It's been 10 months since my detox - and as I read through my notes of this experience I realize I'm in dire need of another one! 😉 During our vacation in Puerto Vallarta last June I took a much needed break from social media! My husband and I both own small businesses - so it's a big part of our daily work lives (as it has to be!). Don't misunderstand - I LOVE running my travel company, but most of the year it's a 7 day a week commitment. Social media is actually one of my favorite parts of Travel by Kris - sharing photos, writing articles, inspiring my clients to travel is the FUN part (updating my books - not so much! 😉 )! But, I discovered I even needed a break from this - as it becomes a daily pressure.
What Prompted It?
Working remote and running my own business has so many benefits - flexibility and being able to travel and work. But, it also means never being completely "off". Keeping up with social media is time consuming (and at times exhausting!)- and one of the many ways I communicate with clients. It starts to make everything seem urgent... when in fact it's usually not. I also started catching myself scrolling through my phone while watching a TV show with my husband or making dinner. I felt like it was time to take a break.
How Did I Prepare for It?
I know - this makes it sounds like a procedure! Unfortunately with running a business it's not quite possible to just go "cold turkey". 😉 Before our trip I informed all my clients I'd be "out of office", made sure my inbox was clear, posted on social media I'd be detoxing (hmmm that seems like the wrong start!), changed my voice mail and put on my out of office. Luckily I didn't have any clients traveling for this few days - but my people also knew how to get a hold of me if an emergency.
What Were my Rules?
No checking on, posting or surfing on any of my Travel by Kris social media accounts (or personal ones either!). I also ruled out being on my computer or e-reader. Being self employed I allowed myself to check my email once a day to make sure no emergencies had arisen with clients. I didn't get the international plan for this trip and it was really helpful to keep my phone on airplane mode the entire time. I tried to only think of my phone as a camera! I wanted the detox to start and end at home, so once we left for the airport my phone was on airplane mode from that moment until we arrived back home.
Was it Hard?
Surprisingly, no. I anticipated this to be much more difficult than it really was. It was actually a relief turning off notifications and not hearing those messages and alerts coming in!
Did I Cheat?
I can barely believe it myself - but I wasn't even tempted. My husband wasn't in detox with me (owning news websites he has to be online every day) and I didn't ask him for updates or news! I did look at the weather and googled a couple local things... but other than that I was living in the 80's (which IMHO was a great decade 😉 )!
How Did I Feel?
I felt my brain stop skipping around almost immediately (ok, that's also partially due to enjoying a beach escape!) and the entire week I just slowed down. Again - I know part of that was the laid back beach atmosphere - but I found myself living in the moment more and not grabbing for my phone! I walked the beach, talked to people, read (as in my hands touched paper!) and wasn't worried about the latest news... or paper work... or my dog back home. I've never felt so refreshed!
Did I learnAnything?
The biggest lesson I came away with is to live life and not worry about documenting everything (that's extra hard when part of my business is sharing my travel experiences with you!). I learned I need to give myself permission to not be available 24/7 and it's ok to take time off and do nothing! The world kept spinning while I unplugged! 😉
Do I Recommend?
I highly suggest you take a break from social media during your next vacation! I promise - you can still update and share your trip on social media when you get home. Live in the moment, enjoy that quality time with your travel mates and be more open to new experiences during your trip!
Getting ready for that social media detox vacation - don't miss The 20 Best Packing Tips for Air Travel.
Until the next adventure - bon voyage!