Accomplished

That is my Christmas organised. Everything is either already been given, or is sitting under the tree waiting to be opened. And it feels pretty great. 

Today, I heard people complain on how Christmas is stressful, and they wish they could cancel it. Christmas is one of the least stressful things, for me. I like the idea of finding a gift for a loved one, to let them know I care about them. It’s a bit of a ‘thank you’ for sticking by me for, yet another, disappointing year. And, as I get older, I am appreciating Christmas as the time I get to catch up with old friends, even just for a coffee. It’s that one time of the year, where everything seems to slow down and we can catch our breath.

However, there have been a few years not long past, where I did struggle at Christmas. Where in the run up, I felt lonely, despite being surrounded by people. I realise now, that the loneliness was something in my head, which at the time, only seemed to make me feel isolated. I faked my way through it though, to scared of letting anyone down any more than I needed to. That is not a good way for anybody to feel at any time of the year, but the festive period has a habit of exaggerating any feelings of negativity. 

My way through the bad feelings was to try and ignore them. And whilst it may have made the people around me oblivious, it made my mental health so much worse in the long run. 

So if you are feeling sad this Christmas please speak out. Your friends, family and colleagues do care about you, and may not try to help if you don’t say anything. They maybe don’t want to pry. But say you are finding things stressful, people will try and help you. 

If you feel like you have no one to talk to, there is always somewhere to turn at this particularly emotional time of year. Please visit http://www.samaritans.org or call 116 123 (UK & Ireland) for free and confidential help. 

Holidays? What holidays?

People around me are happy, as they break off for their annual 2 week ‘Christmas holidays’. I am happy for them, I really am. I just wish that I could get a proper holiday too.

Since I got my first real job at a bakery when I was 16, I have always worked around Christmas. In shops, call centres or, like now, a warehouse. All things that really can’t shut down for 2 weeks, because people still need stuff. They need food, services and exchange what they maybe didn’t like for Christmas. The hospitals stay open, as do restaurants. The world keeps turning, not like it did when I was younger over the festive period.

One of the problems with working this time of the year, particularly if working with the public, is other people’s impatience. At Christmas, people expect miracles, that maybe can’t be delivered. I mean, a custom Christmas cake or an engineer to fix your TV won’t happen on Christmas Eve night. But people expect it too. As if their holiday is supposed to be perfect, but not anyone else’s. 

So, be nice to any workers you encounter over this festive period. I’m sure they would rather be at home with their famillies, and enjoy some downtime. Christmas is a very expensive time of year, and everyone is just trying to make things a bit better for their families. And maybe, not everyone gets to spend anything other than a few days with their loved ones. 

The festive season is supposed to be thinking about others. So make sure you do that. Think about those serving you this Christmas, and please be nice to them. 

Lightsabers, ready?

I haven’t seen the new Star Wars. I would like to see it in a cinema, but I’ll wait till I can see it in 2D (can’t distinguish 3D) in relative peace and quiet. The last movie I saw just after release ended up with lots of kids chattering away, totally ruined it. But I feel that to fully experience The Force Awakens, I’d like to see it in the cinema. 

Like almost every person I know, a new movie in a universe I grew up watching, makes me excited. Not as excited as The Lion Guard (series from Disney’s The Lion King), but still excited. Just the prospect of something new, makes me excited and happy. People around me always get excited about TV shows, books or music. These things can become a positive focus in a person’s life. It can give a person, living under the worst of circumstances, a bit of light. 

You then get a meme, a small joke that someone ‘is one of the 1% who has never seen Star Wars’. Good for them, right? I mean, anyone can watch or not watch, whatever they want. It really doesn’t matter. But by proclaiming that your are a special snowflake because you don’t watch a movie? What does that achieve? Nothing. Except that some of the people maybe use that movie as something positive that maybe happened in a crappy year? Or maybe, using the movie as a reward for getting through the last several months. It may feel like a bit of an attack. Like that one thing that helped them through the last few months is a joke. To someone insecure, that can start a horrible cycle. 

Everyone has something that makes them happy, be it a sport, TV show, or anything really. You never know what those around you are feeling, so think before you share something. Because it can say more about you than you really think. 

Deep Breathing

Uh oh!

Something has gone wrong, and I can feel the panic starting to rise in my stomach. What have I done wrong? How could I let this happen? I’ve let people down? And when this happens, there is not one iota of possiblity that can focus on anything else. 

How do I react? I start getting cranky. If my work is stressing me, giving me more work doesn’t help my stress. I just go into a spiral where I just make myself feel worse and worse. So I take it out on the people around me. Which is unfair, because it isn’t their fault I am panicking. And then, I feel worse because I took it out on an innocent bystander. 

Yep, quite a mental hole to get yourself out of, if I say so myself. 

But I do sometimes get myself out of these blocks, which does make me feel better. A lot of the time, I don’t actually do anything. It is just the ‘state of utmost panic’ passes. No reason why it comes and goes, it sometimes works like that. Very unhelpful. Most of the time though, I have to actively seek to get myself going again. 

I do that with a lot of effort and patience. I may take a ‘time out’ and go for a walk somewhere, away from where I am working. Being away from my work area, does automatically relax me. Sometimes I just close my eyes and try to breathe. I know it’s a cliche, but it is repeated so much because it’s true. 

But the best thing to calm me down, is to try and talk to those around me. It’s probably just the distraction, but when I am in work, and I can’t just run off, it does help a lot. I work with some funny and great people, and I can always find someone who will make me laugh. It helps so much. Just a few minutes of light-hearted conversation can completely change my mood, and I can return to work with a completely fresh mind. 

It’s nice sometimes, to find a way around the blocks your brain puts in the way. And the more solutions you find, the easier it gets to get on top of those mental health issues that so many of us deal with. 

Good, Good

I don’t say it a lot, but today was a good day. A good, productive and fun day. 

I woke up with the attitude that I was going to focus on my work. Because sometimes I feel distracted, and that makes me feel a bit anxious about being useless. So I woke up rather enthusiastic to get my working week started. So I just decided to take the day as it comes, and live in the moment. Which is rare.

My issue with anxiety is that I tend to focus mostly on what’s going on around me, what could happen next and what’s gone wrong previously. And I worry. I worry that I’ll make the same mistakes, and that I’ll disappoint someone. Don’t ask me who I’m going to disappoint, I don’t know. It’s just a feeling I get. 

I am trying to live more positively, as a rule. Whilst, it doesn’t happen a lot, I feel I should celebrate when it does happen. The more positive and happy feelings I can create about having a successful day, hopefully the more it can happen. It might be some kind of motivation to help me get my life on some kind of track where I’d be more satisfied in general. Hopefully. 

Feeling Festive

It is that time of the year where we celebrate Christmas. Shops are busy, twinkly lights are everywhere, and everything just feels rather happy. Which is always nice.
But what does Christmas mean to me? 
I’m not particularly religious, although I grew up with Sunday Schools and the annual nativity. This causes issues with a few folk I know, why celebrate Christmas when you don’t follow the bible. Well, considering it is believed that Jesus was born in spring and not December 25th, that mutes that point. It appears that Christianity adopted the winter date because of a popular Pagan celebration, which was put in place by the Romans.
Not that it matters.
Christmas to me is about family. It is a celebration before the start of a new year, where we can show those around us, we are thinking of them. And that’s it. 
Obviously other people hold other meanings in the holiday, and that’s fine. Everyone is allowed to find a meaning that matters to them in anything. And that fact shouldn’t matter to anyone else. Let everyone celebrate moments that mean something to them, cause life is to short not to.

Just Get On With It

I always try to a person who plods along, no matter what happens. If I feel a duty to get something done, I have to be dying for me not to at least attempt it. It’s how I have always been, since I was wee girl. Never excelled, but also never really gave up. I fail, but I bloody well try hard no matter what. 

Well, feeling under the weather, as I have, has put that ideal to the test. I have been working 6 days a week, in the run up to Christmas, making the best of the opportunity and all that. Which is great, it will pay for a fair bit of Christmas. But it is so hard to do when you are not quite 100%. My temper is short, I am a walking snot factory, and I constantly want to be wrapped up watching Netflix. But the show must go on.

I go to work and do my best. Which isn’t terrible, I can get my work done in an above average speed and accuracy, so it’s okay. But my fuse is short. I bite at people for no reason. It just means I spend half the day nipping at folk, and the other half appologising for it. It annoys me because I am such a patient person normally. 

I can’t wait till this cold/cough thing finally goes away, and I can be myself again. In the meantime, I just need to keep making sure I am doing the best I can. Keep myself right. 

I hope anyone else going through the ‘winter cold bug’ gets rid of it quickly. Nobody wants to be sick at this time of year. 

Picture Post.

I missed yesterday, and feel bad for it. So, to break up the monotony of wordy posts, have some random pictures from my phone. I take a lot of photos, and I like to share. I like the colder part of the year, as everything seems to change. 

   
    
 

Sleepy, no sleep.

Because of the wonderful cough which is ruling my life at the moment, I am not sleeping too good. So, I thought I’d post a we list of the things I do, to pass the time during the twilight hours. 

1. Watch TV in the dark.

2. Do a little drawing/ colouring

3. Lay back with headphones on listening to an album I haven’t heard in a long time.

4. Watch yet another episode of Pretty Little Liars- I will catch up one day.

5. Play Bejewelled on my phone. 

6. Play Mario Kart on 3DS. 

7. Throw 3DS across my bed because I fell off Rainbow Road for the umpteenth time.

8. Write in my journal. My paper journal. 

9. Try to tidy up, without waking up the rest of the house.

10. Catch up on some reading. 

What do you do when you can’t sleep? Cause we all have those nights where we see in every hour. 

Lost In It All

Just looking at the Internet today, not searching for anything in particular, just looking. Something that I don’t do very often. I am good at commenting on everything, and putting in my two cents on whatever is going on. 

Sometimes, I think we get too much information thrown at us, mostly by the Internet. It gets a bit hard to process it all. It is also hard to distinguish what is important, particularly on social media. Twitter and Facebook have a habit of promoting the useless twaddle that fills up the gossip sites. If you like that kind of thing, it’s okay, nothing wrong with it. But how can you tell what’s important when the going-ones in I’m A Celebrity is given more promotion than the story about Parliment voting to bomb Syria? 

It just gets a bit overwhelming at times. Like information overload. The press has always had the finger pointed at it for over-hyping one story, to mask over another one. A way of attempting to pull the wool over the public’s eyes. And that made a lot of people bored with the press, and turn to sides like Twitter and Reddit for more direct news. But when companies can pay for an allocated number of retweets, how honest is what we actually see? 

That’s what I sometimes think about, and to be honest it freaks me out sometimes. There are so many different ways to get information these days, and a lot of the time, every take is slightly different. So what has been added for effect. Is that ‘first hand source’ really telling a true story. You never know. 

As good as the Internet is for finding out information about the world we live in, sometimes I think it would be easier if all the web was used for was Netflix.