Happy Monday! I hope everyone has had a fab weekend. I know the hubby and I have really enjoyed our quiet weekend at home after the crazy fun week we had with my parents in London. If you are following me on social media (which you should definitely be doing!), you will have noticed I wasn’t super active. This is because I decided that for the week of my parents’ visit, I would take the opportunity to “detox” from social media
and reconnect with my family. During this time, I had the unique opportunity to be a tour guide and a tourist. Even though I have been living in London for almost 2 years (on and off), it was incredible to see London this way again. Then on Saturday morning when I woke, I couldn’t think of anything better to do than to paint and paint and paint. Even though we walked about 50 miles and took a billion photos, I still felt creatively refreshed and ready to get some serious work done!
So this week’s post is all about Resting and Recharging to boost creativity and mindfulness by letting go of our fear of missing out.
The first thing I do every morning after my alarm goes off is to go through the notifications I got during the night. Then I check my Facebook memories and watch SnapChat stories. Finally, I roll out of bed and start getting ready for morning. I’m not the most happy morning person, but during the morning I am most productive and yet I am spending the first 30 minutes of my day on social media. Isn’t that the biggest waste of my time? Social media isn’t exciting, but I feel the need to know if people are being just as boring as I am. This feeling is horribly consuming, but we know what it is. We have all experienced a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) at one time or another, but I have noticed that since losing my job at the end of September that I have been spending a great deal of time scrolling endlessly on social media. I have also been feeling less creative and more sluggish. My FOMO was sucking the creative juju from my body.
I kept telling myself that the reason I was feeling that way was due to the stress of being unemployed (and on some level it may be that as well), but after spending a week with very minimal connection to the internet, (and quite a lot of exercise) I realised how much time I was wasting on nothing. During the past week, I was able to create meaningful memories with my husband, my parents, and with myself. And yeah, as a blogger it is important to spend some time on social media to engage with your audience, but if like me you have been checking your page views, Instagram likes, and Facebook every couple of hours, you’ll notice that time adds up quite quickly. Fifteen minutes here and there adds up to 2-4 hours a day!
An important part of being a creator is recognising that your time is valuable. Furthermore, it is important for you as the creator to value your time. If you want others recognise that your time is valuable, you have to value your time. You can’t just be throwing that stuff around like it’s cheap craft supplies from Poundland. By starting my day with social media every day I was devaluing my time and not being mindful of my creative process. If I am most creative in the morning, why would I spend that time on social media?
There are a lot of cliche things I can say about the internet being at our fingertips or about forming healthy habits, but we all know those saying. However, I think it is time to take them a bit more seriously. It is time to start forming healthy habits. It is time to unplug. It is time to be mindful of our time and create, uninhibited by the FOMO. Social Media will always be there, but your time isn’t a renewable resource. As humans we have a finite amount, and we should value it and use it wisely.
“Take time to do what makes your soul happy.”
By resting and recharging -turning off social media and living in the moment- you will come back to your work more mindful of your creative process and probably quite a bit more inspired! (You can also follow my 5 Tips to Find Inspiration if that isn’t enough.) I’m not saying this is some sort of magic, no amount of crystals and sage can restore your creative juju. You have to actively make changes to find the best creative process for you. For me, it is living mindfully in my surrounding, my travels, and being in touch with my emotions. It was during a short walk from the tube station to my flat with my parents for the first time that I felt more inspired because I was seeing my neighbourhood more through their eyes then mine. I wasn’t looking at my phone or drowning out the blended sound of parakeets and sirens with moody music.
It is so important to take our time to rest and recharge. You don’t have to take a week off like I did, but you should take time to engage with your surroundings and enjoy the here and now. Other ways to rest and recharge are to start a morning yoga session (or any other workout for that matter), take a weekly bubble bath (I have a serious weakness for Lush bath bombs and I always throw one for extra fun), or have a #MovieMonday where you spend the evening with phones/laptops put away and have a proper at home cinema experience.
What is your favourite way to rest and recharge? Leave a comment below about your creative process and what gets you most ready to create work.