I have had to learn a lot about GRACE lately. Really, giving it to myself and not being so hard on everything I do. It has always been a struggle for me because I am an EXTREME perfectionist. I will say…this is one of my biggest flaws. Anyways, this nearly impossible standard I set for myself has been my biggest enemy because it controls so many areas of my life. I want to be the perfect wife, the perfect daughter, the perfect co-worker, the perfect friend. I say “yes” to WAY more than I can handle, and when I say “no” I feel absolutely defeated inside. The struggle is real y’all.
Now, you probably wonder why I have been talking about this more and more on my social media outlets and well, I just want to be real with y’all. It is so easy to look at the perfectly curated squares on Instagram and see the good in people’s lives. We look put together and accomplished. The feed is cohesive and beautiful. Truth be told though, I spend WAY to much time making my feed look that way. More often than not I am stressed to the max when I post about what I am wearing and how you can shop it. It is the furthest thing from my mind but my “posting time” is quickly approaching so I gotta put the game face on. It really can be exhausting.
And I do not want to come to you guys and complain. That IS NOT what this post is about at all. I LOVE being able to share my life with you and I CHOSE to do so. I am just learning how to balance everything. Which is what today’s post is about. How I take a step back when things are crazy. How I choose to separate myself from Instagram/social media and remember WHY I started doing this in the first place. It was not to become famous, or to get free stuff. It was not just an excuse to take pictures of myself. It was so I could help style your date night look, or your holiday attire. Help you decide how you want to set the table at Thanksgiving. To share my walk of faith and see how this outlet could be pleasing to the Lord. It was never about the numbers, but they can be consuming.
So today, after a little break from it all, I am sharing a few ways I “take breaks” here on Gracefully Taylored. I’ve learned it is okay. It is okay to need a break, to want one, and to take one. Giving myself that GRACE has been challenging but so life-giving at the same time. Don’t be afraid of it y’all. Embrace the grace because you do not have to be everything for everyone. And that is OKAY.
Taking a Step Back
Start My Day With the Lord - I noticed a few months back that I go straight to my phone when I wake up in the morning. I would wake up, make coffee then grab my phone and sit in bed scrolling through my feed. Well, no more of that. Ever since I started spending time with the Lord BEFORE I choose to spend time with Instagram, I feel lighter. This is a good reminder that social media is not more important than Him, and it helps me to set my focus for the day. I used to post in the mornings and I actually did away with this because I do not want to pick my phone up first thing.
Limit My Time on Social Media - You have probably noticed that I have not put a picture up on Instagram since Halloween. By allowing myself to take this break, the feeling of always having to be “on” goes away. I do not feel like I have to constantly engage on Instagram, nor do I feel like I have to have the right picture at the right moment. It is refreshing to just stop and not be consumed with it for a second.
Look to Other Things for Inspiration - We can all be guilty of Instagram stalking to get some inspo for our feeds. I might like the way someone styled something or get some travel inspo from someone, and that is great. But I find that it helps to find inspiration from other areas. I love to read travel & fashion magazines, or shop small boutiques. Just finding new ways to look at things or style an outfit is fun. At the end of the day, I still want to stand out on social media so finding inspo in places that others might not look is fun, and it keeps me from scrolling through my feed constantly looking!
Have “Me Time” - During this little break, I have loved having “me time.” As crazy as it sounds, I will be so guilty of coming home and scrolling through social media for “work.” I have convinced myself that I am working for the blog (which is true), and I neglect my family and myself. When your body needs rest, give it rest. Do a face mask, take a bath, whatever it is that makes you feel good and relax. It is so helpful!
Hang with the Hubs - When I told Jon Luke about this, the first thing out of his mouth was “this is a great idea.” I hate when he feels like the blog is taking over so these breaks are SO good for us. I get caught up for when I do come back, and then that allows me to feel less stressed when I come home in the evenings…allowing me to focus on him.
Get out of town! - I know this one is not easy for everyone but traveling is so refreshing to me. When I am able to leave town for a bit and see the world, my creative juices just get to flowing. Even if Jon Luke and I just take a Sunday to drive to New Orleans, I can relax and enjoy the scenery. It is nice to just go!
Social media can be such an amazing thing, but if you are not careful, it can quickly become a black hole of comparison, jealousy, competition…you name it. I have let myself fall down that rabbit hole before and was truly miserable, which was never the intent of Gracefully Taylored. I have learned that whenever I start to feel these feelings, I just need to set it down and take a step back. While I am in no way excellent at this, I wanted to share a few ways that help me remember to stop and put the phone down. Again, finding that grace and remembering I do not have have be perfect, do everything, or please everyone. And that my friends, is SO refreshing.
Photos by Darian Kayce Photography