You see it a lot. People announcing that they are taking time off social media because they need to focus on their mental health. I’m all for it. If your mental health suffers because you compare yourself to others a lot of the time, then yeah, take the breaks. My story is different in some ways. My mental health suffers when I feel stressed or overloaded with “work”.
I work shifts, and it affords me a lot of time off, but on top of that, I have my own socials, blogs and podcast to stay on top of. Add to that my role within the local pride, organising the main event, a monthly event, keeping on top of those socials, doing my role as a director, attending meetings and managing a new team…there’s very little time for me and planning my wedding later this year.
Life is busy, but I like it that way, but there has to come a time when I need to pump the breaks and take a little more time for me.
That’s what I have been doing recently. I announced one short break that was down to actually wanting to spend time with my beloved future husband, and then I came back, although not really. I said I was back and ready to get back into posting my usual content, but in actual fact, I posted it to keep my socials ticking over, whilst I also took a backseat again.
I needed some rest for a couple of mornings where I just sat and watched YouTube or tried to finally finish “Once Upon a Time” whilst drinking coffee, eating porridge and cuddling Rupert or Willow whenever either of them wanted to give me attention. It was healing, it was restorative, and then I spent the afternoons doing the work I need to get done.
Taking that time for me was helpful, it meant I didn’t feel so stressed because I spaced my work out, realising it didn’t all need to be done at once, and actually, I’d like to take an afternoon break to go and annoy Rupert by lifting him up from his nap for a cuddle. He didn’t enjoy any of them but it was his birthday so I’ll let him off.
The problem you get sometimes from announcing a break, is that people begin to expect your return. They wait, and you wait, and then the stress sets in. Will you come back to the people you enjoyed speaking to still being around, or will they have gone? Will you still have an engaging profile? The breaks that I see work the most are those that are unexpected or unexplained, and then you get the reason afterwards.
I’m not going to call anyone attention-seeking, because I don’t think that is necessarily true, and aren’t we all, those who have a message or a brand to sell, just attention-seekers in our own right? We live in an age when we have to delicately balance real life with our social media, and the effects both of them have upon us. Take the time, if you need it, but just do it quietly, because it brings a lot less stress with it. What did I come back with after my unannounced break? Pictures of me in my dressing gown, holding coffee, porridge and Rupert. Just content I wanted to share at that moment in time, and that was less staged and had less of a message other than “self care” compared to my normal content.
I also had to delay my podcast premiere due to illness, but I’m not stressing, it is what it is, and I’ve enjoyed the time to myself where I haven’t had to think about recording it – but I am about to record it so, deuces!