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Updates from my Month-Long Social Media Vacation

Goooood Morning my beautiful readers, and Happy Thursday!  Honestly, this feels kind of weird, writing after a month-long social media “vacation”.  It feels like it was longer than a month, and in other ways, it feels like just yesterday that I deleted Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WordPress off of my devices.  If I’m being honest, for the first few days, I was like a drug addict in withdrawal.  I was constantly checking my phone, but had no notifications.  I would take photos of cool things, only to realize that I could not post them to Instagram.  I had this ridiculous fear that people were going to post horrible things on my accounts while I was away, and I wouldn’t be able to see them.  Silliness.  Pure silliness.

After a few days, however, I found that I was beginning to calm down and grow used to my media-free lifestyle.  While the last four weeks have been far from the blissful, perfect, carefree month I had pictured in my mind (more on that later) they have taught me a lot, and I am returning to the blog feeling re-energized and inspired.  Here are a few of the things that have been going on since I cut the cord on November 10th.

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1. I ended up in the Hospital from my first full-fledged Panic Attack.

This part kind of sucked.  As I have mentioned before, I have been battling with some pretty fierce anxiety lately, but nothing could prepare me for the full-on attack that sent me to the emergency room.  It happened at work, and at the time, I truly believed I was having a heart attack.  Eventually, my entire face and arms went numb, so at that point I thought maybe it was actually a stroke.  After four hours in emergency, the doctors determined that nothing was wrong with my heart, my brain, or my nervous system, and once I was reduced to a weeping puddle on that poor doctor’s assessment bed, it was apparent that the attack was simply a result of my overwhelming life events.  Talk about a wake up call.  Which brings me to my next point…

2. I’ve had plenty of time to spend taking care of my health.

I feel like I’ve done nothing but go to various appointments over this past month.  Between the testing to determine what’s wrong with my heart (still pending), some hypnotherapy sessions that are helping me handle my anxiety, counselling sessions to help me process my father’s devastating death, and chiropractic appointments to try and correct a pelvis that has apparently been out of alignment since my snowmobile crash (7 years ago!), I’ve had my hands – and my calendar – pretty full.  But it’s also been good.  As stressful and overwhelming as this can feel, I am grateful to have the time, the resources, and the support to take all of this on.  And even though it’s not the most enjoyable way to spend my days off, I know it’s an investment in a healthier, happier future, and I can absolutely get behind that.

3. I am proud to announce that I am now approximately 95% plant-based.

In my last post, I mentioned that I wanted to try to implement a majority plant-based (or vegan) diet, but I never expected to come as far as I have in just one month.  Since November 10th, I have not eaten any meat at all, but have had a few minor slip-ups with dairy and eggs (when I eat out).  I have tried probably close to 20 new plant-based recipes, and there hasn’t been a single thing that hasn’t been delicious.  My energy has improved drastically, I hardly have any digestive woes anymore, and I have never felt so damn good.  And to answer the most common questions – yes, I get enough protein from plants, and no, I haven’t lost a ton of weight.  Probably because I haven’t been running at all, but weight loss is not why I’m doing this.  As I progress, I am learning a lot about myself and about what Veganism / Plant-Based eating means to me.  I have never been able to “stick with” anything so wholly, and for so long.  I am extremely excited to see where this goes.

4. I have become addicted to Podcasts. 

I’m not sure why it took me until the year 2015 to discover how incredible podcasts are, but better late than never I suppose.  The first podcast I came across was Food For Thought with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau from Joyful Vegan, which I found through all of my research on Veganism.  Her podcast is an incredible, educational resource for compassionate Veganism in everyday life, general health, and wellness.  From there, I began exploring, and came across a few more gems.  One of my other favourites is Matt Frazier’s No Meat Athlete.  I had heard of the No Meat Athlete Blog, but I had no idea there was also a podcast.  Matt interviews lots of like-minded people, while also discussing his own views and tips for a successful plant-based running career.  The most wonderful thing about podcasts is that they are highly multi-task-able.  I listen to them while I’m driving, while I’m getting ready for work, while I’m cooking, or even when I’m out walking or running.  I am learning and becoming inspired during simple, everyday tasks that might otherwise seem mundane.

5. I spent my mornings doing things other than scrolling through social media.

For the first few days, it was so weird to wake up and spend my time doing actual morning things instead of catching up on my Facebook feed or scrolling through Instagram.  I made tea.  I read books.  I cuddled with my boyfriend.  I meditated.  What a phenomenon.  One I might like to continue.

6. We take possession of our new house in just over a month!

This little detail has been consuming my every thought, dream, action, conversation, and purchase lately.  The countdown is on, and Sean and I are moving into our brand new home on January 20th!  It’s stressful and daunting and much too adult for my liking, but it’s also extremely exciting, inspiring, and motivating.

7.  My Chiropractor has changed the way I know my body.

I have always been dead set against seeing a Chiropractor, mostly because I was misinformed, but also because I didn’t want to become one of those people who had to constantly keep going back again and again and again.  After my first appointment, my Chiropractor was able to determine that my left hip was completely out of alignment (which I already knew, but didn’t really understand the severity of) and had likely been that way since a snowmobile crash I was involved in back in February of 2009.  That is a long time to be in pain.  He could not believe that I had run two Half Marathons this year, and he bluntly told me that the only thing my body has had going for it is the fact that I’m only 24.  Throughout a series of treatments and adjustments, we have managed to put my hip back where it belongs, as well as work on some other major alignment issues throughout my body.  it’s been a painful, time-consuming and frustrating process, but I am beginning to see some seriously wonderful results, and, with any luck, I’ll be able to begin running again (from the very beginning, with a “learn to run” program to prevent injury) in a week or so.

8. I had a lot of time to think about the direction I want this blog to take.

As many of my long-time readers will remember, Adventure To Anywhere first started as a travel blog, and only a travel blog.  I began this blog by accident, when I was looking for a way to stay in touch with friends and family during a 5 week trip through Asia.  As fate would have it, the blog caught on, attracting all kinds of readers, and eventually evolved with me to incorporate things such as running, hiking, and lifestyle articles.  As I embark on the newest chapter of my life – ‘Broke New Homeowner’ life, that is – I am beginning to realize that travel, especially major travel, will have to be put on the back burner for the next few years.  So how much of this blog will remain aligned with the “Adventure” theme?  I’m not sure.  All I know is that I’d like to slowly begin to write about a more broad variety of topics, still including Travel, Hiking, Running and Lifestyle, but also venturing into the realms of Plant-Based Nutrition, General Wellness, Relationships, Overcoming Addiction and Codependency, and maybe even Spirituality.  Who knows.  The future is bright (and scattered) and I hope you’ll come along for the ride, regardless of where this crazy ship is headed.

9. I missed you guys.

It definitely made me feel a little bit sad and disconnected not knowing what was going on with all of my online friends.  Many of these online friends have turned into real-life friends, which I am grateful for, but since a lot of you live either on the other side of the world or even just a few provincial borders away, the connection was lost.  And I missed you all.  I missed being able to read your comments, see your updates, and like your photos.  This time away has made me realize just how valuable these connections truly are – in times of weakness, strength, motivation, inspiration, frustration, love and loss – it is amazing to have such a strong and like-minded community behind me.

 

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Have you ever taken a “break” from Social Media?

What are your thoughts on a plant-based diet?

Do you have any favourite podcasts?

Ashley Dempster is a twenty-something Canadian Travel and Adventure blogger based in Calgary, Canada. Her passions include good food, minimalist packing, running, music, and chasing down every opportunity for adventure.

12 Comments

  1. I’m so happy you’re back but also that you were able to take some time away to focus on other things. I hope you get some answers about your health soon. I’ve been in hospital for panic attacks before. They’re terrifying. Sending you lots of big internet hugs!! xxxx

  2. Sorry to hear about your rough month health wise! I hope you get it all fixed up and feel 100%!

    I am obsessed with the Girls Gone WOD podcast. It’s mainly about Crossfit (which I don’t do) but the hosts Joy & Claire are so hilarious it doesn’t matter.

  3. I’m glad you’re back, and I’m glad you had such a restorative and healing month away. I’m actually a little jealous of your social media break….no scrolling through updates in the morning? How intriguing! 😉 It’s kind of scary to think about how much more time I would have in a day if I didn’t spend it on the internet, but then, like you said at the end, I would miss people and the interactions I do have. Balance, right? I’m excited to see where your blog takes you, I will read whatever you write! xo

  4. Welcome back! I recently deleted Facebook off my iPhone too. Ugh it is such a time suck. Congrats on going plant-based. You’re going to feel amazing and centred. I encourage you to check out some vegan facebook groups. Lots of support there. It’s also so much fun trying new recipes. I am trying to go raw in January.

  5. You don’t know me but I’m a loyal follower and was so happy to notice on Instagram that you are back. Thanks for sharing the ups and downs friend, your genuine open communication is so rare and always wonderfully refreshing. Welcome back.

  6. Wow! It sounds like you really needed this break and I LOVE that you utilized it well! The panic attack probably came at the perfect time, when you had the month to really focus on you. I can’t imagine going through what you are with you Dad’s tragic passing but you’re amazing and inspiring! I only wish I could have gotten to know you better during the weekend in Waterton, but I’m glad I found your blog out of it all! I can’t wait to follow along on your new home ownership and your plant based lifestyle (something my husband and I have often talked about doing).

    Anyway.. thanks for sharing your experience, I often think I should take a social media break, if not to develop a new morning routine. My phone is the first thing I pick up and my social media accounts are the first I check… how sad is that?

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