Overcoming my Smart Phone Addiction

All the Joy of Plaid

Recently I noticed my son starting to act out. He would walk over and smack our television, or snatch my phone out of my hand. At first, this really irritated me. Then I took a second to think about why he had developed these new behaviors, he was acting out because he felt like I was ignoring him.

I know that this is a touchy subject, and I know that there are people who will think I’m crazy because I (kind of) gave up the internet for five days. Trust me, I’m not one of those people that thinks technology is evil and is destroying the world as we know it. However, I do believe it can turn us into people that we don’t want to be. I know that technology, my phone, in particular, helps me fill empty space. It’s the first thing I reach for when I’m bored, feeling uncomfortable, or just don’t know what else I should be doing. Honestly, there are times I reach for my phone for no reason, I just picked it up to mindlessly scroll through Facebook. I’m not trying to say that it’s a problem for everyone, but for me, smart phone addiction was truly an issue. That’s why I decided to give it up for a week (a work week of course).

I’ll be honest, I didn’t give my phone up completely. I’m too much of a baby for that. I still allowed myself some screen time, although it was extremely limited. I told myself I could still text, or call people. Mainly because I have a son, and if something were to happen to him I’ll need to be reached quickly. And, because I have a full-blown addiction, and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to function without my phone at all. I also allowed myself to access Youtube. If you’ve read my post about my autistic burnout, you’ll know that I consider Youtube one of my stims. It’s extremely important for me to be able to deal with my anxiety in a healthy way, and watching Youtube videos helps me do that. So, I allowed myself to continue to watch YouTube but only under certain circumstances. I could only watch it if my son was asleep for the night, or I couldn’t control my anxiety with another form of stimming. Other than that, I had no access to my phone. Now I’m sure you guys are thinking “what the hell, she didn’t give up much!”, and you’re kind of right. I could still text and call people and I could still enjoy Youtube. However, I didn’t allow myself access to Facebook, Instagram, or another form of social media. Some may see that as a small victory, and that okay.

I do want to make it perfectly clear that I never intended to give up social media, or my phone forever. I wanted this experiment to be a learning experience for me, and it was just that. I learned a lot about myself over the last five days, and I’m incredibly proud and ashamed of myself all at the same time. I’m ashamed that I ever let my phone control so much of my life. I’m ashamed that I allowed my phone to change the way I interacted with my son. However, I’m proud that I was able to put my ego aside and realize when I had a problem. I’m also very proud that I didn’t slip up, not even for a second 😊. I’m hoping that some of you reading this will take my advice, and go on a technology detox yourselves. I think I could do us all some good, to step away from all our distractions for a little bit.


So, here’s what I learned.

I can get a lot of Sh*t done without my phone.

This one actually surprised me a lot. I never realized how much time I spent staring at my phone. All this week I was able to get myself, my son ready, and be out the door ahead of schedule. That was something that never happened before. I would wake up, and immediately grab my phone and be stuck in a trance until about ten minutes before I had to leave. I would always complain about how I never had enough time to do anything when in reality I was just using my time to check my Instagram feed. If there’s one habit I keep from this past week, I’ll be not looking at my phone in the morning. Giving up my screen time in the morning alleviated a lot of the anxiety I felt throughout the day. I realized that having a smoother start to my day changed my entire attitude.

I Spend a lot of time curating moments.

Now I know I’m not the only guilty one here. How many of you find yourself trying to capture beautiful moments of your kid with your phone? Spoiler alert, the answer is all of you. OF course, you want to get that really cute picture of your kid, who doesn’t? You’re trying to capture a memory, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not telling you to stop taking pictures, or videos of moments you want to remember forever. I’m simply encouraging you to participate in some of those moments as well.  Let someone else take the pictures, or hell, get really wild and don’t take any photos at all. Be present. Live in the moment. Focus on the here and now.

I was able to make real connections with people again.

This is something that I really struggled with. I allowed my phone to put up a wall between me and other people. I’m socially awkward, and sometimes being around people makes me really uncomfortable. Therefore, I find it incredibly difficult to interact with people. Without knowing it, I used my phone to combat this issue Whenever I was uncomfortable or didn’t know what to say I would start scrolling on my phone. Not having my phone this week forced me to learn a new coping skill. I either interacted with the people around me or sat in awkward silence without using my phone as a crutch.

I had FOMO like a MOFO

This was honestly the thing I struggled with most. I’m a little embossed to admit that I actually had anxiety attacks because I was afraid of missing out. I no longer had that instant access to information the way I had before. It made me feel very disconnected from the world…at first. Then a realized that 99.9% of the crap I looked at on Facebook, or Instagram was pointless.


I know that this isn’t for everyone, but I’m hoping some of you will decide to take back some of the power you’ve lost through your phone. I know that I’m going to make a conscious effect to keep my phone face down when I’m with others. I’m going to start making meaningful connections again, and I encourage you to do the same.

See ya next time!





First World Problems


Hello, my sweet sweet friends!

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a blast last week. Even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I still hope you had a blast last week 😉

Per usual, I’ve had a tremendous amount of anxiety (I swear one day I’ll get it under control). Like always, I’m stressing about things that really don’t matter. So, I’m making a list off all these tiny insignificant problems to remind myself that it’s okay to be stressed sometimes, but it’s not okay to let things ruin my day.

If you’re in the same boat as me, know that I’m sending you lots of love and positive vibes.

Until next time, here’s a list of my first world problems 🙂

1. Sometimes my washing machine doesn’t spin correctly, and my clothes come out soaking wet.

2. My dog pooped on the floor a few weeks ago

3. My son also pooped on the floor a few weeks ago.

4. I need to update my iPhone, but I hate change.

5. My favorite pair of shoes have a hole in them

6.  I want a table for my entryway, but I’m too cheap to buy one.

7. My son hates diaper changes and screams the whole time.

8. My dog eats out of the trash can

9. I’m autistic, and I’ve had some really bad sensory days.

10. I’m allergic to my deodorant.

11.  My dog is shedding, so I’m always sweeping the floors.

12. I’m behind on laundry… like always.

13. My partner does most of the cooking and sometimes that makes me feel guilty.

14. My dishwasher doesn’t work very well so sometimes the dishes come out dirty.

15. Putting air in my tires makes me nervous, so I’m just ignoring the fact that my tire needs air in it.

This is just a gentle reminder to not let anxiety get the best of you. Take a deep breathe and remember, no ones ever actually died from a panic attack 😉


Autistic Burnout


If you know me personally, I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about autism before. It’s no secret that autism is something I’m very passionate about. I’m very vocal about autism awareness, but something I’m not very vocal about is my own diagnosis. For a very long time, I’ve known that I was different from “normal” people, but I could never really explain why. Plus, it doesn’t help that it’s a lot harder to diagnose girls with autism than it is boys. Because of that, I didn’t receive my diagnosis until I was an adult. However, being diagnosed with Aspergers is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. As odd as it may sound, my diagnosis helped me begin my journey of self-love. My diagnosis gave me a better understanding of who I am.

I do want to make it very clear that autism is different for everyone. No two autistic people are alike, and just people I have autism, I do not speak for the entire autistic community. I can only speak to my struggles.

I’m not sure what I want this post to be, so please bear with my rambling. My hope is that this post will help people understand more about people on the spectrum. My hope is that this post will show people that just because someone is “high functioning” does not mean that autism doesn’t affect them. Autism is a disability, it’s often called the invisible disability because people on the spectrum suffer every single day, and often no one even notices. Just because you can’t always see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Please keep that in mind before you make assumptions about people on the spectrum.

Today I won’t go into too much detail about my diagnosis, but I do want to discuss something that a lot of “high functioning” people struggle with and that’s Autistic burnout.

Many people who are close to me know I’ve been struggling with a ton of health issues recently. I dropped around 15 pounds almost overnight, and have been plagued by migraines. After some extensive research (and blood work) I’ve come to realize I was suffering from autistic burnout. I’m recovering now, but I still have days where I feel unwell, and struggle just to make it through. Like I said before, no two autistic people are alike so the way I experience burnout will be completely different from the way someone else experiences it. However, I hope sharing what helped me get through it will help someone else struggling.

For those of you who don’t know, burnout is defined as “long-term exhaustion, and diminished interest in work.” The symptoms of burnout often mirror those of clinical depression. Symptoms of burnout for autistic people can often include regression of coping skills. Autistic burnout often occurs in “high functioning” people. It stems from mental exhaustion caused by an intense effort to seem neurotypical. For those of you not on the spectrum, I’m sure it’s hard for you to understand what I mean. I guess the simplest way to put it is, it takes a lot of energy for an autistic person to try to be “normal”. Especially for those labeled as “high functioning”. Recently I read an excellent post from Planet autism blog, which said, “Basically, the high functioning you are, the more others expect of you, and, the more you push yourself.”


Like I said before, every autistic person is different so everyone’s symptoms of burnout will be different. For me, it presented has extreme tiredness, migraines, and a general lack of interest in things that are important to me. I spent a few weeks trying to deal with my symptoms on my own, but as they progressively got worse, my partner insisted I go see a doctor. I had a ton of lab work done, and everything came back normal so I was basically back to square one. I knew that I wasn’t depressed, and doctors had confirmed that there wasn’t anything medically wrong with me. I was despite for an answer, so I started googling my symptoms. I know, not the best idea but like I said, I was getting pretty despite. Of course, I ran into a lot of things that said I was dying, but then I found a ton of autistic bloggers that were writing about exactly what I was going through. I finally knew what was happening to me, and I cried for about an hour from sheer relief. Once I started reading more about autistic burnout, I realized that this wasn’t the first time that it had happened to me. I have dealt with this several times during my life, and I’m only 22 years old. The realization that I had dealt with this before kind of hit me hard. I really took some time to reflect on how I had handled burnout in the past. I’ll be honest, in the past, I struggled a lot with coping skills because I wasn’t diagnosed properly. I struggled a lot with anxiety, and addition, especially during a burnout. Obviously, I didn’t want to head down that path again, so this time I really focused on recovering from burnout a healthy way.

The first thing I did was try to relax. Honestly, this was the hardest thing for me to do. I’m a very high-strung person, I always have been. So, as you can imagine, relaxing is not something that comes naturally to me. However, I knew how important this step was. Stress was a big contributor to my burnout, so I knew eliminating stress was necessary for my well being.

The next thing I did was focus on doing more of the things I enjoyed. For me, that was blogging, or binge-watching YouTube videos until I fell asleep at night. Ideally, I would have taken some proper time off, but it just wasn’t possible for me. So, because I couldn’t fully abandon my normal routine, I changed more energy into the little things in life that bring me joy.

The last thing I’m going to mention is stimming, which is short for “self-stimulatory behavior”. Stimming is something that I think is extremely important for autistic people (if their personal safety isn’t an issue), there is a lot of debate about the topic but I think making time for stimming is vital for people on the spectrum. The stim most people think of when they hear the word autistic is head banging, or hitting. Obviously, this behavior isn’t healthy, and this energy should be channeled into a safer stim if possible. With all that being said, making time in my day just for stimming was a key part of my recovery. For me stimming is necessary. The extra sensory input stimming provides keeps me level-headed, and helps me control my anxiety.

I’d like to take a second to mention that clearly, I’m not an expert on autism. I’m only speaking from personal experience. If you’re interested in learning more about ASD please let me know. I’d be more than happy to write more post about autism.

If you made it this far, thanks for putting up with this long rambling post.  Your love and support mean the world to me.