As any other business owner will tell you, it’s extremely hard to shut off from your own business after hours or over the weekend. You might have a set ‘closing’ time, but I’ll bet my bottom dollar the majority of you don’t actually stop working at this time.
I’m in an industry that’s quite unpredictable in the scheduling department. For example, I might have a Thursday without any client bookings only to get a last minute text late on Wednesday evening asking me to provide makeup and hair for a newspaper shoot early the next morning. Or I might have a poor bride that’s been let down last minute desperate to find a makeup artist that can help her out at the drop of a hat. Those are the types of messages I definitely wouldn’t want to miss.
In the world of social media, we’re always expected to be switched on and heaven forbid if we don’t respond to a Facebook business message within an hour of it being sent in the dead of night. I don’t know about you, but I’m sent a succession of ‘?????’s’ pretty sharpish if my response doesn’t come immediately. With that being said, it’s almost as if we’ve been wired up to always be switched on and ready to respond. From missed business opportunities to the straight fear of FOMO (fear of missing out), we never want to risk missing an opportunity.
On Sunday I decided to do something I’d never done before. I ignored my phone for the entire day. This might not be a big deal to some of you, but for somebody like me who makes part of their living through social media and being on the ball on the social streams, this was huge! I’d been feeling really burned out with the world of social media and found that I was lacking the inspiration to post my regular updates or even respond to the mountain of comments that were swiftly building. So I simply decided to take a break.
I quickly checked my messages in the morning to make sure there wasn’t an urgent situation that required my attention (like a last minute casting call or last minute booking) and after that, the phone was switched to silent and neatly tucked away into a drawer.
I thought I’d miss having my phone on me throughout the day but what I was found was that it was well and truly glorious not to have it on me. I spent my day picking up healthy food at the supermarket and preparing the food for the week once I got home. Then it was time to make some popcorn and sit down to watch a movie (completely uninterrupted might I add) with my pooches and a coffee. After that I took a luxurious bubble bath using all of my favourite products before sitting down with a glass of wine and watching American Horror Story (one of my all time favourite shows that I’m currently re-watching before the new series). When it was time for bed, I almost felt a little sense of dread at having to get my phone out of the drawer again. The only reason it came out again was because I love to listen to an ASMR video on YouTube to send me to sleep, and I also use my phone as my alarm.
I didn’t check facebook, my emails or any other social accounts. I simply clicked on the alarm and pressed play on my video before drifting into a peaceful sleep.
Getting rid of my phone for the day was actually quite liberating and gave me the break I needed to get back on track. It was wonderful not to have to be on the ball or checking messages. Being completely present in the moment with whatever I was doing was just wonderful. I felt calmer, de-stressed and I even slept a whole lot better. It’s amazing what one day off from social media can do, and I highly recommend trying it. I’ve renamed my Sundays as Self Care Sundays – one day for me where I can completely unwind (when I haven’t got clients in that is), relax and not worry about my social channels just for a day. Bliss!
© Rachael Divers 2017