How are you today? I am doing mighty fine. Yes- I actually used the expression ‘mighty fine’ – haha.
As you might have noticed I have not posted or been online on my social media channels for a while now and it all has it’s reason.
I have participated in a social experiment. One that might seem weird for bloggers to participate in.
As a blogger our entire life (or well, a big part of it) is online. We are online influencers and to be able to ‘online influence’ you should be online. duh. We live in a time of day where everything needs to be fast fast fast- but isn’t it a bit too fast at times?
I don’t know about you but sometimes I felt like I was getting lost. I don’t want to nag and complain but it can get overwhelming at times. I always had so much to do, had so many assignments, so many emails to reply, so many social media channels to maintain and than he pressure of other bloggers. It is a normal development that when you see others being successful that you want to be equally as successful or perhaps even more successful.
Sometimes you see other bloggers grow fast all of a sudden or get the assignments that you did not get and it can be stressful and again, overwhelming. – I noticed that I started to feel tensed to a certain point where I even physically got ill. I am on my phone- all day everyday. I could not even be present anymore in a conversation- “Oh wait, let me instagram that’- ‘Oh, I must re-tweet that shit, it is so funny’- Ring a bell? Again- there is nothing wrong with that behavior but I do advice you to take a breather some times, and so I followed my own advice and that is what happend.
I challenged myself to be offline for 2 weeks- 14 days. I gave my self some cheat moments where I allowed my self to reply text messages if I needed to meet up with friends in order to have real life contact. I also did use my FB to set up a dinner with friends but only to create a real life event instead of being ‘online’- Other than that I was not allowed to text, to FB, to mail, to Instagram (hence my disappearance for 2 weeks on IG) and so on.
SO, WHAT HAVE I LEARNED IN THESE 2 WEEKS:
Okay, first and for most I must admit, it was freaking hard. It was so hard that it actually became a bit pathetic. When you try to stop with a certain habit you will realize how much you actually do something, do you feel me? – The last thing before I went to bed was check my mail and Instagram and the first thing I did every morning was read my mail, check my Instagram and reply the message of my followers and readers.
THE GIFT OF TIME-
The first 2 days were difficult not to do this. I automatically grabbed my phone and than I was like, oh uhm, no and I put my phone away again. All of a sudden I had this ‘free time’ and I was like, hmm what should I do with it.
I started having breakfast by actually sitting down and enjoying a nice meal instead of walking around with my phone in my hand and running around in my home trying to get ready with a sneaky run back to my kitchen to put a spoon full of yoghurt in my mouth and than continuing running around getting ready, doing my hair while Instagramming.
An other moment was right before I went to bed- I also had a lot of free time all of a sudden. Instead of spending 30 minutes (or more) before sleeping on the world wide web I just flipped through some magazines and I noticed that this actually enhanced my sleepy feeling ( I don’t know the correct word haha) but I got relaxed and tired in a good way and I feel a sleep quicker than before.
I was so much more present in the moment and that was really something I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to really be there in the moment instead of thinking about all the things I still had to do for my blog or Instagramming every single meal/drink/sunset.
When I was with friends I could actually pay attention to everything they were saying instead of thinking ‘ is this a moment I should Instagram”
NEW FOUND LOVE FOR NATURE-
I always have loved the nature. From mountains to beaches, from forests to waterfalls- I am a nature lover. But lately every time I went somewhere, anywhere I was more focussed to find the perfect light to capture the moment instead of really enjoying the moment. I have visited so many cool places in this week without taking a single picture. And I can tell you, it was awesome.
HEALTH- body, mind and soul.
Also my health has improved in this one week. A week seems like a short period but it really was nice to have this extra time I had all of a sudden- I felt less stress because I was not constantly checking what others were doing, I felt less stressed because I was not constantly comparing myself with others. I slept way better and my insomnia disappeared in this week- I could sleep like a baby and I am sure that it helped that I did not have a bright light of my laptop/phone in my face before sleeping. Overall I just felt better. When I felt more rested I also felt more energized to cook more and to create healthier meals. It is actually a really vicious circle- when I am tired after a long day at work being online I don’t feel like cooking- I just get some take away, most of the time not the healthiest dishes to eat and than I become even more tired by putting these unhealthy things in my body- now, with my new found energy I was excited to discover new recipes and to take better care of my body.
I also had some time to regroup and recover. I had the time to still work on my blog but ‘behind the scenes’ – I had the time to really think of the direction that I wanted to go, brands that would fit my brand, collaborations I would like to do and those that I don’t want to do. I had the time to clear my mind and at first, where I was afraid that I would be less inspired I actually got more inspired by the offline world. And isn’t that the only real world out there?
My offline week was fantastic- I felt less stressed, ate better, felt healthier and got a lot of inspiration! I felt less overwhelmed and I am excited to be online again. Being online is not something that is wrong but we should not get carried away and allow our selves some breathers.
I think every blogger should have at least one period a year where he or she will be offline. For some a week might be to long, others want to try a longer period but you know what, for all the hardcore bloggers, at least try it for a full 24 hours and see what it will do for you. Besides it being hard I know it might seem impossible- especially for those that make a living from the online world…however, I guarantee you that your offline experience will be priceless.
What do you think- is it something you could do too?