We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don't allow our bodies to heal, and we don't allow our minds and hearts to heal.
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Creating a habit is important. However, when that habit starts taking over your life in a negative way, it is time to take a step back and re-evaluate how much power you are giving it over your own life.
Over the past week, I have decided to do just that. After having started this blog in December of 2019, I had not taken a break since then and I noticed that the original fire burning within me had burned brighter, but also weaker than before.
I felt I was just going through the motions, even though I was producing quality content that I truly believed in. I love helping others and I love reading others' content. At the same time, I noticed that a large part of my days, whether on the weekends or even at work, were spent scrolling through social media.
Being part of the self-help community has been transformative for the way that I choose to view everyday life. I have started to become more aware of how life can be teaching us lessons, even in hard times, and trying to help others online and in real life. Although it has been mostly beneficial to my mental health, and has helped me through a rough time in terms of my overall health, I realized that it was also encouraging toxic behavior.
Although the self-help community is full of positive influences, I felt that the constant scrolling was a negative side-effect of this inundation of information. Whether we like it or not, social media is targeted towards grabbing people's attention and, as a result, we are looking for stimulation 24/7. When we scroll mindlessly through social media, sometimes we may not even be conscious that we are!
This week off helped me realize that I was numb. I decided to take a step back and removed Instagram from my home page, hiding it from my view.
The first day was hard, because muscle memory took me back to that app. When I realized it, I quickly closed it and vowed not to touch it for the next 7 days.
Something I realized this week is that we are the only ones responsible for keeping our word. This means that if you say you want to do something, you alone are responsible with following through. Your health and your needs are never going to be as important to anyone else as you, which is why you need to rely on yourself to uphold your own promises.
Over the next 7 days, I kept that message in my mind and stayed off social media for no one but myself. The world would keep turning if I took a break, and it is important that we all are mindful of that as well.
We all want to be there for the ones we love in our lives. At the same time, we also need to be there for ourselves. I am a huge believer in self-care, so when we feel we need to take a break, we need to listen to our bodies.
Rest is productive and could allow us to come back with a fresh mindset and better attitude than when we left. It is not possible to always be positive and full of ideas, so that is why, just like computers or our beloved phones, we need to reset sometimes. Most importantly, there is no shame in that.
The bottom line here is be good to yourself and know when you need to take a step back. Your body will give you little hints that you need to slow down. Whether it is a lack of motivation or energy, there is no shame in relaxing and doing what is best for you.