A few months ago I took a much needed break from social media and my blog, and the outcome was not what I expected. At the end of September my cousin passed away. He was only 22 years old and died unexpectedly. It was a true tragedy and really affected my family.
During this time I stepped aside from my blog and my social media. I just didn’t have the energy to keep going when I was in so much pain. I had no desire to write, no ambition to post photos or try to pretend like everything was fine when it wasn’t.
I knew that I needed to take a break so I could collect myself and try to begin healing from the unexpected death of my cousin. I had read numerous blog posts about people who had taken social media detoxes or stopped posting on their blogs for awhile and it benefited them, so I figured that I would be perfectly okay by taking a break.
What really happened after taking this much needed break truly shocked me and it only made me more unhappy. My blog suffered during this period of time. I went from nearly 10,000 monthly pageviews to less than 200. My Pinterest views dropped from 160,000 views to 10,000. My Instagram followers dropped by about 100 and everything suffered.
Taking a break and completely disregarding my blog did not yield good results. In fact, it undid all the hard work that I’ve put into my blog overt the course of the past 6 months. I needed time to grieve and deal with the tragedy of losing a loved one, but it I could go back, I wouldn’t completely neglect my blog.
Some people have had vastly different experiences by taking a detox from the online world, but my experience didn’t happen to fall in line with theirs. I was one of those people who seriously suffered from a long absence, and I imagine it’s going to take some time to get myself back to where I was. It’s almost like I’m starting from square one.
While my hiatus from blogging and social media took a negative turn, I can’t say that I really regret taking the break. One big thing I learned during this time was that it’s okay to take some time off. It’s okay to feel like you can’t keep going or to feel like you’re not capable of keeping up appearances. Being depressed or being unwell shouldn’t be a taboo and we shouldn’t be afraid to hide our feelings or push through for the fear of being found out. If you’re not capable of putting in the work because of something you’re dealing with, don’t force yourself to do it.
My blog views may have definitely suffered from taking that long break, but the one thing that did not suffer was the quality of my content. I knew that I wasn’t in a place to create content and produce high-quality posts and if I had tried to force myself to do it, I know that I would not have done a good job.
Blogging isn’t just about the pageviews. It’s about doing something you love, staying true to yourself, and staying committed. If I hadn’t taken that much needed break, my blog may have suffered from poor quality. Who can really say for sure, but I did learn some very valuable things and got the opportunity to reflect on my life and get realigned with my goals during my absence.