It just sort of happened.
For months, I had a plan to take July off as I was going on a trip to Europe—therefore, I secretly planned a digital detox. I desired and longed for the life before social media, and it was the best decision I've made this year.
Europe was an unforgettable experience—I was in the zone, and loved every minute of it. It wasn't easy as there were many times I was frustrated and wanted to escape in social media so that I could distract myself. But I didn't.
After my return from Europe, it felt weird to be on social media—seeing people complain about the weather, update their life, or overly promote themselves. I quickly found myself feeling doubtful, judging, and resentful—something had to be changed.
Europe has taught me to slow down, and be in the moment. This train of thought was so important that it felt right to do what's right for me. It wasn't an easy choice as I made a commitment to stay consistent with my business. However, I felt it was more important to practice the lessons I've learned, and make it a part of my lifestyle as I refuse to sacrifice my life in the name of my business.
This summer has been about setting boundaries, and saying no to the things that drain my energy. I became mindful of my surroundings, and gave my undivided attention to the things that made me feel good. My main focus was on my current clients, book projects, and an eCourse that's finally coming to fruition.
So, how did I do this? And how can you, too?
- Define what wastes your time—For me, it was Facebook. Deactivating my account created MORE time to do the things that excite me—and spend less time on useless crap. I created a different account to keep my business page active + be a part of certain groups that I care about.
- Limit inspirational posts—because posting something inspirational does NOT mean that your life is complete, plus you're wasting time. Instead, share your personal experiences with your own photos and words—it's far more interesting. And, you don't need to post every second of your life. Keep those moments to yourself.
- Keep one social media platform—I've kept my Instagram account and rekindled my relationship with my photography skills. This was obviously a different choice because once you delete Instagram, you can't go back.
- Focus—It's easy to fall into the multi-tasking trap and find yourself scrambling to get everything done. Setting boundaries and focusing on one thing has motivated me to get the online course going. Ask yourself this: If you had to choose only one thing, what would it be? Then figure out how you're going to do it. It's like having mini goals to get your main goal completed.
- Stop looking down—This was a big one for me! When I didn't have my phone in Europe, I felt taller (because I was looking up and taking pictures with my camera), confident (I didn't feel the need to look at what others were doing), and more so, communicative (rather than relying on Google to find the answers, it was amazing to have a conversation based on thoughts, theory, and ideas). Give your phone a break sometimes!
Europe has taught me that life does not have to be an open book where everyone knows what you're doing. This is your life, and how you want to live is entirely up to you. I'm here to do what I love to do—and do amazing work.
It may be easier to shut off "reality" when you're somewhere new and different. For this reason, I strongly encourage everyone practice being in "vacation mode" even when you're at home.