling in love with my blog again as somewhere along the way I lost myself amid the Insta Perfect world. What can you expect? Some good old fashioned blogging, quality over quantity and hopefully more interesting content!