Motherhood

My 21 Day Social Media Fast

Here it is! In my birthday post I mentioned how I was fasting from social media and promised to go into a bit more detail with you about it, so that’s what I wanted to do today.

This 21 days of fasting has been a GAME changer. I honestly DID NOT know how much getting on social media distracted me from my life until I quit it for 21 days! I knew it was bad, and I knew I should do it less, but my eyes have been opened big time.

Bye Social Media

My word for 2019 is “present.” To spend less time being busy and distracted, and focus on being in the moment and living life. This year I am saying yes to my kids more, I’m exploring, I’m being observant, and I’m participating. Being social media free has been a great first start towards that. All of the things I want to do more of I magically have time to do!

Let me break this down:
Work: I used to think my kiddos distracted me from work, but ya’ll, I have made time to get SO MUCH more work done just in these few days of being off of social media. I felt like I was lucky to get 3 things on my to-do list done a day, but I am checking off 4 times that now! All of the things on my “me time” list that I never have time to do are getting done:

Reading: Since I am not on social media, when I do have free time I am pulling out a book or a magazine to read instead!

Blogging: I am pretty sure I posted about 7 blog posts total in 2018 (I wrote 11, I looked it up), but this is already the 3rd blog post I have written in January!

– Bible study: I am pretty good about doing my Bible study every day, but it’s on a whole new level now. I figured out a new way to take notes that I am so excited about, and then since I don’t hop on social media directly after I finish studying, I remember so much more from my Bible study throughout the day! I love caring the Word with me, this is huge for me!

Decluttering: I’ve mentioned it quite a few times, but we are still working on our new office and in the meantime, I have extra stuff all over my house (on top of our regular clutter). But since we started the fast, I have gone through all of the kids toys and got them down to one toy box of toys (for all four kids to share). Then I went through multiple boxes of hand-me-down baby clothes (found a whole wardrobe for our third baby girl – thanks big sisters!). In the process of going through hand-me-downs, I cleaned my husband and my closet. I still have a LOT more ground to cover, but the steps I’ve taken so far are so encouraging.

Too Much Is Too Much

At the end of 2018, I got stressed out and overwhelmed with work. Our house was filled with extra stuff, and all that stuff was piled on top of our regular stuff + all the kids BAJILLION toys and things. But in my stress, I starting buying more stuff. I was stress buying. I wasn’t buying super expensive things, I wasn’t buying things I didn’t want or plan to use, but I was buying just to distract myself and it was piling up. It was tearing me up inside and I didn’t know how to break it. In fact, I couldn’t stop until I finally told my husband about it. He could obviously see the money leaving and things piling up, but he didn’t understand what was going on for me emotionally until I explained everything.

It’s been so much better now. We are being much more intentional with our money and I have bought hardly anything besides work orders. I am praying we keep this up throughout the rest of the year, and even make this a habit – it is a really good change for us!

Family Time

I am interacting with my kids more and participating in their day to day instead of always feeling interrupted. We play, we go more places, and we play outside! They get to spend time with me instead of me always being on my phone. Running a photography business means we are constantly reminded that time goes by so quickly. Parents are always telling us that time just flew by for their family – their kids just started school the other day and are already graduating from high school! I truly want to enjoy life with my husband and our kids, but before now, all I was doing was posting pictures of it on Instagram.

Fears

I had to mentally prepare myself to erase the social media apps off my phone. I had so many fears! Mostly, I was afraid I would miss something from work. But I did keep my Facebook Pages app, so anything that pops up in there is work related and can be taken care of. There have been a few days where I needed to post a preview from a photo session or announce something coming up, but I am just keeping a list of those things to post when we finish up the fast.

The other thing I was fearful of was just missing out. I was afraid of not knowing what was going on or not seeing my friends tell me Happy Birthday on Facebook. What if someone messaged me and I don’t see it for 3 weeks? But I realized, most everyone who might need me for something important can text or call me. In fact, I have been calling people much more as well!

Take Away

My biggest take away from all this is that it can be done. In my heart I knew this, but I had to actually do it to believe it. Also, I now know what to do to focus and get things done. If I get behind on something, a social media fast might just do the trick to help me get caught up. In fact, I think I’ll fast from social media much more often if I can’t limit my time on it after this. I also realize I wasn’t spending 14 hours on social media a day or anything, but what I was doing was CONSTANTLY interrupting my day to jump on for a few minutes. This horrible habit stopped me from being able to focus on anything, because I was always getting distracted and off course.

Now that I have finished the fast, I caught up on my social media and plan on being much more intentional about when I get on and what I am getting on for. Mostly, I try not to scroll (this feeds my past shopping habit!) It will be a process of trying to figure out how to balance social interaction and not getting distracted, but I’m up for the challenge – and now I know how to reset!

I want to know what you think of all this? Have you unplugged from social media before? Leave me a comment with your social media “fasting” story, or with any questions – I can’t wait to hear from you!

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