Taking a Media Detox

I removed social media from my phone! Shocking no one, I experienced from positive results by making that change:

  1. I read more.
  2. I created a morning routine that makes me less of a grouch.
  3. I am developing a better evening routine so I actually get quality sleep.
  4. My anxiety has reduced dramatically.

Let’s get something straight right off the bat: it is a privilege to have social media and it is also a privilege to have the option to remove social media from one’s life. Some people use social media as their way to connect, keep up to date on information that may be crucial and utilize social media to promote their businesses.

Did I completely remove social media from my life? No. I still used some elements of social media so that I could continue to maintain contact with people. Here were the rules I established for myself:

  1. Remove all social media that could enable me to scroll for hours (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest). Keep any social media that allows me to remain in contact with people (Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, FaceTime).
  2. If I was going to use a social media that promotes mindless scrolling, I must go to my desk and open the site on my laptop. I set a timer for 30 minutes and when those 30 minutes are up, I get off the websites.
  3. Traditional media apps are still fair game so I can keep up to date on current events.

That’s it. Those are the only rules. So I got rid of the apps and I was off!

At some point, we have all probably heard of some famous person talking about the benefits of a social media detox and all that good stuff. We know it has a tendency to bring some peace of mind, reduce phone addictive behaviors, increase the quality of face to face communication and more. But no one really talks about why they’re going on a social media detox other than the vague “I have a phone addiction and it needs to stop” response. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I can speak for me.

I am the social media user that can be best summed up as: a creep. I like, comment and respond to other people’s content, but I rarely post my own. Rather than use the platform as it was originally intended, I have taken a back seat and am a passive user that browses and judges other people’s content.

The problem with passive use is it allows me to utilize it to fill any empty space or time that I have. I have a lot of empty time on my hands right now that I have been filling with endless, meaningless scrolling. No engagement. No conversation. Nothing.

Since we’re here, let’s dissect that concept a little more. Why am I not sharing or engaging anymore? I used to all the time. My Facebook memories tab loves to remind me of all my cringy old posts and photos that I loved to over edit for no reason in particular.

To be frank, I don’t have anything I want to inform anyone about. I like having some anonymity in my life, so I can have space to experience life. But rather than experience life, I have been filling it with mindless scrolling and creeping!

And that poses some problems perhaps you can relate to:

  1. My self worth and value became dependent on the actions/inactions of others rather than my own choices.
  2. I was learning subconsciously that inaction is safer, therefore better. And that’s simply not true because not making an action or choice is still making a choice. A choice that’s weaker and doesn’t allow for growth, change or movement.

By limiting my social media to direct contact only, I’ve learned that I really don’t give two bananas about social media. I thought I did. I thought I wanted to know what people were up to and how their lives were going every moment they posted. That’s not what I care about. It means so much more to me to engage more frequently with people who want to tell me how they’re doing directly. It’s much better than stalking someone in the virtual bushes hoping they’ll see you (or not. Because you’re a creep in the virtual bush).

Until next time,


Thoughts on Self-Appreciation

The other day I was talking to one of my best friends about my final chemotherapy session. I messaged her this:

“I need to be selfish for like 32 seconds and then I promise I’ll get off my ego box and I’ll put it back where it belongs but like… in 9 days I’ll be done with my last chemo session. Possibly ever (at least for a very VERY long time). How cool is that?! And I did that! That was me! I’m so absurdly excited for so many random things:

Plants in the house, spicy burritos, swimming, seeing people without worrying about if they’re sick, SHAVING (believe it or not, I am jacked for the first time I get to shave my legs after this), NOSE HAIRS (oh my god nose hairs how I’ve missed you). I’m excited for the first person I meet when all my hair and eyebrows grows back and they didn’t know I had cancer at all. I’m excited that I’m going to get to help other people. I’m excited to sit in a classroom. I’m excited to pet all the dogs. I’m excited that every day is going to be like Christmas from now on. I’m excited to celebrate my birthday. I used to HATE celebrating my birthday, but you know what? People are gifts. I’m a gift. You’re a gift. Birthdays are the time to super duper extra appreciate that gift. And you know what? I appreciate my own existence on this earth.”

Yes, with the exception of the removal of a few expletives, I said exactly this, poor wording and all. And after I was done sending it, I felt guilty for saying that I was going to celebrate myself more. I felt narcissistic and selfish. Then it hit me: that is so messed up that I can’t enjoy my existence for a half a second without feeling like an egotistical prick.

My whole life is filled with wanting to help others and be a better person overall of the sake of others. So this moment that I focused on myself felt so… wrong. So wrong in fact that even talking about myself in a positive light with one of my best friends felt disgusting. And THAT is incredibly twisted.


So I have a question for everyone who is reading this: Why is it considered shameful to appreciate your own existence?

Now hear me out. I’m not talking about self love here. Yes, it’s important to love yourself inside and out and to take care of yourself and all that jazz, but that’s not what I’m saying. I’m also not talking about being comfortable being alone with yourself and being okay with being alone. I’m talking about a real appreciation for yourself. Still not understanding?

Let’s try an example: Imagine your favorite person. This person is someone that you love more than anyone else and you don’t know what you’d do if you didn’t have them in your life. Do you have a visual of them yet? I’ll give you a moment to conjure an image of them in your mind’s eye.

Why do you love this person so much? Is knowing that they’re out there in the world living and breathing reason enough to love them the way you do? Do you appreciate that they exist on this earth and exist in your life? Do you love the way that they are simply themselves?  


Why don’t you feel this way about yourself?

Before you blow off that last question, take a second to really think about your answer to the question. Do you really, genuinely appreciate the human you are? Do you love that you’re a person with earth under your feet and sun on your skin and that you take up space on this earth? Do you ever have a moment in your life when you love exactly who you are and don’t want to change something about yourself?

Because if I’m being perfectly honest with myself, I don’t appreciate myself that way.  I don’t appreciate myself that way even though that’s how I appreciate my loved ones and almost anyone who crosses my path. I don’t value my time, my person or what I’ve contributed to the world thus far in life. I want to change that. Unfortunately it took cancer for me to want to change that or even figure out that I didn’t appreciate myself in the first place.

Saying I’m going to appreciate myself more is great, but doing it is another thing. Here’s a few ways that I want to appreciate myself more:


Be Mindful

This is the large, overarching way that I want to appreciate myself more. I am my biggest criticizer and I can be very mean to myself. So when I get into a rut of being hard on myself, I want to be aware of it so I can actively change my mindset on how I treat myself.


Stop Bashing Myself

Critiquing is great. Ridiculing is not. I am a person. I make mistakes. Own up to the mistake, learn from it and move forward. (Also complimenting myself every once in a while wouldn’t hurt either)


I’m Not Going to Change

Wanting to improve in certain areas of my life is a good thing, but completely changing the foundation of who I am is not. I am me. My friends and family love me for who I am and I should too. So I’m going be uncompromisingly me.
Don’t make my mistake. Please don’t wait for some life threatening event for you to start appreciating yourself. You are incredible and deserve to be celebrated. You deserve to celebrate you.


Until next time,

The Best Company at Unicorn City

After living in a dorm with 400 other people for two and half years, I’ve learned to appreciate alone time. Today is the first day in well over a month that I’ve had completely to myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much an extrovert. I love people and spending time with them. This past week was very exciting because I had so many people come over to the Unicorn City. (Fun fact: for those that don’t know, my apartment is also called Unicorn City because I own a clan of unicorn stuffed animals. And yes, they’re all named thank you very much.)

I love visiting with people and it’s always good fun when they come over, but there is something really sweet about having a day to myself. It gives me a chance to recharge and do all the things I can’t do when company is over: watch my favorite shows, eat mac and cheese from the pan, doing the dishes and, of course, sleeping. On days to myself I will stay in bed way past a socially acceptable time to be in bed. But hey! I’m alone! There’s no one here to judge. Except for Milo, but he’s my fish. He won’t tell on me.

It’s really important to be able live with others, but a lesson that a lot of parents forget to teach being able to live with yourself. I mean, people come and go but you are stuck with you. Forever. And if you don’t like yourself, that’s a big problem.

Now hold up. You’re probably thinking, “Dana is saying that if I don’t like me, I need to change everything about me.” NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. I’m sure that you’re a lovely person and chances are I’d like you if I met you (hi, by the way). However, if you don’t like yourself, I encourage you to change how you think about yourself. Instead of viewing yourself in a negative light, try something more positive.

Currently, for me, I have a really hard time accepting my body. It’s not as strong as it used to be a couple months ago and my body is what limits me from performing at 100%. But you know what? My body is mine. It’s beautiful. It may be annoying at times, but it’s healing. And I can live with that and love my body for what it is and what it will become.

Being alone can be hard because it is closely related to the world of loneliness. But being alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Be your best company you’ve had over at your home. I know I’m my best company!


Until next time,