We had such a wonderful time on our Summer holiday this year! My husband, myself, and Hemsley whisked away for 10-days to British Columbia visiting Invermere and Kelowna.
The weather was beautiful as was the scenery and we really did enjoy the drive. I wasn’t sure how we’d like travelling with a baby as this would be our first holiday with Hemsley (aside from a short 2-day trip to Saskatoon for a wedding in July), but it went really well and she did awesome. It was such a wonderful time for Justin to bond with Hemsley too as he doesn’t often get to spend a full day with her aside from weekends.
In Invermere we stayed at the Copper Point Resort (I seriously love this place) and we spent our days soaking up the sun by the pool and moseying around the town shops. There’s an amazing new juice & smoothie bar called Resonate in town, it’s a must visit if you find yourself in Invermere!
In Kelowna we rented an airBnB condo and enjoyed more pool time, local wineries, taking in the amazing views, walking along the waterfront, and lots of charcuterie! I’d highly recommend visiting Mission Hill Winery to take in the view from the Terrace restaurant as well as Quail’s Gate winery, it’s absolutely stunning.
If you’ve ever read the book The 5 Love Languages, you’ll understand what I mean when I said in my last post that Quality Time is definitely a love language of mine. If you haven’t read it, you should, there’s a reason it has over 11,000 5-star reviews on Amazon! That was one of the main reasons we decided to take a social media fast as a family. Both Justin and I deleted the Facebook and Instagram apps from our phones to prevent mindless logging-in and the temptation to scroll through our feeds. This was the first time I disconnected from social media after Hemsley arriving in May and I was craving some true, uninterrupted, totally present and engaged quality time with my two favourite people.
To be honest, if it wasn’t for my job I’d probably disconnect from social media a lot more, but I did learn that while I can’t always just disconnect (for me thats kind of like just not showing up for work), I can and should set boundaries around my social media and technology time.
During this fast I experienced a lot of benefits, some actually quite surprising which I wanted to share in hopes of inspiring you to find a week (or even just a few days) to completely disconnect so you can too experience the benefits.
1. I was more “present”.
This one was probably the least surprising. It makes totally sense that without frequently scrolling through my social media feeds or checking my phone for updates a billion times a day that I would find myself more present in the moment. But to actually notice how present I was, made me also realize all the things I miss when I’m stuck in the “phone zone”. I noticed and appreciated the majestic scenery on our drive through the mountains, I spent more time in conversation with Justin, I made small talk with strangers, I engaged with Hemsley even more and noticed more of her funny little baby quirks, and I savoured my meals more than usual as I was able to mindfully enjoy each meal that we sat down to eat. It’s amazing how much we can miss when we are distracted, and this was a big reminder to put my phone down more often and soak in the present moment.
2. I was more positive.
I like to think I’m a generally joyful, optimistic person. I make a valiant effort to think positive thoughts but I noticed how during our trip my thought-life was especially positive and self-affirming (and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just because I was on vacation!). No matter how hard I try to be positive, social media can bring out the Debbie-Downer in me at times. I fall victim to the comparison trap and can find myself thinking insecure, self-doubty, less-than thoughts. This break made me realize that while social media is a very positive, important part of my job and inevitably a part of my life, I need to be more aware of my self-talk while on social media and remember each day to be grateful for all that my life encompasses.
3. I had better sleeps.
This was quite a surprise for me as I didn’t realize how much my social media habits impact my ability to fall asleep. During our vacation I fell asleep within minutes at night and stayed asleep until Miss Hemlsey woke me up to eat or with her early morning chatter. I can sometimes be a bit of a night owl and it’s not unusual that I’ll scroll through my Instagram feed while lying in bed. I love Instagram for the inspiration factor but that can also cause my mind to rev-up rather than quiet down as it should before falling asleep. Staying off social media for our vacation meant that my phone was plugged-in and untouched as I hit the hay. This made me realize that I need to set more night-time social media boundaries in order to get better sleep, which is huge when it comes to overall health.
4. I was more social.
Isn’t it a bit odd that taking a break from “social” media actually caused me to be more social? It’s true. I found myself having more conversations with Justin (conversations with actual depth, not just surface chit-chat like we can sometimes fall into the habit of during the week), chatting more with servers at restaurants or staff at other establishments we visited, striking up conversations with other moms I met at the pool, and just random people who would ask about Hemsley or make small-talk. Sometimes I get so caught up in the conversations and interactions on social media that I forget to prioritize those real-life conversations that can actually be the most amazing! This really reminded me of the importance of setting my phone down more often to be aware of real-life conversations I could be having, who knows, there might be someone in the midst who really needs a smiling face and encouraging chat.
5. I realized my FOMO is unnecessary.
Does anyone else feel a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) when you haven’t checked in on social media in a while? “What could I be missing?? Maybe some important news?? What are my fave bloggers are up to?? I need to know!” Well frankly, I didn’t miss a whole lot during my entire 10-day fast, and the important things that I did miss while I was away, I found out about when I returned. No biggie! This whole urgency to “check-in” I would feel often wasn’t really warranted. I realized that if I disconnect for a few days it isn’t hard to catch up on any important things I miss while I’m away. Besides, if anything really crazy happens there’s no doubt someone is going to call me with the news!
While I didn’t return home thinking that I needed to delete all my social media accounts because they have some negative effects on me, I did realize that disconnecting more often and setting boundaries around my social media usage is going to be better for my family, my health, my social life, and my overall well-being.
Are you interested to try a “social media fast”? Have you done this in the past, or do you disconnect on a regular basis? I’d love to read about it in the comments below!
Christal // NITK