...And then I took a step back

Last week I decided to do something I almost never do. I (mostly) disconnected. For almost 10 days I used little to no social media and I only checked my phone once or twice a day. Owning a small business that uses social media as my main form of marketing this was a pretty scary endeavor. The first day I stressed about what would happen if I didn't post a photo on my page for a few days. Would I lose followers? Would people decide to use another gift company? Would I miss my big break?....And then I took a step back. I reminded myself why I started. I started Upstate Crate to live a more intentional life. I wanted to give people a more thoughtful and intentional way to be consumers. Social media can be a powerful tool. It has introduced me to incredible business owners and individuals all over the world and for that I am grateful. But it can also be deeply consuming and unhealthy if you let it. I found myself stressing over what others were doing and I was spending more and more time aimlessly scrolling through my feed. I was stressing over how my page looked compared to others. Was my feed pretty enough? Should I add shopable links? Do people notice that I haven't written the blog post I said I would upload three weeks ago?... And then I took a step back. I went to my Moms for a week and I just disconnected. I set my "out of office" for my day job and I just lived intentionally for a few days. I didn't meditate. I didn't read some life changing, inspiring self-help book. I didn't exercise. Instead I played Barbies for hours with my daughter and I read an old fiction novel that was my favorite growing up. I went through old momentos and photos. I went bowling (twice). I played yahtzee and watched sitcoms with my Mom and laughed until I cried. I was lazy. And it was exactly what I needed. For the first time this year I feel balanced. I feel calm. I'm ready to tackle the things I need to do. And more importantly I want to do the things I need to do. It's so easy to get caught up in what you perceive others to be doing but we really need to be content in where WE are. Social media isn't real. Yes, my living room looks pristine and white in the photos I post but right now there are crumbs on my couch and piles of laundry all over. And you know what, that's ok. It's also important not to get caught up in what you think self care should look like. It doesn't have to mean burning sage and meditating in a quiet, beautiful place. Sometimes it means sitting down with the ones you love most and laughing your butts off for a week straight while you ignore the rest of the world. So this week I implore you to slow down and live more intentionally. Allow yourself the freedom to be bored. From boredom comes inspiration. Our businesses will not fail if we take time to focus on what matters most. Our lives won't end if we do not participate in social media. We may lose followers but we won't lose friends.