In today’s society, it’s nearly impossible to isolate yourself from the toxic side effects of social media. It's literally everywhere—from celebrity Instagram accounts and our friends’ perfect Facebook lives to the messed up reality of clothing sizes and #FitnessGoals. I decided to spend a week up at our family’s cabin, sans Wi-Fi, cell service, and people in general. In other words, I was about to embark on a social media detox.

If there was an emergency, there were people nearby I could contact and cell service was accessible by standing on top of a specific hill. But let's be honest, that’s about as close as you can get to complete isolation in 2017.

The Rules:

I allowed myself to check my text messages/emails once a day only because my mom insisted I prove I hadn’t been mauled by a bear. Music was allowed on runs and podcasts were okay inside the cabin. My laptop and phone were allowed, but not to play games or watch movies. Writing Spoon Articles was encouraged. 

Lesson 1: Food is food regardless of what time you eat it

Jillian Rogers

I’m not overly hungry when I wake up at 6:30 on my first day of this challenge. Instead of a full meal, I eat a beautiful plate of fresh fruit. Feeling semi-motivated, I go for a half-hour run. Back at the cabin, I eat some vegan yogurt and change into my bathing suit.

I spend the rest of the morning reading My Sister’s Keeper out on the dock in the sun. Judging the time based on the position of the sun, my stomach starts rumbling around 11 o’clock. It actually ended up being 10:42. I immediately try to convince myself that I can wait another hour until it’s “acceptable” to eat lunch, but I push those thoughts aside and have pasta salad, tofu, and grapes for lunch.

wine, beer, coffee, gem
Jillian Rogers

I lay in the hammock, battling mosquitoes for the afternoon. I eat a Snickerdoodle Protein Cookie as a snack—not bothering to check the time—and finish my book around 4:15 pm. At this point, I’m starting to get hungry again. I snack on some snap peas while I assemble a make shift pizza using a tortilla base, vegan cheese, pasta sauce, TVP, and orange pepper. Can it even be considered dinner at this time? I tell my inner critic to ‘shut up’ so I can enjoy my pizza.

A few years ago—heck, even months ago—I would much rather have “eaten by the clock” rather than listen to my natural hunger cues. Lunch at 10:30 am? No way. But I started to realize how smart my body actually is. If I really listened, I could identify what my body was craving. 

Lesson 2: There’s more than one way to wash your hair

Day three at the cabin. Confession: I haven’t washed my hair and I feel absolutely disgusting. Long story short, the showers in the campground are out of commission, and I start to panic. I honestly need a way to wash my hair.

Back at the cabin, I find an empty plastic bin and fill it with warm water. I lay a towel on the ground and put the bin on top and wash my hair. Almost as glamorous as getting it washed at the hairdresser, am I right? But hey, it got the job done. I don’t know if my mom would be proud of my creative stroke of genius, or embarrassed at how desperate I was.

Lesson 3: No camping trip is complete without s’mores

sweet, dairy product, chocolate, cream
Jillian Rogers

Confession time: I’ve never lighted a match or used a lighter in my life because they scare me so much. So having a fire is out of the question. But that’s why man invented the microwave, right?

Lesson 4: Flaunt what you’ve got

coffee, chocolate
Jillian Rogers

There is only one mirror in the cabin. It’s in the bathroom and it shows the top half of your body while you brush your teeth. I’ve struggled a lot with body image these last few months, so I try and avoid mirrors as much as possible. But I catch a glimpse of my butt in the mirror and all I can think is “damn gurl.” I may not love my body all the time, but in that instant, I felt happy and content with myself.

Lesson 5: Without social media, days last longer

date, coffee, spam
Jocelyn Hsu

Without scrolling through IG and FB every five minutes, I found the days lasted longer and I accomplished more. My attention span greatly increased; I could sit for four hours and read without getting distracted. It only took me an afternoon to finish a 500-piece puzzle.

I would highly recommend that everyone participates in their own social media detox this summer. It won't be easy, but you'll learn a lot about yourself.