If you’re reading this article, you’re either curious about what a Social Media Mini-Break is or you’re thinking you need a vacation from your online life and are looking for what other people do.
Full disclaimer. This post is not about detox. It is meant for individuals who just want a few days off, don’t want to leave their audiences hanging, and need some tips on how to go about taking a mini-break. If you are feeling anxious, depressed or even obsessed about your social media activity, you may have a bigger problem (it’s common… you’re not alone). If this sounds like you, I’d recommend you start with this article.
I don’t really feel like I have a problem with social media, only that I’m sometimes overwhelmed by how much work goes into it. I use my account @myhouseofzing on Instagram for fun but also for work so it’s really easy to get caught up in the performance metrics, which have been incredibly frustrating lately.
What I’m saying is that I want – no need – to take a social media mini-break. Just like with an everyday real-life job, a vacation is something to look forward to. As everyone knows, planning for a vacation adds to the joy, so here I am, planning for my social media mini-break.
Step One – Planning is Everything
Pick a time that works for you. Knowing that you have set a start and end date will help you plan around it. No one can ever just drop everything and go… the same is true for your digital prosperities. I’ve decided to set my break around the Christmas holiday. I’ll be off work for a few days, which is the perfect time to put my device aside and focus on my family. But I do have some campaigns that need to be closed off before I can leave so – just like at my day job – I’m planning to have those wrapped up before I “go”. You’ll notice that the one word that keeps popping up here is PLANNING.
Step Two – Inform your Audience in Advance
I wouldn’t recommend that you just disappear. You’ve spent a lot of time with your audience and whether you know it or not, they have certain expectations about when they’ll see you again. So let them know when you’re going to be offline and if you can, let them know when you’ll be back. Don’t feel like to you have to overshare your reasons, but it is healthy to let people know that breaks are okay. Lead by example!
Step Three – Plan your “Out of Office”
When you go on break from your day job, you typically set your out-of-office reply. Why wouldn’t you do the same for your social media prosperities? Subconsciously, these types of messages help us relax because we feel like no one is looking for us. It helps set expectations for both you and your audience. Be creative! Have fun with it.
Step Four – Walk Away
Here’s the hardest part: You have to actually DO it. Walk away. Put that phone down during dinner. Don’t keep your devices near your bedside, turn off those notifications. Whatever it is you need to step away, do that. Does that mean you can’t look at social media? For me, it doesn’t. I do check my email, even when I’m away and I’ll look at social too. But the key is that I don’t engage. Let me say that again in a different way… you can look but don’t touch. Once you like, post, share, comment, forward or whatever, you’re back in the game and that’s not really a break. Take your break, you deserve it. Silence is golden.
Step Five – Jump Into Your First Day Back
On your first day back to the office, do you throw on a pair of sweats and kicks, put your hair in a bun and go in looking like you’ve just fallen out of bed? Probably not. I’m guessing you’ll spend some time to look your best because you’re feeling refreshed. That first day back is the hardest because we don’t really want to go back, do we? So give yourself something to look forward to and jump back in feeling like your best self.
So there you have it – my five simple steps for taking a social media mini-break. If any of this is making you feel anxious, it could be that perhaps you need a full-on detox. If so, there’s a great article about the benefits of a detox that really dives into some more emotionally relevant reasons to take a break, which you might find helpful.
Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, may it be filled with love, laughter and happiness. This will be my last blog post for 2019 and in a few days, I’ll also be taking a break from Instagram. WooHoo! In the meantime, I’d love to have you browse my website and look through some older posts. As always, I appreciate your comments!