Under The Weather

This is one of these days where I wish I had stayed in bed. I am still suffering with the end of a cold, which gives me a god awful cough, that makes me sound like a 20-a-day smoker. I’m not. I just get a bad cough when every get ‘blocked up’ with the cold. Every time, without fail. But because I do a lot of coughing, my temperature goes up, which is natural. But having an iffy temperature, whilst working in a building which is like a sauna half the time, is not a great experience. Just have to plod on, though.

Because I get so run down when I am feeling like this, I think it is important to do wee things to help make you feel better. Things that give comfort as well as relax you. So, I thought I’d give a wee list of what makes me feel better.

  • Curling up in bed. When you don’t feel so great, it is a good idea to try and find a place where the temperature is constant. Cuddling up in my duvet after a draining day, never fails to help me relax.
  • A good boxset. I am not the best at watching box-sets. I tend to watch a bit, forget to go back and watch more, and then have to start again because I forget what happens. I am currently watching Grey’s Anatomy on Amazon Prime, but it is supposed to be leaving. Something that is very easy to watch, which is what I find Grey’s Anatomy. Though it does make me cry. A lot.
  • Loud Music. Music has had a relaxing effect on me for as long as I can remember. I usually listen to different music depending on my mood. But I have been exhausted and sore the last week or so, there has been too options. Punky stuff, where they are a bit ‘f*$k the world’, as I usually feel done with everything. Or it can be something with a good beat, something that i can play loud in my headphones to drown out everything else. That is usually some metal music, like Cannibal Corpse.

I also usually gorge myself on crisps and such, but I that is something I am trying to stop. I want to get healthier. Hopefully eating better food, will help my immunity and mean less colds and coughs. Hopefully.

A Good Kind of Challenge

Life can be very boring if you fill it with things you have already done. Things can get boring and repetitive. How can you expect yourself to get any passion or love for life, if you are bored. If you don’t find joy in things, it is easy to lose all energy and the will to do anything at all.

Sometimes, doing something new is good for you. It can get the adrenaline flowing, and give you a bit of a thrill. Being able to do something new can help you find a bit of self-worth. And that is something that should never been sniffed at. Every single person should strive to do things that makes them feel better. Because once you feel that feeling of joyous achievement, you can get addicted to it. Something completely different to the old feeling of dwelling on your failures.

I remember seeing something somewhere, which said something along the lines of, ‘if you fail at something, it means your journey isn’t finished’. Which is very true. If you are unable to do something, you either try, or move on to something else. Failing to do something shouldn’t be a bad thing. Think it was a bad thing, is what has stopped me trying so much in my life.

In my work, I had to do some, what I would call admin work. It was a headache, because it is the normal kind of thing I can get flustered over, but I didn’t. I just got my head down, and did my best. Which was all I could do. And I have left with the job completed and feeling quite accomplished. Normally I would pass on something like that, but when that option was taken away, I just did it. I feel in a good mood as a result. Which, considering how I have been feeling lately, is a good thing.

Distraction

After a crappy few days, there is nothing better than focusing yourself on a task to help calm any bad feeling you may have. It is one of those things that seems impossible to do at times. I guess the important thing is not to force yourself to do something, especially if it is something that you may enjoy. Because forcing yourself on something you actually like, may take the joy away. It is supposed to be a respite for you, not simply another thing to give you anxiety.

I know, with myself, when I have a ‘bad turn’, I usually have to ride it out. I always try to do something, but if I am not in the right frame of mind, then nothing will help. I can easily sit and stare at the same page of a book for an hour, or zone out and miss 2/3 episodes of a TV show. These things that are normally relaxing for me, don’t seem to have the desired effect. There was a time, when I was younger, I actually thought my ‘zoning out’ was simply another thing that made me broken. Because for a long time, that is what I thought of myself. An unfuctioning, broken person. It has taken years of work to realise that I needed to give myself a bit of a break. Being harsh on yourself for having shit mental health, just makes your mental health worse. It is a vicious circle.

When I realised this, I started giving myself a time scale. For example, still staring at the same book page after 15 minutes, close the book and give it a rest. It became a rule that I followed, something I had to train myself to do. Because, if I didn’t, I would do nothing, and then feel bad because I had done nothing. I think that is the hardest thing about trying to self-manage your mental health. You should be strict enough with yourself that you push yourself forward, but you don’t want to be too strict and send yourself backwards. It is hard, and something it has taken me many years to try and get better at. But, I am getting there slowly.

What can be a distraction? Well, anything really. Here is a wee list of things that I use to help me feel a bit better.

Go for a walk- This could be anywhere. Luckily we have a lot of coastal walks around where I live, and I find the smell of the sea air quite relaxing. No matter where it is, a walk is something that gives you the good feeling of exercise. You may go to the park, walk to the shops, walk to a friends or even just walk round the block. I love walking, as it always has the ability of helping me de-stress.

Listen to music- Music can be great. It is a good way to block the world out, which is good if that is what is giving you anxiety. I have a variety of music tastes, and one day I’ll be listening to Pantera, the next Steps, and then some Faithless. Because different things can trigger my anxiety, different music can ease it. Unfortunately, I have a habit of leaving my iPod (with my full music collection) at home, but that is where iTunes, Spotify or Amazon Music come in handy. Every few weeks I make a new playlist. I pick a range of songs, from all different genres. It means, I can have the playlist saved to my phone, have music that is for my mood (whatever that may be), and it doesn’t take up all my phone’s memory.

Watch a TV show- This is hit and miss with me. I don’t have a lot of patience to sit and watch a TV show a lot of the time. But when I am in the mood, I can sit for several hours with the same program. The main services I use are Netflix and Crunchyroll. Again, I have a variety of shows that I am working through. So I can put on The Big Bang Theory when I need background noise, Pretty Little Liars when I want to sit and focus on something longer than 25 minutes or Naruto because I LOVE NARUTO. This again, is because my mood is never the same 2 days in a row, so I like variety.

Watch Youtube- I am addicted to youtube. It is the app I go on to when I am getting ready for bed. I love the variety. I love the variety of content that I can find on there. Watching some daily vlogs do inspire me sometimes, by seeing how motivated other people are, it kind of motivates me. I also like retro gaming, tech stuff (mostly mobiles and computers) and anime (Naruto) commentaries. The good thing is with youtube, especially on the most frequent app updates, you can click one video, and it will automatically set a playlist with similar videos, that it plays automatically. It never fails to cheer me up.

Draw something- I used to be better at this, than what I am now. Nothing I do, ever, compares to how drawing and painting makes me feel. Because of the lack of practice I do, the quality is kind of crappy, but that doesn’t even really matter to me. Whether the cat I drew, looks like a cat, doesn’t matter. I have bought myself these colouring books (the colouring for grown-ups, ones), and as much as I do enjoy them, they aren’t the same as doodling my own wee pattern, and colouring that in. My sketchbook is a mess, but it is mine, and sometimes I can look back and see progress in myself, in how I feel. Which is nice.

As I have said before though, you can do almost anything to distract yourself if you are struggling with mental health. But, do remember not to force yourself to do anything, give it a go, but if you can’t focus, stop. These things are usually so good at being distractions, because you enjoy doing them.

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Mental health is hard. If you are really struggling, you can visit your GP for help. I have found both Breathing Space  and Samaritans to be very helpful. You are never alone as what you feel, and there are so many people out there to help. 

Standing Still

I am getting really irritated about myself. I sometimes feel like I am making progress, with my mental health, but then just go backwards. It’s frustrating.

For example, last week was really positive. I was in a really good mood, which was helped by a quiet few days at work. So I had time to relax, catch up with friends and not working. Which is nice sometimes. However, this all ended by someone saying something negative to me. I feel really stupid, knowing that someone making a throwaway comment can effect me so much. It’s the kind of thing that makes me feel ashamed for feeling bad, and that I am a liability, and no one really needs to be around someone like that.

Thinking like this, is not nice. It is suffocating. Previously, I would just dwell on this feeling, and end up in a terrible state. Now, I try to reach out to people. Well, there is only a handful of people who I feel I can reach out to. This is not to be against people I know. If I feel bad, I feel like a burden. Which is how I tend to feel most the time. It is exhausting.

Afterwards, it is easy to say that any feelings of anxiety are irrational. But that doesn’t help that feeling of utter useless you get, when you are only barely treading water. It sometimes feels I am moving forward, only to come back to square one. But, when I do feel a bit better, I can think with slightly more optimism.

I may return to square 1 time after time, but maybe that square is moving further up the board as I go on. I mean I do know I am better than I even was last year. It is just unbelievably slow.

Just Do Your Best

Life, as it frequently tends to remind us, is very hard. Yes, the struggles may be different for different people, but they are still struggles. And every person will deal with those hard things different. If you don’t harm anyone, there is no right or wrong way to deal with problems that come our in direction.

It is hard, but it is believed by some, that nothing worth doing, comes easy. So, if things get hard, it’s okay. If you have to work hard for something, it is only then that you will fully appreciate it. But sometimes, you can find yourself working hard for something, and you don’t achieve what you set out to do. It might be a test, a new job or even getting fitter, it can be almost everything. And failing is a horrible feeling, but it is a feeling that everyone has to deal with.

How do you even begin to deal with failure? Myself, I don’t deal a lot of the time, I do the whole panic/ cry/ meltdown, kind of thing. But when I think back, at the school classes failed or the jobs I didn’t get, I just plodded on. A lot of the time, I just adjusted my plan. Sometimes, you can want something, and start the journey towards that goal, but there is no way to get there. Life sometimes, gets in the way like that. People like to make excuses, like ‘if it wasn’t for this thing that happened, I would have done such-and-such’. I don’t like that. As long as you can look at yourself in the mirror, and say ‘I gave it everything’, you have nothing to feel bad about. In fact, if things did get in the way, but you tried as hard as you could at the time, you also have nothing to feel bad about.

You have to do your best what ever comes your way. No matter what it is. Because if you have that ‘try hard’ mentality, you will succeed in something. It may take a while, and it might be nothing like you originally planned, but you will get there.

Nervous. Who, me?

This is quite a relevant prompt today. I have fallen off a lot of bandwagons recently, with my productivity going from ‘quite good’ to ‘non-existent’. I struggled to do everything, from going to the gym, to progressing through my to-read pile. I felt a little bit useless for a few weeks there, and it is horrible. I was at the stage of failing to see the point in doing anything, which is not a really nice place to be.

I am at the stage now, where I am feeling a bit more energetic, wanting to climb back on that horse again, but I am nervous. It takes a lot of effort and work to get your energy levels back, after a period of self-doubt. Because a lot of my problems are brought on by anxiety, I find myself jumping to the worse possible conclusion when it comes to trying to do anything. I find myself a lot less anxious, when I am doing things based on habits. But, habits have to be formed, so I will always have a brick wall to navigate past, no matter what I do.

It is frustrating. I have been reading a lot about positive energy, and that by changing your mindset, you can do a lot more than you normally would. Use the nerves as a positive thing, as a thing to conquer. Something that you can defeat. So many people in this word use nervous energy as something that drives them, musicians, writers, politcians. But, it doesn’t have to be a particular career that can benefit from using nerves, anyone can do it. So rather than falling silent to the thoughts running through your mind, use them to push you forward. As said above, that is all about forming new habits, something that is quite hard to do.

Remember, if it goes a bit askew one day, one week, or even  a whole month, today is a new day, so try and make it better than before. Which is easier said than done. Try today, and if it doesn’t work, try again tomorrow. Every day is a new opportunity. Just don’t let the nerves win.

via Daily Prompt: Nervous

Computer Crash

If I am going to write I prefer it to be on my computer. Mostly because as much as I have gotten used to typing in a touchscreen, it doesn’t compare to typing on a physical keyboard. So I turn my computer on tonight, and it’s stuck. On this.

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Why? I am going to have to try and reset it, as the hard-disk isn’t even spinning. And Windows 10, being the waste of space that it is, doesn’t seem to want to restart. *sigh* So ‘F8’ doesn’t work, which is the old way to fix broken updates, and the ‘shift’ key also doesn’t work.

This laptop could end up spending the night outside at this rate. I have been online (via my phone), and nothing seems to work. So bringing it on here. As a result of pulling own hair out. Does anyone out there know how to get my computer out of this ridiculous update loop, where it is stuck at 68%?

Any advice is appreciated. As much as I love technology, I have very little patience when it goes wrong.

Running On Empty

I.Am. Exhausted.

And when I get like this, I can be like ‘a bear with a sore head’. Which is a bit annoying, when I have had a really good mental health week, apart from today. I am nipping at people, and have absolutely no focus on anything, and it is all because I had 2 hours sleep last night.

I will not go into the reason why I got hardly any sleep, but it happened. And it has seen a bit of a bad turn happen. I have been crying at work and had a panic attack in the toilet. I just felt so tired, and the only thing running was my mind. It was a really hard day. Actual work was okay, but 10 hours on nothing is hard. I just wanted to sleep.

Now it’s done though. And whilst I could still sleep for the whole weekend, I got through it. Barely. But I did. And getting through a bad, does make me feel better. Well, I’m still exhausted, but I don’t feel as useless. It would have been easy to phone in sick, or go home early, but I didn’t. That is a good thing.

Although, I may pass out completely when I do eventually get to my bed.

Don’t Like Asking

Happy Sunday! I hope you are having an enjoyable and relaxing day. I did my usual, went to the gym, and then did nothing else. It is Sunday, after all. But, after deciding that I didn’t want to watch The Day After Tomorrow for the twentieth time (it’s not that good), I eventually started watching YouTube. And in particular, the wonderful Tessa Violet. Someone whose content I have been enjoying for a number of years.

Anyways, I was watching one of Tessa’s videos from a few months back, where she was talking about insecurities and how asking what other people though of her, made her feel uncomfortable. And that got those rusty cogs in my head spinning, slightly. What do I hate doing? Well, I hate asking for help or advice. I am a ‘think about it and just wing it’ kind of girl. I don’t know why that is, but it is how I have been as long as I dare to remember.

It’s why a lot of my entries here, end up being almost like advice blogs. Sometimes, there is no almost about it. I know that I have problems, I am more likely to search on YouTube or even WordPress, for articles or videos on my issue. This sounds a bit silly to some, but normally the advice given on these sites are not professional, they are just people speaking honestly from their own experiences. And that means, I can get helpful information without bothering anyone I actually know.

You see, that is a big problem about anxiety. You get so bogged down by your own problems, that you get the bizarre logic that sharing what’s wrong will just bog that other person down too. And, everyone else has enough problems going on, without dealing with my crap too. That mindset is one that has developed over years, and it means that as well as struggling to share what I am going through to an actual person, I can’t approach the subject at all. If I do, I panic, I freeze up, and I kind of fall apart. So it is easier to keep it to myself.

The internet has become a rich resource, and not just the generic help sites, I mean the user created content. Maybe it is because, I like reading or listening to another person’s experience. If I can relate my problems to someone else’s then I get strength to find a solution. And then, noone I know is bothered by me and my crap. It is easier that way.

The Journey to White Deer Park

I am a bit of a bookworm. But in periods where I become a bit ‘stuck’, it can include finding it difficult to do hobbies, as well as create things. That means, i find it hard to relax to music and I just can’t focus on a book to read. Now, these can be issues, as both music and books are ways I like to relax. So sometimes, i feel like I just can’t unwind, and it is so frustrating.

So I made a choice to try and read 50
books this year. Its a big number, as I really struggled last year reading that same target, in fact I think I ready 11 books. 11 books in 12 months is really bad, as I used to read ALL THE TIME. So, in keeping of 2017’s plan I thought I’d try and red a book from my childhood to get me started.

The Animals of Farthing Wood.

It was a good idea. Because although the story was a lot mor simplified than I remember, was still super entertaining. And it made me think. If I want to do things, and am finding it hard, then maybe do baby steps. Working a really small bit towards your goal is better than working towards nothing at all.

When I was young Farthing Wood was a favourite. I read it so much, and became convinced I was going to get a pet fox. As a fox was one of the main characters. I loved animals, and the idea of different animals banding together to travel to a safer place, after the pond in their home of Farthing Wood is filled in by humans. People were building on their homes, and the animals leave whilst they still have the chance. But where do they go? To an animal reserve called White Dear Park, where they could all be safe. So the animals, a badger, fox, snake, weasel, mole, owl, rabbits, mice, voles and more, make a pact to live together in unity, until they reached their new home.

I read the book when the cartoon, based on the book, was aired on Children’s BBC, when I was about 10 or 11. The book disappoint, in fact, when I re-read it last week, it still kept me entertained. Okay, the way the animals all talked to each other was just like they were people, did annoy me. But it was still a book I could get right into.

So maybe, if you are struggling, try to do something you loved as a kid. It might help you re-discover why you love what you do, and give you the push to carry on.