With the beginning of a New Year I decided to log off for a month from social media. I have never really made the New Year's resolutions - I'm not the type- but I commit to a different changes at random times. The idea usually sits in the back of my mind and brew for a while until I am ready to make a shift. That's how it was with this particular break. I realized that Facebook and Instagram have been a part of my life for such a long time that I probably don't remember how the life looked before them. Decision to log off didn't come from a bad experiences with social media. I actually love Instagram ( Facebook as it turn out I don't care for as much... ). It is my creative outlet. I enjoy taking photos, documenting the life of our family and sharing it along with different crafts and projects. Instagram has been an inspiration to me and throughout it I met a lot of wonderful people. Still... It turn into unhealthy habit of spending too much time scrolling through it. Looking down at my phone instead of ahead and taking a part in my own life. I realized that I need a break from it to figure out how to manage my time better. I wanted to be more present in my everyday life - not just for/with my kids and husband - but also for myself.
So you probably wonder: How has been my rest retreat so far? It has been wonderful! The first few days felt a little bit weird without frequent motion of picking up my phone. It was actually noticeable difference and I even missed the social media... But as the days went by I realized that I need to re-learn how to use all that extra time for myself. That I need to go back to being present, still and focus on things that make me happy and bring me joy. Which in my case it have always been books, meditation, taking photos, craft projects with my kids, play time with them, cooking, baking, listening to the music and podcasts. And I can honestly say that in this one month I have never felt better. The time I could have spent scrolling through and checking out other people life's I spent on self care and everyday practice of being present. I established a lot of healthy habits. I decluttered and reorganized parts of my home that needed it for quite some time. I have gotten better about meal planning and cleaning schedule. I rethought the idea of going back to Instagramming and how to fit it in into my everyday life without disturbing new routines. I really like the outcome of this break and I highly recommend it if this is something you have been considering for some time.
Here are the examples of ten non-negotiable changes I made. Some of them have been a part of my life for quite some time but some need an extra work.
1. MORNING SOLITUDE - meditation or cup of coffee before everyone wakes up. Even if it is just 10 minutes to myself. I don't want to start my day looking through my phone. When Instagramming during the day- post a photo ( 5min. max). Catch up on my favorite posts/feeds and interaction with other people when kids are asleep (30 min max).
2. MORNING SHOWER - I love feeling refreshed and clean.
3. DRESS PRETTY, comfortably and in the way that makes me feel attractive and happy.
4. MEAL PLANNING - making healthy and nourishing meals for our family brings me joy and we all feel better when we eat healthy.
5. BAKE - at least once a week. It is my 'special' time with Nella and we enjoy baking together.
6. 'ME' TIME- at least 1-2 hours a day to write, read and feed into creative pursuits and projects ( blog, looking for inspirations, preparing for Polish classes).
7. LIBRARY VISITS - at least every other week. We are the family of readers.
8. DATE NIGHT- every two weeks would be a dream.
9. PHISICAL ACTIVITY- preferably yoga practice; meditation twice a day at least 15 min.
10. SLEEP - at least 7 hours. I love to feel rested.
I also start and end my day talking to my kids about gratitude. Each of us bring up three different things we are grateful for. We try to come up with something new each time. I make a point to say 'thank you' with meaningful reason to at least one person a day. And I have been writing down meaningful moments and connections that happened to me during the day in my journal. I choose love and peace in my interactions with people and I pay detailed attention to intentions I set behind my actions. I truly believe in power of giving, kindness and compassion. And I would love to practice it every single day.
" Begin to notice what you have in your life that you are grateful for and when you look at life through the lens of gratitude, you don't see as many obstacles or hindrances. You see potential, you see possibilities. Then you become open vehicle for more inspiration, more wisdom, more guidance, coming from the spiritual part of your being."
- Michael Bernard Beckwith