Breaking The Habit

I have been really bad at keeping my habits over the last few months. That includes everything like drawing, reading, writing and going to the gym. It is frustrating, because these are all things that help with my mental health, and keeps me calmer. However, when you can’t even stomach doing those things, it is horrible.

When you stop doing something, it can become hard to get back into it again. I can’t speak for others, but I know with myself, that I see the breaking of a habit as a failure. It seems pretty stupid, but is just how my brain is wired. It starts to cause a problem when I want to restart a particular thing, especially if it was something that was habitual before. Because I attach the feeling of failure, to something and feel so bad about, I am natural hesitant to try and start something up again, as I could fail again. For years, I feel like I have stopped doing things because I fear the worse could happen. Which is a bit sad.

The one thing about myself, which is good, is that I am pretty stubborn. So, I will try to get back into habits that I haven’t been able to keep. This means, I could type up a word post, but become too anxious to post it. Or I try to draw something, and get so irritated, the attempted creation ends up in the bin. It’s like, I try, but I worry too much. Which I have acknowledged before on here. But it is one thing picking up what is wrong, it is another thing to be able to do something about it.

The most important thing, is to never give up. Having a break from things is okay, you can get consistency again if you really want to.

Can’t do without

I am always saying that I use the internet way too much. But on thinking on it, I don’t just search stuff, I use specific sites and services. And the sad thing is, that I rarely travel out with those services. So, I thought I would share the stuff I use most, and why.

YouTube I watch more content on here, than I do on any other service. I watch videos in areas that I am interested in, which are usually related to retro gaming, book reviews, Japan, news or just general geekery. I look for a topic I like, and watch any videos that come up. If I like people I subscribe. Every so often, I will go through every video a channel has made, just for fun, and it absorbs hours of my
life.

Twitter I use Twitter all the time, which is not as much as I used to. Twitter has become a place for breaking news, but it’s a swing and a miss, as there is ALWAYS fake information circulating. Twitter is where I rant if I am stuck in traffic or had a bad day, I let of some steam. It can be a great place for customer services, a lot of companies these days have someone manning a company twitter profile, and will try to help. If I am feeling anxious, twitter can be an easy way for me to get help or advice, just use the right hashtags, and the internet is great. Just remember and don’t feed the trolls.

Facebook 🙄This is probably one of the most problematic sites on the internet. Mostly because some people go on it without having any kind of brain engagement. It’s good for articles, sometimes, the non-fake, click bait ones. The main reason I use Facebook is because of Messenger. Most of the people I know are within reach on Messenger, so that gets used, a lot. So it’s good for connecting with friends, which I think is what Mr Zuckerberg wanted when he started the site.

Instagram I like pictures. I like taking them and I like looking at them. And Instagram is one of the most popular photo sharing sites in the world. It’s a great way to find artistic inspiration, which is something I am ALWAYS in need of. Never been into the trendy make-up and stuff, which are hugely popular on the site. But, there are things for everyone on there, and there are communities which are great for help, like anxiety and weightloss help.

Goodreads I like books, always have done. And this site is great for keeping track on what you read, and giving yourself personal goals. Something I am not very good at. It is another service with a great community. If there is a particular book genre you like, join a group and get loads of new recommendations and even make new friends. A lot of authors also reach out to readers over Goodreads, which is great.

I decided to shorten my list to 5, as I really could go on for a bit. Other services include WordPress, Amazon, Xbox Live, Netflix, Crunchyroll, Spotify and livejournal. I could waste my whole life on these sites, but it wouldn’t feel like a waste. The internet allows me to view content I want, and that is a great thing.

Always Hungry

I am trying to eat more sensibly, to both lose weight and feel a bit better about myself. Mostly, to feel better, because no-one wants to feel like shit. So, I am trying to cut down on eating crap (mostly crisps), which is harder than what it should be. As people, with our own minds, only we can decide what goes in our bodies. For a lot of people, food is a psychological thing, it links together with our emotions. If we feel bad, have some chocolate.

So, when trying to stop that, and change things, it can be hard. Especially the whole, eating less food, but better quality. I feel good, when I can stick to plan for the day. Like I have achieved something. However, sometimes even sticking to plan, means that I get super hungry. I have read, that as long as you eat enough calories, you’ll  be fine, just fill up on water. Which is great in theory. When I am at work, I am restricted to eating at break times, and I need to carry a bottle of water, should I need a drink whilst working. No fizzy juice or food allowed on the shop floor (to stop items getting damaged). Which helps, because I can’t snack, I can work and there is plenty of free water, should I need it.

But I get really hungry. Like today, nice healthy soup and an apple for lunch, but I was so hungry before the end of the shift. I have read up on this before, and there are ideas which suggest people think they are hungry, and it is all in their head. The most common reason for this happening, could be habit. For example, you could have a biscuit every day for your lunch, and you decide to cut down, so skip the biscuit, your brain makes you think you are hungry. But you aren’t, it is just a response to change. And I think that is where I have been today. Which is a pain.

When I am hungry, there can be a tendency for me to just want to go to foods which are have zero or very little waiting time. I get really lazy, and it is bad. It is perseverance that is needed. To push through the cravings, and try to plan more. But, I am rubbish at planning. Always start off with high hopes, and then fall of the horse before I’ve properly sat down. Happens with everything. Apart from this blog, actually. So, I am trying to use this blog as an example, that yes I can make new habits, and that it is actually a lot easier than i think.

 

Gym Bunny

Today marked my first gym visit of 2017. I had a wee break at the tail end of last year, with the busy period at my work, and then Christmas. I can honestly say, that I missed the good feeling that I get from an hour or so working out. It is almost like I can be a different person, a less stressed, happier person.

I started going to the gym in May last year, after my work advertised a good deal with the local leisure center trust. There was no contract, so I thought I would try it out. I have wanted to go to the gym for years, but I was so scared. I am not the smallest of people, weight wise, I never have been, so I was really nervous about going to the gym. I think I always thought that people would be mean, like what I have experienced at other places. Something that has made me feel so stupid, and useless before. Total strangers thinking it is okay to berate me as they pass, because I am overweight. Not a nice feeling.

But, I pushed through my negative feelings for a change. And I went. And I discovered that there were people, just like me, using the facilities. Sounds stupid, but I think it is easy to assume that the only people who use gyms and such, are people who are already fit. Which is not true. It is people who want to better themselves, whatever their physical state. And, when I started exercising, I felt so much better. It felt like, all those anxieties that I felt upon initially walking into the gym, just went away. It was like a massive weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It was an addictive feeling, and I started to go regular. I would spent time at the gym on my days off, and it really effected my mood.

I have been a wee bit stressed out this week, so I thought that I would take the opportunity with my quiet weekend, to get back into the gym. So I went today, and that great feeling came rushing back to me. Which has been a real boost to keep on track with my plans for the year, and forming new habits. Although, doing exercise was initially to get me fitter, it has been the improvement in my mental health that has kept me so interested. The shift of my goal from weight-loss to focusing on feeling better, was a game changer. It also meant that when I didn’t lose as much weight as I wanted, I wasn’t disheartened. To be able to commit to things better, like I am aiming for 2017, I need to shift perspective on my goals. Hopefully I can figure out a way to do that.

Let It Go!

I have a problem.

And that problem is hoarding things. It is not having the ability to let go of stuff when I don’t use them anymore. A lot of the time things might not even get used that much, even at all. And it is terrible. It is a waste of money, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Being in my early 30s, I don’t think unnecessary purchases and hoarding them is unusual. When I speak to people my age about this, they have similar experiences as me.

There has been much said about the single, childless 30-somethings who find themselves clinging to inanimate objects like a consumerists wet dream. For me, my guilt is stationary. I always say that I am going to get myself organised and get my life to the stage where I am satisified. Not that I am dissatisfied with my life too much, more that life has never reached the high expectations that I had when I was younger. I guess that is one of the issues about growing older, but I can’t help feeling a little crestfallen.

I don’t know where my hoarding started, it is just something that seems to have happened over the years. It is trying to figure it what you do, when you realise that your purchasing habits are not the best they could be. How do you change it?

I suppose that it is like every other behaviour, to change it takes time. Due to rearranging a few things, I am attempting to downsize what I own, and it is proving quite hard. It feels like I buy stuff so that I have something to show for all the hard work I have done over the years. Which is silly, because books, DVDs, video games, they don’t matter, really. They are material things that make a person feel better for a while. But that feeling of joy that we get when we buy something is temporary, and because I have had issues with depression, I find that I cling to things that have made me feel better.

When you think like that, is it even possible to completely change a habit so significantly? It’s not even simply behaving different, it is changing how you react, how you deal with life. It almost seems so big, I don’t even know where to start on it.