For the next 4 weeks I am doing something I have never done before- I am taking a sabbatical.
For 4 weeks I am taking a planned sabbatical not just from my work- I am also removing all social media accounts from my phone.
If you know me well, you will know this is radical for me. My phone is literally by my side at all times. It is the last thing I look at in bed and the first thing I pick up when I wake up. I don't think I have gone longer than 2 hours without looking at my phone- probably shorter to be honest.
I debated this decision really heavily- things at Lisa Canning Interiors are as busy as they have ever been. My online life is a beautiful one and full of really fun people I have loved getting to know. Even just moments before writing this post I almost caved and called it all off.
But I am confident that this is the right time to be unplugging. Here are a few reasons why:
1. I was more focused on sharing my life than living it.
In the pursuit of growing my platform, there was a point recently where I was becoming obsessed with grabbing and sharing "the shot", writing "the post", and literally having anxiety from not posting something somewhere within a 12-hour period. Here is an analogy- we don't rest so we can work better, we work so that we can rest. Similar is true with life and social media. We should share beautiful things we experience in life, not live so we can can create more Instagram content.
2. My phone has become an escape mechanism.
I used to justify this- I used to justify that my phone allowed me to be connected to the outside world, connected to a world of fancy high heeled grown ups when in the midst of the chaotic grind of messy mothering. While the connection is great, and social media a powerful tool for building community (and high heels are amazing!) it can also be really challenging. Comparison can creep in, jealousy can permeate, and for me I was spending so much time in rabbit trail after rabbit trail with no final destination in sight. It was also eating up a lot of my limited free time.
3. I am mentally not as available for my family as I would like to be.
This is a really hard one for me to admit. I have realized that while I am physically present to my husband and kids, there are too many times I am not mentally present. There are too many times I am just finishing up one last post, or checking one last comment, or irritated that I have to put my phone down one more time to tend to someone's needs that aren't my own.
So I am going on a 4 week hiatus- with some things pre-programmed on my various social media accounts in my absence. I have handed my email and business duties off to my incredible staff, and if you're looking for me I will be "hands-free" parenting my 5 gorgeous kids.
Taking a sabbatical might not be realistic for you right now, but here are some questions you can ask yourself to check your relationship with social media:
– How much time do I spend with my phone? Is it at the expense of my relationships?
– How much time do I invest in getting the "perfect" shot to share? Does it impact my relationships or schedule?
– Am I more concerned with sharing than I am living my life?
– Do my social media feeds make me feel more (or less) adequate?
– How much time do I spend every day on social media?
Social media enables lots of good things- but part of designing the best life possible for yourself is about putting the BEST things over the good things. And that is why I am suddenly checking my relationship with social media during my sabbatical.
I'll see you on the other side.