For the past 7 days I've taken an unexpected hiatus from taking pictures and posting content to Instagram, Facebook, the blog, Pinterest and alllll of the places. We talk about the pressures as a small business to stay on top of posting and "beating" the algorithm through engagement.
But what do we do when this constant pressure and activity to perform becomes too much? The way I see it, we have two options: 1.) Crumble under the pressure + give up or 2.) Schedule breaks in our social media calendar to prevent burnout.
My unplanned social media break was not nearly as refreshing or productive as it could've been. I came to a breaking point of pressure, which lead to a lack of creativity and no desire to engage with my followers. So I crumbled under the pressure and just walked away without a plan.
With this in mind, I would argue that scheduling breaks in our social media calendars is not only a fabulous idea, but a crucial choice, for all of us trying to create and cultivate content for our own little corner of the Internet.
Here's what I've learned the hard way about why taking a break can be valuable:
You'll Actually Rest
My unplanned break didn't actually allow me time to walk away. Instead, I felt that nasty bite of comparison as I watched others talk about how their calendars are planned for the next 3 weeks with beautifully curated content - and my calendar is empty and open with a gaping hole of "what the heck am I going to post tomorrow". It left me feeling bitter and inadequate, instead of giving me the space to enjoy the beautiful photos and words of fellow makers.
If you give yourself a set time to release the pressure of posting, you'll be able to remove your social media "to dos" and just enjoy (or ignore) all of the content that's out there.
Your Creativity Will Return
"Do it for the 'gram" can be a real soul-sucking, creativity-squashing thing. I personally don't want to run my business from a place of just needing to keep up. I want my business to be a place where I can share my craft with those who want to see it.
If you feel like you're running on fumes in the creativity department, i urge you to schedule a week (or longer!) of free time to do what you need to do to refill your creativity tank. Whether that be, crafting with no intention of posting or walking away from your craft for a few days until inspiration sparks, I promise you'll come away from it with greater success than you imagine.
Your Followers Will Still Be There
As hard as it is, I intentionally try not to focus on the numbers that can so easily rule over our online lives. I tell myself that producing quality and beneficial content is more important than attracting thousands of people to see it - and if I do product quality content, then quality followers will come.
While this is true, it can be scary to step away in fear that you'll suffer a decrease in followers. Am I promising that taking a week off will not cause you to lose a few people along the way? No. You might lose a few followers here and there but it is extremely likely that these people are not your audience anyway. They either aren't invested in your message or they're robots. Seriously. They're probably robots.
You Can Still Be Productive
...and you might be MORE productive. Once you're feeling refreshed and your creativity has returned, you can use the remainder of your break time to plan. I mentioned before that I felt envious of people with their content scheduled for the next few weeks - but this envy and jealousy doesn't do any good if it's not acted upon.
With a scheduled break, you can schedule your schedule (huh?). What I mean is, you can take photos for fun and take the time to come up with authentic content, ultimately setting your future-self up for success! Win-win.
You are worth so much more than what social media says you are. Whether you have 10 followers or 10,000 you are valuable.
I hope you are inspired to take a step back from social media to focus on caring for yourself...then coming back, when you're ready, to show off all your beautiful work!
How do you keep yourself from burning out on social media? I'd love to hear your tips and tricks below!