Jet lag is a bitch isn’t it. And I don’t mean the oohhhhh I’m soooooo sleepy kinda jet lag. I mean the kind that sits on your shoulder from 10am – 10pm like “Go to sleep now Elle. Oh, you’re not sleeping? Well BRB whilst I get some bricks and put them on your eyelids then.” And then from 10pm to 5am “COME ON BITCH WAKE UP, WE HAVE AN ALL NIGHT RAVE TO GET TO!!!!”
So yeah, this is me, with 2hrs sleep, googling “Can you die from lack of sleep” and subsequently “how to get over being a drama queen”.
Happy Thursday to you all too kids.
Anyway, this post – the first in a month which I’m generally mortified about but I’ll get to that soon – is not a big ole moan about jet lag, it’s about my trip to Mexico where I spent 10 days with my favourite person on earth, Ally, drinking Pina Coladas, laughing until I cried, ignoring my phone, forgetting that my job and life outside of my Mexican all inclusive resort even exists and honestly… living my best ever life.
This post is about how I ignored social media and how my life became 34983589x happier for it, and how even though I’m back into the swing of work (20 emails down before 5am, sometimes Jet lag, you’re not a bellend), I’ll never, ever let social media/namely Instagram, effect my mental health and my overall happiness ever again.
Yes I said mental health. Yes, I let Instagram affect my mental health and to any non Bloggers that may sound extremely extreme, but to 99% of full time bloggers/bloggers who’s blogs/platforms take over their lives too, I know you’ll get it.
So, let’s begin, how I gave up giving 2 tiny little fucks about likes and managed to be the happiest I’ve ever been….
I want to start by saying that I’ve not had a proper day off since I went full time with my blog a little over 3 years ago. That sounds dramatic doesn’t it? It’s not. Even on Christmas day I wrote a blog post (yes it was because I actually felt inspired and yes I adore writing so it didn’t feel like work, but yeah… it’s still work). It’s not that I don’t want to… I guess it falls down to the fact that a) I have been extremely, extremely lucky to have worked consistently for the last 2 years or so, and now more than ever, so I physically haven’t felt able to take a day off for fear of falling so far behind and ending up in a black whole of 359385 emails and tears. And b) because I guess when you’ve worked so tirelessly on this hobby that’s turned into a career and your own business that you, and only you have made work… it’s hard to walk away from that you know. Even if only for a day.
I know from an outsider how that looks/sounds. Oh diddums poor you that you have to fanny around in front of a camera or say yes or no to travelling around the world. And I also know that to bloggers/people that get it that you’ll understand entirely which honestly, is why I’m writing this.
I know that so so many of you will also feel the same (some less so, some more so) so I hope it inspires you to change the way you look at social media. I hope it allows you to step back and realise that taking some time away won’t stop the world from turning…
Something changed for me in Mexico and in all honesty, this whole year. Last year, and trust me when I say that I am genuinely, wholeheartedly embarrassed to admit this… Instagram completely
ruined my life affected my life to the point of, it had the capability to make my day good or bad. I never at one point didn’t hate that it had the ability to do this and I never at one point lacked perspective enough to know that how I felt was ridiculous. Ridiculous, illogical and completely irrational. But, no matter how many times I saw stories of young kids with terminal illnesses or terrible disasters happening all over the world, I couldn’t completely snap myself out of the sheer panic that my photos were “dying” or my followers were declining for long enough. I’d say “life’s too short to care”… and then 3 days later, there I was caring again.
Again, everything you may or may not be calling me right now is nothing I haven’t called myself before.
But Mexico was different. Mexico I paid for myself – as opposed to a lot of trips I go which are press trips and therefore have obligations for content in return – I went with my best friend and absolutely zero work obligations. We booked all inclusive specifically so we only had to move from Beach to pool to restaurant to pool bar. We decided, basically, that we were only going if this was 100% a holiday and not a “mostly holiday but also half the time I’ll be stressing about taking photos for instagram” holiday. And that’s exactly what we did. I had a back up of London photos and I took 4 photos the whole time I was there.
4 photos in 10 days.
For reference, I usually go out and shoot a minimum of 2 outfits (approximately 100-200 photos per outfit) every single day at home.
I replied to max 4/5 urgent emails per day, I decided to post on Instagram every other day so I didn’t have to wake up at 4:30am every morning (screw you 6 hour time difference).
I basically laughed every second of every day, I made some of my favourite ever memories, I watched the stars at night from the beach, I swam with turtles and snorkelled through cenotes. I flirted with Mexican men (absolutely no shame, it’s what Ally and I do best because together we are insufferable and totally shameless), I turned myself from human to 99% Pina Colada and 1% regret.
What I didn’t do, was stress about Instagram. I didn’t get even slightly down or sad or panicky or stressed that the algorithm has changed and my engagement is now half of what it used to be. I didn’t go to some of the most stunning places in the entire world and see it through my phone, I saw it with my eyes.
Barely because I’m as blind as a bat but I tried anyway.
I finally, genuinely, lived my best ever life.
I just didn’t care. And most life changingly (pretty sure that’s not a word, pretty sure I couldn’t care less)… I still don’t care.
I still wake up feeling unbelievably grateful every single morning that I get to do the job I do. I still work just as hard as I ever did. I still create the same content that I did before. From the outside, apart from slightly less posts than before, absolutely nothing will change.
But from behind the rainbow coloured grid, this girl will actually be living her best life rather than saying she is whilst actually having a minor breakdown.
I’m sorry this was the most rambly, repetitive, probably shockingly written post… but if I’d have read something like this a year ago whilst I was struggling so badly with social media every single day, I’d have found it a great source of hope. So I hope that if you’re struggling too, you can realise that one day… you really just won’t care.
Life is too short to give a tiny little shit on God’s green earth whether you got 2000 likes or 5000 likes. You’ll be grateful for your health and your loved ones and your happiness.
Just how it should be!