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How an Unplanned Break from Social Media Was the Change I Needed

Life has a funny way of showing us what’s hiding in plain sight.

If we are open and receptive, it creates the path that we need – even though at the time, we may not even realize that we need it.

Right around Labor Day, my husband and I started to think about buying a home. We had been renting and found that we outgrew our apartment. But more importantly, we really wanted (and needed) more space. We wanted a home that would allow us to have family and friends visit. We wanted grass, fresh air and a backyard. At the time when we were mulling this over, we didn’t know that within the next few weeks, our decision to start looking for a home would take an accelerated path.

This somewhat unplanned series of events created a path that I needed to take, even though I didn’t know it at the time. Working, writing, and marketing at rapid speed, I found myself overwhelmed. Running my practice at what felt like warped speed came to a slow halt as many things collided for me and ultimately resulted in an unplanned break from social media. I had been writing for several websites and trying to keep up with myself and the demands of my running a business. I was doing more, creating more, writing more. It was always more, more, more.

As a person who understands how to set and implement healthy boundaries (though I admit, I remain a work in progress), I still found myself overwhelmed by my commitments. As time ticked on and our house search picked up steam, I found myself gravitating towards a ‘timeout’ path from many of my obligations, focusing primarily on the process of finding a home, being available and just seeing patients. And although I struggled with some guilt about doing more and writing more, I started to relax into this much-needed break. You see. at the time, I didn’t know what I needed until, well, it was standing in front of me. Because what I discovered was a slow burn of being burned out.

It was the pivot that I needed.

And I didn’t turn away from the break – rather, I turned towards it. As a result, this is what happened

I exhaled. A few times.

I spent more time with my husband. Much of this time was spent getting not only getting ready to purchase a home but as the holidays were quickly approaching, time to get organized for family.

I focused just on my patients. The other stuff I do on a regular basis, was put aside – more or less.

We bought and decorated a beautiful home. We both feel into a ‘nesting phase’ and got busy decorating and painting (a lot!).

I saw two amazing plays – The Book of Mormon and Beautiful (the story of Carole King). Two amazing plays in their own right. If you get a chance to see either of them, go! Seeing the story of Carole King brought back some fond memories growing up and listening to Tapestry.

I decided to postpone working on by book. I initially struggled with that idea – and only decided to do it after I realized I didn’t have the bandwidth to really engage in the process at the moment.

I didn’t force myself to write copious blogs. Although at first, I must admit this was difficult to do because I had been writing so much. But I found each time I sat down to write, I just couldn’t. Maybe writer’s block or maybe just something else. Regardless, I went for it – and didn’t write.

I recharged and restarted my running program – much needed!!

Outside time. I spent more time outside of the office having conversations with people in real time and in person. We purchased a fire pit for our home and because of the nice weather, were able to sit outside a couple of nights and enjoy a glass of wine around the warmth of the fire.

I cooked and I got back to baking – something I haven’t done in many years. When I had my coffeehouse, I baked everyday. It was a nice feeling to get back to something I really enjoyed!

2017. I decided that 2017 would be a game changer year and have since started the process of deciding what my 2017 will look like – and, more importantly, what it will not look like. This is key.

Acceptance. I acknowledged and accepted that life has a funny way of giving us gems if remain open to the possibilities.

My takeaway in all of this? Each one of these discoveries truly allowed me to take a much needed step back from my practice and focus on what was working in my life and what wasn’t that maybe needed a little ‘fine tuning.’ I often say that space provides the clarity we need to readjust the lens of our life and look at things a bit differently. It also provided an opportunity to focus on what I want to do with myself and my practice in 2017. By stepping away from social media connections, I found things that I missed from my past that I hope to continue, as well as a new outlook for the future.

What will YOUR 2017 look like?