November 20, 2018

10 things I learned through 10 days off Instagram

Recently I took 10 full days off of Instagram.

Don’t get me wrong – I love social media. I love connecting with my community through the platforms of Instagram, Facebook and more.

I’ve worked hard to create a *mostly* healthy relationship with Instagram – setting boundaries and allowing myself to unfollow people I didn’t feel great following, not sharing everything and taking time off on the weekends.

There’s been a lot going on in the world lately, almost too much for my brain to process. So adding the art (and yes I think of social media as an art form) of sharing my thoughts and feelings all day every day felt like one thing too many.

Plus, the biggest thing anyone says to you when you have a small child? Enjoy every moment, it goes too fast. The best way I know how expand time and come into the present moment more is to take a break from my phone, or email or Instagram, whatever the thing is that takes me out of ME and into someone else’s world.

My gut was telling me to take a break from Instagram, and so I listened and boy did I learn some interesting things.

Here are my top 10 takeaways from this recent Instagram pause:

  1. Time can expand. Looking for more of our greatest asset? Put your social icons in a DO NOT OPEN folder on your phone and see how much more you can be, feel and experience in a day. Even quick 15 second video snippets take time and our focus away from being in the moment. It was a nice break to just be in my life for me, instead of thinking how I was going to share it all, all the time.
  2. I need time to check in with myself. Yes I journal a lot, yes I teach and coach and share so many personal stories – but a quiet, deep check in? Not something I do as often. What I mean by this is asking those deeper questions and having the time and space to hear the answers. Questions like: what do I really want to share? Why is this important to me? How can I be better? Do better? What would feel fun? Checking in and sharing or engaging from a place of intention versus distraction always much more aligned.
  3. I’m pretty much exactly the same on social media as I am in my “real” life. I did pretty much all the same things (hung with Navy, ate Rule of 5 Plates, worked, worked out, traveled). Nothing interesting here, just cool to note that my online self really is the same as my self self.
  4. I missed sharing. At 15 years old I was a ski instructor (the youngest on the mountain). At 16 I was teaching rock climbing at my local climbing gym. At 17… well you get the point. I have ALWAYS been a teacher in some way. Sharing comes naturally and so I missed that part of social media. I kept catching myself doing a little verbal fumble to explain my lil life lessons to well, nobody (sometimes Navy, sometimes she listened lol).
  5. Social media really IS a business. A few times during the course of my break I needed to log into Instagram to communicate with people I had no other way of contacting. It was a funny feeling. Not sure it’s bad but definitely interesting that I had no phone number or email address for some colleagues and work contacts. Wonder what the fix on this one would be? Hmm…
  6. Social media really is my business. No, it’s not my whole business but yes, it’s a huge part of it. I always have a hard time wrapping my head around this one. I’ve been running my own business for 10 years now and marketing has changed so much in that time. I really, really enjoy sharing my life with you and my business too (yes this includes my products and program launches, this IS my work after all), but it’s still a funny thing I need to think of, and it still feels a bit backwards to me. For example – I still don’t plan enough time in my day or buffer time around activities so that I can share highlights with you without stress. This is something I’m going to create more time around and I’m sure it will feel better that way.
  7. The boredom is real. I actually felt something called “bored” from time to time. Honestly I cannot remember the last time I felt that feeling! Do you? There were tons of moments when my husband was on a call (shout out to all the partners of mortgage brokers!), or there just wasn’t anything else going on that I would literally just end up sitting there. Staring out the window. Or thinking about nothing. It was odd and I definitely felt the pang and desire to scroll away. Good to note. Also good to note that it’s good for your brain to feel this way (bored!). To wander into nothing. It creates more space and clarity for the more important stuff. I’m pretty sure we’re designed that way. We certainly weren’t designed for constant stimulation.
  8. I didn’t go to bed any earlier or feel any more rested. Ha! Jokes on me! I thought removing the evening scroll would help with this but life is still life and it was actually refreshing to learn that I was (*errr am…) going to bed too late because of the choices I was making, not because I was addicted to my phone. Score one for my smart device.
  9. My pause actually wasn’t all that interesting. At all. Yes, I got some nice lessons and some cool things I noticed but mostly, it just felt like life. And that’s a good thing. That shows me I do have a good amount of balance with these platforms. And I’m proud of that. Don’t feel the same? Try a little break, a pause, a chunk of time to just be you for you. A turn off time. Anything. Take a day, take a month, this is YOUR life. You can navigate it how you please. We’ll all still be here when you’re ready come back. 🙂
  10. I’m pretty freaking grateful for my work and my life. Above all, I feel very, very fortunate that sharing parts of my life on social media is my work. If you had asked me 10 years ago where I thought I was going when I enrolled in The Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s (IIN) Health Coach Training Program, I never would have guessed that this is where I’d be. That this is what my work could look like. That this is what my life could look like. I’m not saying it’s all rainbows and butterflies – but I am beyond grateful that this is where I am today. Thank you gut for guiding me here, thank you IIN for opening up the possibility of a job and a life I never would have imagined possible. And most importantly, thank you all for being a part of my world.

If you feel called to teach or share in a bigger way, IIN may be a great program for you to explore too. I’ve said it before (and I’ll say it again!) – this program changed my life and it makes me so happy to see it changing the lives (and careers) of many of you!

This week only, IIN is offering an AMAZING Black Friday Bonus when you enroll – there’s a HUGE savings on the program tuition plus some super sweet bonus gifts ($1,800 in bonuses in total)! In addition to IIN’s bonuses, I’m throwing in some extra gifts if you enroll as my referral: Your Healthiest You 6 Week Digital Course, my Meal Prep Workshop AND a private group coaching call with me.

If you’ve been curious about IIN for a while, or just hearing about the program sparks something inside of you, I encourage you to call the admissions team today. They are super helpful and can share more details about the program, the certification, tuition, job opportunities, and more.

To learn more about my IIN journey, click here.
To connect with the admission team, call (844) 780-3300 (US) or 212-730-5433 (International). You can also email [email protected] to schedule an appointment.

To wrap up – I love social media, and I’m grateful it’s a part of my work and my life. I’m also grateful for breaks and the lessons that we all can learn by taking a step back from whatever dominates our routines and daily habits, whether it’s scrolling Instagram or automatically pouring yourself a second cup of coffee.

If one of my insights or ahas above resonated with you, I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment on the blog and let me know.

Photos: Caitlin Mitchell


Get My Go-To Guide
To Journaling

Sign up now to get the behind the scenes how-to of my personal journaling practice, complete with rituals and prompts that will keep you grounded and strengthen your gut intuition in no time.