So I’ve been a little MIA lately. I haven’t posted here in over a week, and have taken a hiatus on Instagram, which is quite unusual. I feel like I go through waves of creativity, some periods where I’m bursting with content creation ideas, and others where I feel like I need a break.
Over the past week, I’ve been in the English countryside with my family. I’m surrounded by quaint little buildings and so much history. Not to mention, my family finally managed to make time for a 2 week vacation with all of our schedules being so batshit crazy and us living in 3 different countries. Amidst all that I should have been excited for and grateful about, all I could think about was Instagram. What the actual fuck.
I’ve taken 1 proper vacation over the last 2 years. It was when I went to Vietnam with my best friends over last Christmas. Otherwise, when I’m traveling, I’m hustling to create content every single day. Honestly, it’s what I expected to do during this family vacation, which is actually insane, now that I think about it. Shooting 10 images per day requires outfit changes, location hunting, and waking up at the ass-crack of dawn. Things that are pretty normal to me, but not normal to my family. And the lines between my personal life and work are pretty blurred, but it only dawned on me over the last week how guilty I feel when I’m not 100% on it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I LOVE my job! But I guess with an industry that’s ‘on’ 100% of the time, there’s a certain expectation that you should also be ‘on’ 100% of the time as well. It’s not like I’ve fully neglected work over the past week. I’ve still lugged my 50lb camera around like a 5th limb and shot a decent amount of content. But I’ve just not had time to post pictures, think of captions, respond to comments, write blog posts, and post on Pinterest. Should I feel guilty about this?
I’m in two minds. One is that of a business owner. I feel like my business is my baby, and like any helicopter parent, I feel the need to be CONSTANTLY involved. And on the other hand, I keep policing myself to have some semblance of work-life balance. So that I don’t suffer from burnout. I feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at allowing myself to take a couple of days off, but an entire week has been incredibly challenging and I’m not going to lie, I’ve felt guilty – like I’m neglecting my work.
I’ve been trying my best to deal with this feeling of guilt and two things have helped me immensely:
1. Giving myself a reality check
Let’s put things into perspective. I’m not curing cancer, taking a week off is just not the biggest deal. No one is going to die if I don’t post on Instagram.
2. Not scrolling
Seriously guys, not only is it stressful to look at other people’s feeds while taking time off, it’s also just nice to give your hands a break from the incessant scrolling. It also gives you a chance to just recharge your own creative energy by fully focusing on yourself. Personally, I’ve found that the days I’m fully off Instagram (that means no scrolling whatsoever) are the ones where I’ve felt the most at peace with my decision to take a break.
So yes, social media, coupled with being a business owner comes with a lot of pressure. But it’s important to force yourself to take a break from it if that’s what you need.
Do you guys ever disconnect for an extended period of time? Can you relate to the feeling of guilt, and if so, how do you deal with it?