5 And a Half Things I Learned From Being On Social Media Detox

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Let me tell you a little bit about myself and my relationship with social media before I begin.

I grew up in the society where social media was highly looked down at, and for a long time those who exposed themselves on social media were considered insecure attention seekers. I was one of those people who did not understand the concept of social media at all. Why would one want to share their lives and everything they do on a platform where so many people can see and judge a person’s life? That’s what I thought. I can’t say I wasn’t interested in using it, however, I was afraid to start, as I was scared of the same judgement. So I stayed away from using platforms such as Instagram too often, as I didn’t want to seem like an attention seeker to people who knew me in real life.

I’ve grown, my views changed, my attitude towards social media changed. I learned about online video marketing, and I loved the idea! That’s what I want to do, I thought. And for that, I need to learn and grow my own network. I began posting videos on YouTube, posting photos on Instagram and on Facebook page, where I shared the work I create. However, in this particular post I want to focus mainly on Instagram and its impact on my life since I started posting there.

I had my account since 2012, when I posted my first ever photo of the studio flat me and Vlad rented in Paris. I only had about 20 friends following me at the time, which has grown up to approximately a 100 people who knew me in real life from 2012 to 2016. Then, as I gained interest in online content, I decided to try out posting one photo a day and see where it leads me. I also did that because I gained interest in photography and I took a lot of photos on my phone during the long weekend walks around London. I already had loads of photos piled up, and also wanted to learn how to take better ones. That’s what I started with.

Woah, this was supposed to be a brief intro, but instead, I seem to be telling you the story of my life here. Anyway, bare with me, I’m getting close to the actual point. 

 

So, it was Monday, 22nd of May, when I suddenly decided to go on a social media detox cold turkey. I always wanted to do a digital detox, but I can’t really afford to do it just yet, so social media detox might be a good alternative for starters.

It was a spontaneous decision. I sat there, in my usual coffee shop, blank from any ideas, not willing to complete any work, not feeling excited about anything I did up to this moment. I felt tired and drained. I also felt worthless and uncreative. And one thought was drilling my brain: log out of all social media, log out, log out… And I did.

I decided to stop using social media, and especially Instagram for one week. And this is what I learned. 

  1. It really is an addiction.

I finally admitted it to myself – I am an Instagram addict. I check Instagram without even noticing when I’m at it. I had my phone in my hand and a finger scrolling through Instagram before I looked at the page. This is ridiculous.

2. Always log out of your social media accounts. 

This was a revelation to me. We are used to having all of our social accounts opened and logged in to on our laptops and phones. For example, I never even close the tabs with Facebook and Instagram in my browser. And when it’s there, open in front of your eyes, always logged in and ready to use, – you’re gonna use it. Mindlessly. That’s a perfect way to make yourself addicted and you won’t even notice when your eyes end up staring at an open Facebook or Instagram page reading the news you’re not interested in. This is addiction. And it needs to be cured.

Log out. There’s no other better way to cure this addiction and show to yourself the amount of times you mindlessly enter the social media app. How does it work? Basically you step on the same rake over and over again until you create a bump and learn from the experience. Every time you’re holding your phone with the sign-in screen open, you’ll instantly notice that you’re acting on your reflexes and using social media mindlessly over again. It is scary how many times I mindlessly opened Instagram every time I was bored, without being aware of the moment I took the phone in my hand and opened the app. The sign-in screen that met my eyes reminded me to make a choice – shall I log in and scroll through my feed, or shall I actually continue doing what I was doing before the moment I got bored?

3. Get Bored.

Yes, that’s right. Allow yourself to be bored. As Austin Kleon, the author of Steal Like An Artist wrote, “Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing”. The best ideas and inspiration come to you when you’re bored. So go ahead, declutter your mind, stop reaching out to your phone every time you’re commuting on the train, stop having Netflix blabbing on the background when you’re doing house chores, stop listening to music in your headphones when you’re walking from point A to point B.

As strange as it sounds, after a certain point it becomes difficult to make yourself bored again. I got so used to reaching out to social media and entertainment at every possible moment, – when I have to wait for a video to render, when I’m waiting for a bus, when I’m walking home from the train station, when I’m showering. I don’t give myself time to be bored, because I fill my time with mindless entertainment. And no, there’s nothing bad in listening to music or browsing social media, however, don’t allow it to overtake every minute of your life. Especially in our present time when media and devices are designed to be as accessible as possible. You have to be mindful of the times when you reach out to them.

Get bored. Don’t fill up your brain with information at every possible moment. Allow your mind to roam free and tackle boredom on its own, without the clutter of social media and brainless entertainment. It will be difficult at first. But then it will become liberating.

     4. All of a sudden you will have more free time to spend on creative work.

After I logged out of my social media pages, I noticed that I had more free time. I could fill it with creative work. I would normally spend about 20-30 minutes on a single post, considering that I’ve already edited a photo in advance. I would come up with a thoughtful caption and hashtags. After that I would spend another 30 minutes to an hour on browsing, commenting, liking, discovering. And although I do like to engage with people I follow, sometimes it can go overboard. Lets say I’ve spent time engaging with my internet friends and I’ve run out of content I should engage with. I would then spend time refreshing my feed waiting for new posts, or I would go over the old posts again. I was so addicted to Instagram that it was hard to leave, it was hard to stop.

But once I made a conscious decision to change my own attitude and STOP, I discovered that I had so much more free time that I could spend on work which would actually lead me somewhere. I also had more time to think about my own posts and think about creative ways to present my photography. This sounds more productive, eh?

At the same time I was slightly overwhelmed. Where did this time come from? What should I do? I had to make a decision to DO THE ACTUAL WORK, instead of mindlessly spending hours on Instagram or on Facebook reading the news that I very much dislike reading.

I gained more time from just quitting social media, and I pushed myself to spend it creatively. And I’m very grateful to having made such decision.

   5. Are your ready to struggle for the work you love? 

Although I decided to go on social media detox, I still couldn’t get it out of my head for a while. So the next day I decided to go out and take photos. This was the main reason for me to even create my account, right? So I had to go and take photos. But you know what was different this time? I HAD FUN.

You know why I lost any enthusiasm in my creative work? Because I felt like I HAD to do it. I felt like I had to just go and deliver whatever I could, even when I didn’t have any ideas. Instead of going out and spending time nurturing my creativity, going for a walk, enjoying the sun and spending time being “bored”, I pushed myself to create work which didn’t bring me any happiness.

This is the whole reason for us, creatives, to do the work. We do the work we love. We create because it gives us pleasure. We deliver work because we love it, not because we want get lost in likes and follows. And if we love our work, it means that there will be someone who will love our work as much as we do. Right?

Of course, we still have to push ourselves to deliver. Even when you do the work you love, there will be moments when laziness overtakes, when inspiration vanishes, when doubts devour your mind. But we still have to push ourself to deliver work, because we love it. And because we love it, we are ready to struggle, to face laziness, difficulties, lack of inspiration. But I didn’t love it at the time. I hated my photography, videos and writing. Why? Because I didn’t create for love, I created for numbers. And of course that’s when the numbers stopped growing. And they were right to stop. Because I had to stop too.

5.1. Do the work you love and you will never work a day in your life = BULLSHIT. 

We all heard this phrase, do the work you love and you will never work a day in your life. You know what I think? This saying is a total scam which makes us and everybody else believe that if we love what we do, it will be easy.

If you’re doing the work you love, you will have to work like a horse. Because when you do the work you love, a lot of unexpected struggles will occur. You will doubt, you will feel worthless, you will have an urge to compare, to count the numbers, to procrastinate. You will have to learn about management, logistics, marketing and whatnot.  Even if you are a graphic designer, or an artist, or a filmmaker. There won’t be an opportunity to say “that’s not my job”.

And you will work for it, because the work you do is what you are prepared to struggle for. When you love something or someone, you will move mountains for it.

How does this relate to social media detox? Most of us, creative people, publish our work on social media. And this is a big part our work. We have to love what we show to the world.

 

These were the thoughts I had during the social media detox, and I am looking forward to doing this again. It really allowed me to spend more time appreciating my surroundings and listening to my own thoughts. This was a first step towards decluttering my mind and getting rid of social media addiction. I also understood that I love spending time on Instagram and sharing snippets of my life in my little gallery. But sometimes it feels like the time freezes and I lose myself in these snippets instead of living in my present.

It is important to remember that after you froze the moment in one image, the reality continues to go on. Don’t swap your reality for the single moment on your Instagram feed. Make memories before posting on social, instead of letting the social become your only memory. 

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Do you live on your device?

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Most of my day is spent looking at the screen.

I used to be one of those people, who looked down on teenagers who spend their whole day texting, playing games, browsing social media on their phones/ iPads/ laptops every day. I was that “in my days…” person (despite being only 22), comparing kids today with my own childhood spent playing outside, mainly because phones and laptops weren’t available in the society I lived in back then.

Only recently I started to pay a closer attention to how much time I spent on my phone and laptop every day, and to my terror surprise I realised that it’s easier to count the time I’m not spending looking at the screen rather than otherwise.

Doing so many things at the same time, managing my own (start up) business, filming videos, editing videos, editing photos, posting on Instagram, writing on my blog (I already have enormous amounts of drafts that I never posted), answering calls, replying to messages and emails, and at the end of the day perhaps watching a movie or TV series to “wind down”.  So lets see… I don’t look at the screen only when I’m moving between locations (e.g. home – work) or when I’m sleeping.

How did this even happen?!

You see, I have to confess. I am so SCARED of losing my devices and spending a day without them. My work, hobby, leisure.. my whole LIFE is connected to the screen of a laptop and a phone. I am planning to do a digital detox some day, and every time I decide on date and time I end up not doing it because I find so many reasons WHY I need my phone at the time.

What if I go to an unknown location and I need a map?

But I need to check train times!

What if I receive an important email/ message?

How about Instagram? I post twice a day, so I can’t possibly skip that!

And what about the evening? What am I gonna do? I can’t watch a movie?

But… but but but…! There are so many “buts” in this one decision.

I guess we live at the age when our devices are like a physical extension of our whole lives. There are so many things we have to keep up with. We always want to stay updated, stay present in the social. Reply to that comment of an internet friend whom you’ve never met in real life.

I’m writing this whilst at a coffee shop where I go to when I can’t bare working from home. I sneezed. A girl next to me quietly said Bless you, whilst opening her laptop. I turned to her and smiled saying Thank you, and both of us instantly turned back to our screens. I need to talk to that person on Facebook. And reply to emails. And see whether anyone commented on my Instagram post. These are the thoughts that are running through my head.

I guess I looked down on kids who spend their lives on their devices, because this is something I don’t like in myself either. I remember being a child and approaching other kids on the street, talking to them, “Hey! What’s your name? Wanna play?“. I guess it would be too creepy if I did that with an adult.

…Before I stepped inside the bus, I braved myself to look in the eyes of a driver and say “Good Afternoon!” with a big smile. So I step inside. I quietly register my journey and look down proceeding to the seat on the deck, cursing inside, as I, again, didn’t smile to the driver as I intended to.

Maybe next time. I have a new email notification. 

How to get ideas for your blog

Seriously, how?

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So I plan my day in the morning. I create a “To do” list, which I more or less stick to throughout the day, adding countless times I reach out for my phone to scroll through Instagram (yeah, it has become my addiction by now). And then as I follow my list, I come closer to that one entry “Write a blog post”. And there it goes.

I open my blog and click on that “write” button on the right top corner of the screen. I stare at the blank page. I stare at it for a bit longer. Then I reach out to my phone “looking for inspiration”. I get too immersed in Instagram, I reply to comments and comment on other people’s posts. I check emails. I scroll through Facebook, disgusted by all political and dumb news shared on my news feed.

I go back to my blog. No inspiration. I might even google: “how to get inspired”. Aaaah I’ve already done that soooo many times, but I have to finally take action!

Okay. So I’ve decided what I will write about. And then I start writing. My wording seems lame. Really, english isn’t my first language, and after living for almost 6 years in the UK I’m still super conscious about it. So I erase everything and start again.

Then I decide that I can’t be perfect, so let me be just me. I start all over again and write that imperfect post. And then realise that I don’t have any images. So I save the draft and tell myself to take photos in the evening. The draft remains saved for the next few weeks, shamelessly.

Then I finally publish it. But statistics say that no one really reads it. Anyone? Is there anyone out there who reads the thoughts coming through my head? Somebody?

Oh well.

So anyway. How to get ideas for your blog?

Ideas and inspiration isn’t something you can switch on and off. This is something that comes and goes, and you never know when it’s gonna come upon you.

But you can nourish your creativity.

How?

By going out to museums and events.

By taking a walk in a beautiful park during a sunny spring day.

Take a detour on your way to work. 

Walk instead of taking a bus. 

Stop to smell the flowers. 

Smile to a stranger. 

Say good morning to the bus driver (it is if you decided to take a bus instead of walking). 

Strike a conversation with a barista who’s making your morning coffee. 

Go out to a breakfast date early in the morning before heading to work. 

Go out for a 30 minute walk in the evening alone or with a friend/ loved one. It’s important that you leave your phone at home. Just spend time with your thoughts or talk it out to someone. The ideas will come naturally.

Watch a documentary instead of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. 

Prepare a home cooked meal by following a new recipe. 

Meditate for at least 5 minutes. Get all thoughts out of your head before letting the new ones in. 

Doodle. Sing. Dance. Move your furniture around. Rearrange your shelves. 

Read a book by an unknown (to you) author. 

… I wish I did all of the above on a daily basis. Whenever I feel uninspired, I try to do at least something from the above list. I can tell you for sure, that going out for a 30 minute walk in the evening has been the most effective one of all.

Do you ever have a creative hiatus? How do you nourish your creativity? I would love to know!

Golden Milk | Cold Remedy

One of my favourite natural ways to cope with cold is drinking turmeric milk, also known as Golden Milk. This is a lovely drink made out of various spices and packed with nutrients and vitamins.

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This drink is very easy to make and adjust to your taste preferences, but this time I decided to try out the new pre-made golden milk spice mix that I got from Wholefoods Market in London. This is much faster and easier to make than the one from scratch, and I love the spice combination of Nature’s Harvest Turmeric Latte Mix.

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It contains only 7 ingredients – turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, chilli, vanilla and black pepper, – all being wonderful spices that help your body boost its healing process during a cold. Turmeric is better consumed with added spices, as it turns out that turmeric has a very low bio-availability when consumed by itself, meaning that our bodies have a hard time absorbing its wonderful health benefits. This Turmeric Latte Mix has a perfect combination of spices, which all contribute to a good absorption of turmeric itself, and add an extra boost with the benefits of each spice on its own.

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You can use any kind of milk of your choice to make your own Golden Milk. I prefer using coconut milk. Just warm 1 cup of milk on the stove (or in the microwave), add half a teaspoon of Turmeric Latte mix and a teaspoon of honey. Don’t let the drink boil!

And that’s it! This is a great cold remedy and a wonderful drink to enjoy at any other time!

How To Get Healthier Longer Hair

I had problems with my hair for as long as I can remember. You know, as they say – when a girl wants to change something about her look, she would most likely start with hair. So I did it all.

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I started dying my hair since I was 10 years old. I was desperate to have my hair dyed red, and as a performer since the young age, it was all about making an impression. So I whined and whined, until my mother bought me a bright red dye (for kids) and coloured my hair red. It stayed red for about two weeks until the dye washed out.

At that time white highlights on brown hair were popular as well. So after the red dye washed out, some time later I got white highlights. Awful white highlights. Didn’t last for too long, however. Then I tried pink hair, red hair again, dark purple, ginger, dark red, dark brown, light brown… Anyway, you get the situation. My hair was damaged like hell.

I was trying to grow it as well, but it never grew past a certain point. So last year it grew up until my shoulder blades, which was the longest I’ve ever had, but it was so damaged at the ends, that I decided to cut about 15cm (5.9 inches) of it.

Now I’m at the journey to achieving the longest and healthiest looking hair I’ve ever had. And I must say, the routine that I developed, is so far the best routine I’ve ever tried.

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If you want to achieve healthy looking hair, give these few products and tricks a try!

1. Coconut Oil Mask:

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One of my favourite ways to nourish my hair is to apply oil either to the ends or throughout the whole length of my hair.

Coconut is one of the best oils you can use on your hair. It gets deep into hair follicles stimulating hair growth, moisturises dry hair, nourishes your hair to prevent breakage and split ends as well as makes your hair appear shinier and smoother looking.

How to use:

Warm up some coconut oil between the palms of your hands. The amount will highly depend on the length of your hair. I use about a tablespoon for the whole length of my hair. Once the oil melted in your hands, run your fingers through the length of your hair applying the oil evenly. Massage the oil into your hair very well. Then tie it into a knot or wear a shower cap to prevent the oil getting onto your clothes. Leave it be for at least an hour. The longer you keep this mask on – the better. I normally keep it for about 2-3 hours or overnight. Wash your hair thoroughly using a shampoo. You would have to shampoo it twice in order to get rid of the oil.

2. Planeta Organica Gold Ayurveda Hair Mask (for damaged hair)

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I found this mask at an organic store in Riga, Latvia, and fell in love with it ever since. This is an amazing mask which visibly promotes hair growth and leaves the hair so smooth and soft after each application.

This mask contains neem oil, rich in vitamin E and essential amino acids, which gives it moisturising, nourishing and regenerating properties. Organic sandalwood stimulates hair growth, and açai berry renews the structure of your hair.

I personally swear by this mask, and the result was absolutely amazing. I use this mask once or twice a week, applying it in the shower for about 10 minutes. Definitely give this product a try if you want longer and healthier looking hair!

3. Wooden Hair Brush

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This is a life saviour. I used all kinds of hair brushes before, including the famous tangle teezer. Oh yes, tangle teezer really works wonders, but it’s useless if you are trying to grow and repair your hair. I actually noticed much more damage when using plastic hair brushes, tangle teezer included, although it claims to minimise breaking and damaging your hair. More than that, my hair was always frizzy, static and flying all over the place when I used plastic brushes.

I was on a hunt for wooden hair brush for ages, until I finally found one at Wholefoods Market. Yes, you would have to put extra care when brushing your hair with the wooden brush, as it makes it more difficult to brush through knots. Start from the bottom and work your way up to prevent any damage!

What are the benefits?

The wooden hair brush would give you a mini scalp massage when using it. If you want to grow your hair long and beautiful, giving your head a massage is essential. When you do it, the bloodflow in your head increases, bringing all the good nutrients to the hair roots.

It decreases static, so your hair won’t feel too light and won’t fly away, sticking to your face whenever they want to.

It’s a great hair conditioner, as the wood distributes natural oils through your hair evenly every time you brush.

To me personally, it helps adding body to the hair, making it fuller looking. It is also very easy to use and it is a great detangler! Use it carefully, and you won’t pull and damage your hair at all!

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Do you have any special tricks for healthy hair? I would love to know!

 

 

 

 

 

WINTER

Watch this if you want to see some snow this winter! (Technically it’s spring already, but it’s as cold as winter…)

Follow me on YouTube: IamDaria ❤ ❤ ❤

xx

DIY Face Mask | For Acne, Scars, Hyperpigmentation Treatment

I mentioned in my previous post about my favourite skincare products that I will write about the best and the easiest DIY face mask for acne prone, post-acne scarred, hyper-pigmented skin.

This face mask is very easy to make, requires not more 5 minutes of your time (+ 15 minutes when you apply the mask), and only 4 ingredients. This is a life saver during the times when my skin is especially bad. I have quite red skin on my face naturally thanks to visible vessels. On top of that my acne scars tend to redden during stressful times or after airplane travel. I find this mask extremely helpful, as it soothes and visibly calms my skin down.

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DIY FACE MASK FOR ACNE PRONE SKIN

You will need:

*1 tablespoon of honey

*1 tablespoon of raw organic coconut oil 

*half a teaspoon of cinnamon

*half a teaspoon of turmeric

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Honey has many wonderful properties, and is great not only for your skin but for overall health. It is naturally antibacterial, therefore it’s great for acne treatment and prevention. It opens up pores, making them easy to unclog. It would also moisturise and soothe your skin, which is great for sensitive skinned people out there!

I can talk about amazing properties of coconut oil for ages. There are so many to name! Coconut oil contains fatty acids which help to produce skin’s natural oil barrier, keeping skin hydrated and younger looking. It also contains Vitamin E, which repairs the skin and keeps it very smooth. I know that some people are afraid of using oils on their skin, especially to fight acne and breakouts. But actually, oils contain anti-infammatory, anti-bacterial and soothing compounds, they are packed with vitamins and amino acids. What’s more, oils are NATURAL, they are not going to act harsh on your skin, like the oil-fighting products you buy at the store would. 

Cinnamon is my other favourite ingredient. I love its smell and flavour. If you give me any dessert – make sure you put cinnamon on it! 😉

This humble spice is also antibacterial and is  great for acne and blemish prone skin, it soothes dry skin and enhances the complexion.

And finally, turmeric. I have a love-hate relationship with this spice. If you cannot be bothered dealing with yellow stains later on, just skip this ingredient. However, adding it to the mask will basically create the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and soothing bomb. Literally. Every ingredient in this mask has these properties. And arguably turmeric contains more than 300 antioxidants and is supposed to heal you from the inside out. To be honest, I can’t really say for sure whether turmeric is as wonderful as everyone proclaims, but I feel like it’s worth a try.

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So when you have all your ingredients prepared, just mix them all together – et voilà! Apply this mask for 15 minutes and wash it off using a face cloth and warm water. Make sure you washed it off very well, especially if you added turmeric. You don’t want to end up with the yellow face for the rest of the day! Also, be careful, because you will stain your cloth with turmeric after that. This is just one reason why I mentioned before that you can skip this ingredient all together if you don’t want to leave stains anywhere.

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Hope you like this mask, and let me know what you think if you gave it a try!

 

P.S. Look at this huge honey jar I have… No wonder I utilise it everywhere I can! 😉

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