3 Ways to Detach From Social Media

Detaching from social media was a topic I planned to write about a few days ago. It seems all the more relevant with the entire internet buzzing about Essena O’Neill. Despite being a new vegan, I hadn’t heard of Essena until Anji of Happy Health Vegan made a response video to her. Essena is a 19-year-old Australian woman who made YouTube videos and had a wide following on Instagram. Last week she now famously quit social media.

Quitting social media is definitely a feeling I’ve had in the past. Every social media platform I’ve ever joined I’ve quit at least once. I’ve also complained that Instagram is basically a compilation everyone hanging out without you. And, oh, I quit Facebook about four years ago.

Social media pressure can be stupidly overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s three coping mechanisms I’ve developed for my social media life.

Lesson One: Remove social media apps from your phone.

I recently got fed up with Instagram. I had this feeling of, “This is stupid! I am done with this!” I could have deleted my account, but if I changed my mind, I’d have to start over. Instead of deleting my account, I simply deleted the app off my phone. It gave me that feeling of quitting without, you know, actually quitting. Vindication! Well, kind of.

Lesson Two: Turn of notifications.

I used to be obsessed with Instagram likes. It became exhausting and, well, stupid, so I turned off notifications. I also turned off Twitter notifications. While I’m not exactly addicted to Twitter (anymore), I like the surprise of checking the app and seeing if I have anything new.

Lesson Three: Leave for as long as you feel necessary.

When I was super frustrated with Instagram, I took a two week break. I still checked in on my feed, but I didn’t post myself. I’ve also had friends who have done this for Facebook, which you can actually delete and then reactivate if you change your mind. At the very least, it gives you a small break. The only platform I haven’t quit for a long period is Twitter because, well, I love it. It might feel like you’re leaving for a long time, but probably the only one who will notice is you and maybe your mom.

I hope these three tips help you deal with the (unreal) pressures of social media. The important thing to remember is that you’re the one in control and there are no rules!

Real Talk: Living With Depression and Anxiety

I’ve been blogging for five years now, but never once have I shared a fairly big part of my life, which is that I struggle with depression and anxiety.

In the past I cited my depression as starting at the onset of adolescence, but through the past few years of therapy I’ve come to realize that it probably started at birth. I was never a particularly happy child and my parents struggled to understand my moody temperament. In the words of Lady Gaga, I was, well, probably born this way. I’ve accepted that I will probably always struggle with depression and anxiety in some form, although no one has a time machine.

Depression and anxiety can feel so incredibly lonely and debilitating. Before I started taking anti-anxiety medication (a period which I jokingly refer to as BZ for “Before Zoloft”), I had episodes where I spent whole days in bed convinced I was dying.

Though I never mentioned it, two and a half years ago my first solo cross country road trip was marred by depression and anxiety. I would be driving when out of nowhere I felt I was going to die. No one could convince me otherwise. It was so bad that I spent an hour in my car in the middle of no where in Nevada at a gas station, crying, convinced I would be dead at any minute. There was a lot of self discovery on that trip, but it didn’t come easy.

On blogs and social media people share the pretty shiny things of life. Really we’re all just struggling with some real shit. I’ve improved a lot over the past three years through therapy and anti-anxiety medication. While I still struggle with depression and anxiety, every time it seems to get just a little bit easier.

I want to let anyone reading this know that they are not alone in depression or anxiety. There is help out there and it’s never too late. It causes me such deep sadness when I think of all the people out there who feel helpless. Please, if you are struggling, get help. It is never, ever, ever too late. And you are never alone.

Some Resources

There are tens of thousands of resources of there, simply google to find some that work for you!
National Alliance for Mental Illness
International Suicide Prevention Wiki
Kristin Brooks Hope Center
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Apps for helping with depression and anxiety
Stop Panic and Anxiety app (This app seriously helped me so much in the past!)

Walnut Creek Park with a puppy and a Chevy

walnut-creek-austinOne of my most favorite things to do anywhere is to go on a light hike. Especially now that the weather has finally cooled down, it’s possible to be outside without melting in a pool of sweat! I’ve been looking forward to November since June when temperatures started hitting 100 degrees on a regular basis. *Insert many crying emojis here.*

I’m so glad I have my little foster pup, Captain, to come along with me. We had our first hike together at Walnut Creek Park, which lives up to its Yelp reviews. I had been there once before, but this time there was actually water in the creek and tons of dogs playing like, you know, dogs.

One of the things I love about getting outside is that nature pretty much feels the same anywhere, kind of like the grocery store. I mean, not always, but hopefully you get my point. I’m not even necessarily a super outdoorsy person, but going on a brisk walk in the woods always makes me feel grounded.

This was also my final adventure with the Chevy Equinox. I felt it was a good last hoorah.


I Quit The Holiday Season

Last year was the first time I didn’t go home to Pennsylvania for Christmas. Having just moved to Texas a month earlier, I  decided to stay put. At first I thought I would be really sad, but it wasn’t the end of the world. In fact, I liked staying home and relaxing over partaking in the insanity that is the holiday season.

Instead of being charged an arm and a leg for the privilege of sitting on an airplane, I stayed home and watched Bad Santa and made burgers and fries. The night before I spent with friends hanging out and eating lots and lots of food. Was it sad not being with my family? In a way, yes, but I didn’t regret the decision.

In lieu of going home for Christmas, I decided I’d go home during the summer, you know, when the weather isn’t awful. Aside from wearing sweaters and boots, I’m not big winter person. Since I don’t ski or snowboard, going back to Pennsylvania in December is basically like visiting a frozen wasteland with nothing to do.

While home during the summer, I got to spend more time with my family. We sat outside and enjoyed the beauty of the season. I spent nearly two weeks there, doing different things and having fun. I may not be the biggest fan of where I’m from, but I will say that going home during the summer is about a billion times better than during the winter.

I think for me the hardest part was getting over the shock of not going home. It wasn’t the end of the world. Once I did it, I was over it. This year I’m not going home, instead opting for returning during the summer. My hometown will always hold a place in my heart, but that place is much nicer when it’s not freezing and snowing.