How a 3 Week Social Media Respite During the Holidays Changed My Life

Taking a three week social media respite during the Christmas and New Years season was one of the hands down best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I don’t think I’ll ever be on social media again during the holiday season ever again. Maybe that’s dramatic and maybe one day I might change my mind but as of this moment, as of this last Christmas and New Years, absolutely never again. It was LIFE CHANGING.

Taking this respite was wonderful for several reasons, which in no particular order, I will address. I’m breaking this down into two sections: what I felt where the benefits of taking a SM respite, and the secondary effects of that decision. I would like to state right off the bat that I’m sharing my experience with you and why it was wonderful for me and nothing more. You’ve got to do what works for you. If you find something here you take with you–great! Otherwise, this is just me sharing my experience. OK you sexy beast!, let’s get started!

 

The Benefits:

time:
First, taking a respite gave me time to prioritize my time and energy. I was able to make myself, Sam, and Jesus(the reason for the Season) the first priority because I wasn’t dealing with social media. We made time for fun and creating new memories. And I made outlets to deal with the stress of holidays and was better able to cope with it and have fun. Christmas is a really hard time of year for me for many reasons and taking a respite took a huge mental and emotional burden off me. I was able to really rest and destress. I had the time and energy to focus on managing my emotions and my stress level.

mental space:
Second, I had mental space to reflect in December on the past year and give serious thought to what I wanted the new year to look like. I didn’t feel the normal rush to come up with resolutions or try to figure out a “word” for the year in the few short days between Christmas Day and New Years Day. Because I had mental space I was able to focus on all my triumphs and healthy habits I practiced over the past year instead of my failures and missed goals. I was then able to decide my method for 2020 was not to make new goals but to simply carry on all my healthy habits and triumphs into the new year taking it one day at a time. I wasn’t looking to escape 2019. Goal making is great and some people thrive on making and achieving goals but that’s just not where I’m at this year. I wouldn’t have been able to recognize that without having the mental space to do so.

self compassion:
Third, I didn’t enter 2020 in the rat race of comparison. I just said, “no”. “No, I will not engage in that toxic thought process,” and I turned off my phone. I know some can be present on social media and not fall into the toxic trap of comparison and I say, “Bravo to you!” I don’t have that ability yet, so this new year I stayed off social media. I did not need to know anyone else’s goals or plans to be able to make them for myself. I’m trying to get better about using social media as a litmus test of sorts for my ideas–though certainly not for my moral and spiritual beliefs–instead of the well in which I draw every idea. That meant that I met 2020 at home in my pajamas happily oblivious to the whole world content and happy. It was lovely–and cozy comfortable.

Secondary Effects:

rest:
What I didn’t expect was to come home more rested. Usually, we get home from Christmas and we are exhausted and it takes us three days to recuperate. Sam and I both woke up ready to get to work after a six hour drive home. We got so much done it’s kind of nuts to think about it. That day we took down every Christmas decoration, three Christmas trees, and every outdoor light. We organized it in coded boxes and then immediatly put it away. We also washed, folded and put away all the dirty clothes from out trip and put the suitcases in the attic, and put away all the Christmas gifts. We worked about twelve hours that day and in all my years I’ve never had that much energy after returning home from Christmas.

peace:
I began 2020 in peace. The New Year is normally a very stressful and hectic time where I feel I need to gear up for the epic new version of me that is about to launch. This year I had none of that anxiety. I was calm and happy and content. I had spiritual space this year. Space to breath and be myself and honest with myself and really talk to Jesus. Christmas is a time to be honest with God. A time to reflect on my relationship and be honest about successes and failures, triumphs and disappointments. I made time and space for that this year it it made the most difference of all. I am not focusing on all my performance or what needs to be improved but instead my focus is entirely on mine and God’s relationship one day at a time. It’s been a beautiful way to start the year because I’m not focused on worldly things but instead on spiritual things. It’s so peaceful. Of all the benefits, this one is by far my favorite.

Time, mental space, self compassion, rest, and peace–all product of one simple decision. I don’t want to start a new year any other way. You know, I didn’t even start the year with a planner, or a print out, or anything tangible. It’s ironic that starting the year with removing something from my life instead of adding to it that made my new year better. Taking a social media respite was a blessing and I look forward to doing it again next year.

Maegan

Hearth & Hand Cedar Wreath DIY

Last week I took a poll on Instagram about creating a DIY version of a Hearth and Hand Christmas wreath I found at Target. The answer was a resounding 100% for the DIY!  So today I’m sharing the DIY I created and the links to all the components I used to create my wreath!

The beauty of this particular wreath is how it drapes and flows. There something very organic and bohemian about its composition that drew me in–I’m also a sucker for antique tin bells. With the greenery having a organic look and feel it took a bit of hunting to find the same type of faux greenery. The H&H wreath is actually faux cedar but faux cedar stems where really hard to find and the few I did locate were not the right shape, size, or color.

I ended up choosing this gorgeous faux cypress wreath from Joann’s because its greenery had that perfect drape-y effect I was looking for. Even though it was already beautiful on it’s grapevine wreath I wanted the branches to run in opposite directions of one another like the H&H wreath so it needed to be dissembled. And for my copy cat DIY wreath the branches needed to be on a metal wreath frame to get the same effect as the H&H one. And that’s where our DIY begins!

A note: I used black zip ties to attach the greenery to the wreath because it just made the job so much easier but you could easily achieve the same goal with floral white, pipe cleaners, or twisty ties! You could use green zip ties too.

List of Supplies:

Wire Wreath Frame 16in – you can find these at most craft stores

Cypress Wreath – or comparable faux or real greenery

Back Zip Ties 4in – just make sure they aren’t longer than 4in

Black Velvet Ribbon I/2in– any ribbon of your choice will work

Rounded Top Tin Bells 4in – you can use any size you want I just preferred larger bells

Wire Cutters

Needle Nose Pliers

 

  • Start by removing the greenery from the wreath. Cut the floral wire holding the greenery into place and remove it from the grapevine wreath. The greenery should slip easily from its place within the wreath.Processed with VSCO with q1 presetProcessed with VSCO with q1 preset
  • Decide which end will be the top and bottom of your wreath and then divide each section into four quadrants. Distribute the greenery atop the wire wreath form to figure out how much greenery you’ll need in in each quadrant and then set them aside. Make sure your greenery is overlapping each other at the top and bottom like two laurel wreaths pointing at one another.Processed with VSCO with q1 preset
  • Begin attaching your branches using the zip ties. Don’t tighten the zip ties all the way until you’re sure each section looks exactly like you want and all the branches are laying the way you like.Processed with VSCO with q1 preset
  • Once your zip ties are tight measure out two identical lengths of black velvet ribbon(or ribbon of your choice)make a bow and attach it to the wreath with a zip tie. I found this tutorial helpful.Processed with VSCO with q1 preset
  • Next attach your bells beneath your ribbon. Again, I used zip ties to attach my bells. I attached the first one to the branches of the wreath and the second bell I attached to the zip tie of the first. I made sure when attaching the bells to mirror their placement on each side.
  • When you’re sure everything looks just the way you like pull all the sip ties tight with your needle nose pliers. Then snip all the extra length from all your zip ties and the brown branches ends sticking out.
  • Turn your wreath over and you’re done! Stand back and admire your wreath all Christmas season long and into the new year!

This is a really simple DIY that I hope you all really enjoy! I had fun putting it together and I hope you have fun assembling your own wreaths too! I want to see your creations so please tag me on Instagram and Facebook at #GUandGlitzedDIY! Happy Crafting!

oxo

Maegan