What Do You Do When On A Social Media Break?

What Do You Do When On A Social Media Break?

Earlier this month I made a post about deleting all my social media apps for 30 days. I was dreading it because I knew I was heavily addicted to my phone and was especially guilty for constantly being online. It’s been a challenging few weeks (I’ve still got 4 days left before the challenge is officially over) but it was eye opening.

Even though I had deleted social media like Instagram and Facebook, I still found myself aimlessly scrolling on my phone anywhere I could. I ended up checking my screen time stats and was horrified to see I was still spending about 8 hours a day on my phone! So after the first 6 days I decided to heavily restrict the time I was spending on my phone to be no more than three hours. Three hours is still a ridiculous amount of time but it’s still less than half of the amount of time I was currently spending on my phone. The first few days were really hard but once I came up with some ideas of other things I’d like to do with my time I was surprised to find I didn’t really notice when I’d go a few hours without even looking at my phone or checking the time.

I replaced watching videos on my phone with meditation and playing music along with cleaning out my entire space. It was the most accomplished and fulfilled I have felt in YEARS. When I did allow myself breaks on my phone I tended to spend time looking at more meaningful and useful content such as minimalism which inspired me to go through my belongings and get rid of a lot of junk that was making me extremely unhappy.

I also took a trip to the U.S.A. while on my social media break, which was so much fun. It was hard not being able to post any of my photos for my friends to see at the time but I found I was enjoying every moment of my trip because I wasn’t able to worry about posting or editing my photos while they were being taken. After I took a photo, my phone simply went back into my pocket and I carried on. I’ll be able to post my photos in a few days but I really appreciated the time I had where the photos were only available to me.

It can be hard to imagine a real day without social media if you’re guilty like I am of being constantly glued to your phone screen, but taking time away can be incredibly rewarding. I do plan on keeping myself limited on the hours per day I can spend on my phone because I like my level of productivity when I’m off of it. As for apps there are many I will not be downloading once my break is over that I simply kept because other people were using them. In closing, I encourage everyone to try a day without using their phone for anything other than phone calls and texting and see just how much you can achieve in a single day when you are in full control of your time.

Do you spend a lot of time on your phone? Have you ever gone on a social media break? If you did, how did it go? Let me know in the comments!

My Dive Into Minimalism

My Dive Into Minimalism

Like most people, I found myself watching a Matt D’avella video explaining the pros and cons of minimalism and feeling inspired. Afterwards I vowed to throw all my things away and start new. Then reality sunk in. I didn’t want to simply throw everything into the trash, that wouldn’t be environmentally responsible. I’m no saint when it comes to being environmentally conscious but I’ve made huge efforts in the past year to reduce the amount of trash I leave behind.

I also realize I can’t live like a Buddhist monk. I like fashion and makeup way too much for that. What I really loved about how Matt explained minimalism was that it is focusing on being intentional with our purchases and making sure the things we do spend our money on we genuinely love rather than spending money jut to fill the void. I am someone who is especially vulnerable to the capitalist call to always want more. This is especially apparent with my 36 pair collection of sunglasses.

Some mornings I wake up and all I want to do is shop, even though there’s nothing I need or even want. I’ve found myself looking around stores just trying to find things to buy rather than leaving because there just isn’t anything I want. A few years ago I began to realize that whenever I would feel sad or disappointed, I would go shopping. It took a long time to make this connection but it made perfect sense. I’d go to the mall in search of something I couldn’t put my finger on. I’d buy my 15th shade of red lipstick that I probably wouldn’t wear more than a hand-full of times and for about 5 minutes I’d be content. Quickly the thrill of buying something would wear off and I’d be left feeling empty again. I must be a slow learner because I continued to do this even though I started becoming aware of what I was doing, and how it really wasn’t making me feel any better.

I decided to slowly incorporate the ideals of minimalism into my purchasing. I have a billion clothes, which I have now donated more than 2/3’s of my entire wardrobe to local charities. I’ve begun making sure to use up all my hair products that I don’t love to make sure they don’t go to waste, and then I will only be repurchasing the one’s that I genuinely love. I currently have about 20 different bottles of hair products, I have all of 2 that I actually enjoy using. I don’t want to be wasteful so this really slows down my process by trying to use everything up. If I had it my way it’s get rid of everything right this second that I didn’t need, but it’s just not a responsible way to do things.

Taking this slow does have it’s perks, though. By having to wait between recycling pick ups and using things you’re not crazy about it really makes you think about what you like about certain products you do love and what you don’t want when you do need to make a repurchase. It also has a financial benefit too. I would spend an insane amount on clothing that I wouldn’t wear or didn’t like. I was also spending so much on weird home decor that after a day or two I would decide I hated. I bought it because I thought it was cheap, but in the end i was buying a lot of junk I didn’t really love.

By not purchasing things unless I LOVED them, I found I could afford nicer things and stopped experiencing buyer’s remorse when I did decide to buy something. I’ll never be the poster child of minimalism and only own like 50 total items, but I’m really excited about the idea of only owning things in my home that truly excite me. I’ve only just begun this minimalism journey but so far I really like where this is going. I’ll be sure to provide updates on my process to compare how I’m doing now to how I’m doing in the future.

Would you consider yourself a minimalist? or is the thought of living with less absolutely terrifying to you? Let me know your opinion below!

The Action Mindset

The Action Mindset

While watching some motivational videos on YouTube, I came across a simple idea that was echoed across several different creators, all of which were videos on motivation and productivity, but not necessarily the exact same specific topic. They all spoke of this action mindset where the most important thing is that you act on the impulse to do something. You need to make sure these acts are ones of productivity or moves towards your goals but the second you feel that little impulse you’ve got to act now.

Mel Robbins, Author of the 5 second rule, also echoes this thought. You’ve got about 5 seconds to act on your impulse before your mind will start talking you out of it. When your alarm goes off, if you don’t jump out of bed in those first 5 seconds, you’re not getting out of bed and you’ll hit snooze.

A helpful hint that seems to be key to this action mindset is to commit to a very small increment of time. If your goal is to practice guitar more, make a promise to play for 15 minutes per day and actually do it. The idea isn’t that you only need 15 minutes of practice per day to become a rock god, but it’s much easier to start when you know it’s a very small increment of time you’ve committed to. Likely, you’ll end up spending more than those 15 minutes practicing anyway. The same goes for running. If you want to start running more, just commit to ten minutes of running or going around the block. You’ll likely run farther now that you’ve made the effort to leave the house, but even if you only ran for ten minutes, that’s ten minutes you’ve got in the bag.

For myself, I’ve been wanting to start meditating daily, but i fall into the trap of telling myself that i don’t always have the time, or that i could be spending my time better than just sitting on the floor meditating. When i stopped to think about it though, a typical meditation session for me can be anywhere from 5-20 minutes and the guided meditations I like tend to only run about 10 minutes at most. It’s been much easier for me to tell myself that I can afford to spend ten minutes a day on something to will help me be in a better mindset throughout the day. Putting this idea into practice has already made a huge difference in my daily productivity and I find I feel more accomplished at the end of the day because I find I actually start more tasks because I genuinely feel I have the time to start.

Image from twipu.com

The most important thing is to just start, which can feel impossible sometimes because it’s not always clear how to start. If you want to become a musician, it’s fairly straight forward, you have to start playing. If you want to become a photographer, you’ve got to pick up a camera and start shooting or learning how to use the settings on your camera. I really like the quote from Nick Sommers which is ” If you knew success was a certainty, what would you attempt to do?”. As someone who’s always in my head and trying to plan everything before even beginning to start, I often don’t actually put those ideas into action, this could be a fear of failure or just a fear of the unknown. We can get in our own way by simply wanting to think about every little potential problem before we even begin, but this will keep us from ever doing anything. Thinking about writing a book won’t get your book written, planning a video won’t get that video made. Of course planning is a helpful step, but your first step should be to start. No matter how bad the attempt is, you’re already closer to your desired end product by simply starting.

Image from quotefancy.com

How To Go On A Social Media Detox

How To Go On A Social Media Detox

If you’re like me, you may have started to notice you spend an awful lot of time online and on your phone. For some people being on social media is a very hard habit to kick. I’m not suggesting getting rid of social media entirely, (I love Instagram way too much for that!) But sometimes it’s good to take a break. It’s well known the negative impacts social media can have on our mental health and how we view ourselves, so why not take a little break every now and then and come back in a clearer head space?

I’ll be honest, I had absolutely no intention of stopping my social media usage until a friend of mine suggested we both go one full month without logging on to any social media sites. The idea wasn’t to avoid the internet all together but to stay off sites like Facebook ,Instagram , Twitter, Reddit, etc. When I would check the screen time app on my iPhone, it routinely told me I had spent over eight hours per day on my phone, yikes!

So how do you start a social media detox of your own?

  1. Delete the apps

Most of the time we aren’t even aware that we’ve clicked on the app before it’s too late and we’ve been scrolling through our feeds for who knows how long. I myself find I’m constantly flipping through apps without even noticing. If you delete the app off your phone you don’t have to worry about accidentally clicking on it and ruining your progress. This also holds you more accountable if you do decide to go back on the app, you have to physically download it again and sign back in. Deleting the app gets rid of some of the temptation but you’ll be surprised how much you still go to click on it even when it’s not there.

2. Try to spend more time off your phone or computer so you’re not thinking about the things you might be missing online.

FOMO is real! During the first few days of deleting my Instagram I could feel myself worrying about if I was missing out on information or photos of my friends. I still used my phone quite regularly and it make things really difficult. I realized that I spend more time on my phone in general than I was comfortable with, So along with not being on social media I found it helpful to spend minimal amounts of time on my phone as well. I didn’t avoid my phone at all, especially since it’s my only means of communication right now, but I made the effort to intentionally put it down in a different room and only come back to check on it periodically. The difference this made for my day to day life has been huge.

3. Do the things you’ve been meaning to do that you normally don’t have time for.

Without my phone to slow me down, I’ve found a very large chunk of time I have to be productive. I’ve been able to do all my errands that I leave myself for the week in only a day or two, leaving me with several hours per day I can spend on whatever I want. It felt really boring at first as I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself, I essentially gained six hours per day of free time! Crazy I know. This has allowed me to spend more time outside and I’ve been able to spend much more time on personal projects like reading and music.

Those are some of my tips for a social media detox. I’m only about half way through my one month, so i’ll be sure to update once I’ve actually completed it. Have you done a social media detox? How did you feel after? or are you planning to do a detox? Tell me everything in the comments below!

What’s in my bag

What’s in my bag

I always try to keep the bare minimum in my bag so as not to be lugging around a 300 pound bag all day. It’s a tough line to tow trying to have everything you’ll need throughout the day without becoming a pack mule. Here are the 5 things I always keep in my bag that I tend to use on a daily basis.

Pen and notebook

This one seems self explanatory, I like to take notes and plan my week out when I get a few minutes to myself. I usually bring my bullet journal with me and a frixion pen so I can erase any mistakes I may make. Plus you never know when you’ll need a pen on the go. This allows me to jot down things on the spot so I don’t forget them throughout the day and I can reference a physical memo if I need it.

Tide to go stick

Photo from Amazon.com

Without fail either myself or someone at my work ends up spilling coffee on themselves or gosh knows what else. Tide to go sticks are incredibly handy as they’re the size of a pen and they will stop your favourite white shirt from being ruined forever. (They also work great on white shoes!).

A nude liquid lipstick

Image from cultbeauty.co.uk

Some days I’m in such a rush to get out of the house I either forget to put a lip on or I forget to bring my lipstick with me to fix it up throughout the day. To combat this I always keep a nice nude liquid lip in my purse that will go with any makeup look I may be wearing and it’s long lasting so I only need to touch it up once or twice. My current favourite liquid lip currently is the Huda Beauty demi matte liquid lip in “wifey”.

Headphones

This one goes almost without saying. I love listening to music and audiobooks on my commute to work and it’s part of my daily routine at this point. I currently use Apple AirPods because I like how small they are to keep in my bag and I’m a big fan of wireless headphones.

Hairbrush

Image from Amazon.com

A hairbrush might seem over the top but in a typical day I will spend 10-12 hours outside of the house, and my hair can get a little out of hand from walking outside in the wind and rain. I discovered the tangle teaser at Sephora a few years ago and it’s been my ultimate favourite brush since. This brush is made to be travel friendly and it can get through any knot in your hair with zero pain. This brush has been a life saver on many occasions, which is why I won’t go anywhere without it.

There you have my top 5 items in my bag! What are some things you can’t leave the house without? Let me know in the comments. Happy Tuesday everyone!

How to plan a mini vacation

How to plan a mini vacation

We can’t always afford to take a ten day vacation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a mini vacation to quell the travel bug within. Everyone needs a vacation and sometimes you just can’t wait to save up to go on a month-long getaway, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a weekend getaway.

1. Pick somewhere nearby to ensure you don’t spend your whole trip travelling. You don’t have to fly to the other side of the world to explore a new place, sometimes it’s one of the neighbouring towns or if you live near a border it might be quite quick to travel to another country. I’m planning a trip to the U.S. as I live near the Canadian border so this makes a quick trip possible. Going to a new country is not necessary however, you’ll find there are plenty of beautiful places to go close to home.

2. Make a plan. Try to think about the areas you want to go and do some research. You don’t want to be running back and forth all over the place wasting time you could be using to relax or explore. For example if you’re wanting to explore the inner city of wherever you’re visiting, it’s in your best interest to book a hotel in that region. Having a loose idea of places you would like to go helps avoid aimless wandering, or worse, getting lost. Reading reviews of local bars and restaurants in the area also helps you find places worth visiting and helps you find great local hangouts you may not stumble upon organically. If you’re travelling with friend get their input as well so that everyone gets to go see what they want. This helps give everyone a well rounded experience if you have some different interests.

3. Research your hotel. Like I mentioned above you want to make sure if you’re staying in a hotel that it is relatively close to where you’ll be exploring. It may be pricier to stay in a downtown core but it will save you time being closer to all the tourist attractions. This doesn’t mean you have to be in the most expensive hotel available, but I do suggest staying somewhere within walking distance. After all we are short on time here. When booking your hotel make sure to read EVERYTHING about the location you’re staying in. Make sure if you have certain preferences that the hotel explicitly claims to have those things. If you’d like a pool make sure you search for hotels with a pool included in their amenities to avoid being potentially disappointed. You’d be amazed how many people skip this step and end up booking a hotel they’re not happy with. You’ll also want to read the reviews the hotel has received to see if it’s a good fit for you. If there are a bunch of reviews saying the hotel is dirty STAY AWAY! If the reviews claim that it’s a noisy environment, this may not be the place for you if you’re a light sleeper. You don’t need to be picky to choose the right hotel for you, you just need to be well informed.

4. Buy everything ahead of time if you can. If you need to purchase plane tickets or boat tickets typically buying them in advance will get you a better deal as well as saving you the headache of worrying about not making a flight or a boat filling up and leaving without you. You can also add the digital tickets to your wallet on your iPhone so that everything is quick and easily accessible without having to dig through all your belongings to find boarding passes. If there’s a popular attraction you’d like to see like a monument or art gallery, you can almost always buy the tickets online ahead of time for a few dollars cheaper than buying them when you get there.

5. Make time to deviate from the plan. You don’t want to pencil in every single detail of your trip. Leaving time to explore the new places will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed (the whole point of going on vacation if you ask me). This leaves time for you to stumble upon new finds you may not have found doing your research. If you’re unsure of where to wander, make use of the people working in your hotel, they’ll be familiar with all the popular tourist destinations as well as their own favourite places to hang out.

Have you gone on a speedy vacation lately? Where did you go? Let me know your Favorite parts down below. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Halloween movies you need to watch!

Halloween movies you need to watch!

Halloween is one of my favourite holidays of the year. I’m a huge horror fan and Halloween is essentially an entire month dedicated to spooky scary things, what more could you want?! Every year my friends and I gather to watch our favourite Halloween films. It’s usually a mixed bag of films we watch since not everyone enjoys being scared out of their minds at every twist and turn. Over the years we have a few favourites we always come back to and I have made them into this handy-dandy list for you.

The shining

The shining is my all time favourite horror movie no doubt about it. This is a classic from the 80s that isn’t too scary for the faint of heart but holds all the classic horror elements. If you’ve somehow managed to not see this film I highly recommend. This is a film that has imbedded itself into pop culture and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Not all horror movies need to be terrifying. Although there’s a debate as to if this movie is a Halloween or Christmas movie, why not both? This movie is great for younger viewers and those who don’t like being scared out of their wits, plus who doesn’t love a sing along?

The Halloween Franchise

While most of my suggestions will be on the tame side. It’s not Halloween without the original Halloween series. These films are genuinely scary and can be graphic at times but it’s a classic! Everyone needs a good scare on Halloween.

Annabelle

I genuinely love this series. The directors of this film know the horror movie tropes they’re up against and use them to scare the audience over and over. They’ve mastered the timing of jump scares so just when you think they’re not going to scare you, there it is. The doll used in the movies gets more and more horrifying with every film.

Beetlejuice

We end with another classic! What can I say? The 80s was an amazing time for Halloween movies. This again isn’t a scary film but it’s hilarious and filled with awesome music. No Halloween is complete without our mischievous friend, Beetlejuice. Say it with me- Beetlejuice!

There you have my top five Halloween movies for the spooky season. Which are your favourite spooky movies, share them in the comments below. Happy Halloween!