You Do You

What is the worst habit that you have?

Some would say smoking, not exercising enough, or drinking too much. I would say that most people’s bad habit should be talking about other people. Talking poorly about a person you don’t know, or only partly know.

A person only starts to think about this when it is them being spoken about. It is for them that an area turns quiet as they walk by, hushed voices giggling to one another. People speak, and sometimes their words get back to the person they are about. And when you are struggling to function, to hear others speaking nonsense can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Normally in this situation, people don’t realise the damage they have done till it’s too late. It can be hard to admit that the words that you have spoken could have really hurt someone. Because, that is never the intention. People talk rubbish about others to help ease their own frustrations about work, life, or whatever.

I know that I have been at both sides of this. I have talked crap, but I have also had crap said about me. And it is something that I have been thinking about a lot. I know that, personally, I want people to like me. I want to be friends with everyone. Of course, that is something that is not always possible, you cannot please everyone. And, to hear that people don’t like me to the point that they’d talk as soon as my back was turned, broke my heart. I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong. I would worry about something like this for weeks. I would analyse every little thing I did, to see if there was anything that would offend anyone. It’s compulsive and irrational, but I can’t help it.

Recently, I’ve tried to change things. Focus on myself, and do what makes me happy. I wouldn’t purposely harm anyone or anything, and that should be my focus. Some people won’t like me, but that’s okay. I’m going to just try do what I like. Keep my mind busy, so that I don’t worry so much about what other people say. It’s easier said than done, though.

Merry Christmas

It’s the one day of the year, where everyone gets to spend time with their loved ones. It is maybe family, it’s maybe friends, it’s maybe even someone you haven’t met in real life. Some people just prefer to get absorbed in something they love, like a book, TV show, or computer game.

It doesn’t really matter what you do. As long as you try and benefit from that one time of the year where everything slows down. Where shops close, TV channels play limitless movies, and there seems to be food everywhere. It is nice to take time out of the everyday life, which can easily get on top of a person.

I hope that everyone reading this, has the chance to spend the festive period surrounded by love, however you find it.

Really Bad At This

Hobbies are great. They are small things that can make daily life a bit more bearable. Can give a person something positive to focus on.

Over the years, I have had quite a few hobbies. At school there was a lot of sports and many trips to my local library for so many books. As I got older, and the normal teenage insecurities grabbed hold, I found myself focusing on more indoor tasks. I would write, draw and read a lot. Usually, I would be avoiding to do things, but these hobbies helped make me so happy.

Unfortunately, as my mental health started to decline, so did my ability to enjoy these hobbies. Most people would tell me to move on, find something else that interests me. But, I don’t know what else interests me. My attention span is currently soo rubbish, that I can’t seem to ‘get into’ anything. It feels like being surrounded by brick walls, where I end up simply throwing myself on the couch to watch tv.

I have recently made some progress, where I have found that audiobooks, something that I have never really bothered with previously. I have listened to books when I have been out for a walk, in my car, and just before I go to bed. My anxiety has caused me to struggle with sleep and half an hour listening to a book gets me ready for bed. And I am sleeping so much better, since I started putting aside the time to listen to something.

I won’t give up on doing the things I love, it is just going to take work to get it to be doable in my daily life again.

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.

Things Making Me Happy Right Now

1) Hot baths after long days at work.

2) A good book to get into, where I can read big sections at a time.

3) Watch a Disney movie, preferably one with lots of catchy songs.

4) Being early for work, so I can have a cup of tea before I start.

5) Watching history and wildlife documentaries on TV.

6) When I can focus on something, and my brain doesn’t get in the way with overthinking.

7) My winter jacket keeps me nice and warm, particularly this strong wind we’ve been having lately.

8) Monster Munch are so tasty. Love them.

9) Waking up in enough time that I can lie and read before having to actually get up.

10) Listening to Blink 182, Sum 41, Simple Plan, remembering when I found life a wee bit easier. But easy doesn’t mean better.

Out & About

Today I ventured outside with my new camera. The Canon PowerShot SX510 is a digital bridge camera, something that I wanted since I did a photography course at college many years ago. I like taking pictures, although I am not the best at it. But that is the good thing about hobbies, you do not have to be particularly good to do it, you just have to do something that you enjoy.

Anyways, I was to meet a friend today, and because I was in town early, I went for a walk down the main park in Dunfermline, Pittencrieff Park (also known as The Glen). It was a gift by Andrew Carnegie to the people of Dunfermline, the town of his birth, after he made his fortune in America in the steel industry. He also donated a library. gymnasium and concert hall to Dunfermline, and also various projects through the USA, particularly New York’s famous Carnegie Hall. Carnegie believed that one third of life should be spent learning as much as they can, the next third spent making as much money as he could. The last third of one’s life should then be spent giving earnings to worthwhile causes to better society. The Glen is one of my favourite places in my hometown, so I thought it was the perfect first trip out with my new camera.

IMG_0054 IMG_0055 IMG_0057 IMG_0058 IMG_0059 IMG_0060 IMG_0062 IMG_0068 IMG_0069

And then I ventured up to the Abbey, a building dating from the early 1200s. A beautiful place.

IMG_0072 IMG_0073 IMG_0074 IMG_0075 IMG_0076 IMG_0078

The one thing that struck me as strange, was the number of squirrels about. I am sure that the squirrels used to hibernate, but the mild winter and constant food from visitors mean that they haven’t done so in years. Visitors are encouraged to bring nuts and seeds to the park to feed the birds over the winter, and the squirrels feed off them. And because they get food of people, they have no fear and can come right close to you.

IMG_0066

Finding Time

Life sometimes gets busy. As Christmas approaches, I find myself busier and busier. This time of year is expensive, and I have to put in more hours in at the day job just to afford it. This means, that I have less time to do what I want to do.

At the moment, I am working 55 hour weeks, which is a lot. When I finish work in the evening, I struggle to find the motivation to do anything other than watching tv. But, when I am that exhausted, I find it hard to fit in anything useful. I don’t even browse the internet as much as I used to, I just can’t be bothered. And, it has reached the stage, where I am annoying myself.

But, as I try to get used to working such heavy hours, I need to remind myself not to be too harsh. Lots of people struggle to find a happy balance between work and life. It is only natural, for other things to slip when your focus is set on a certain aspect of your life. And thinking that helps me feel less guilty, because I do feel guilty. I feel guilty for not doing more of what I love. I sometimes feel that by not doing all I want, I am committing some huge disservice to myself.

I guess I have to do what I do best, and resort to lists to help me out. I need to think about what i need to do, and schedule it a time for the activity to be done. Which sounds a little bonkers, but maybe it’s the only way to utilise any free time that I have. Because as relaxing as soaps and cups of tea are, they don’t make me feel better about keeping up with my hobbies and things. I have a need to be creative on some kind of level. Even if it is just whining, like this.

Do What Makes You Happy

Having a bad day?

The one way to make it brighter is to do something that makes you happy. Now, I don’t mean go and beat someone up, because that can make someone else sad.

What I mean, is that everyone has passions in life. That one thing that can make them happy and forget any problems. It may be music or sport. It could be anything. If you can do something that involves your passion, then it can make life, in general, a lot easier.

The important thing about having an interest, is remember that you may not be any good at it, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be involved, in some way. You may adore football, but are unable to stand for long periods of time, you could write a blog or run a fantasy football league. The only thing that stops you is you.

I’ll use myself as an example. I work in a job, which was only supposed to last during college. Over 2 years later I am still there. The job isn’t really all that bad, it just wasn’t what I had in mind for my life. My passions include art, music and reading. If I have a stressful day, I try to paint something random. I write little rants like this in a blog. I create playlists on spotify and lastFM. They are little things that make you feel happy. That make it easier to face an unwelcome day at work.

You don’t need to play a guitar to expressive yourself through music. You don’t need to be educated to write what you think.

Being able to such things that can make you happy, can help a person realise how priveliged they are. Yes, there will always be things that make us feel bad, but find little rays of light, that will make life easier for you.

Lone-Time Tasks

What do you do when you are alone?

I usually spend time online, mostly catching up on videos and blogs, and sometimes creating my own content. I like the idea of communicating with people who are from different places in the world. It is something that feels even better when someone comments or passes on what you create. Whether they say something direct to you or not, it is a great feeling knowing that you may have made some kind of connection with someone else. And that great feeling spurns me on to both show pass on the joy with others (by commenting on blogs/videos) and it also inspires me to create more content.

The issue is, especially with the internet, you can find that your time will be eaten up rather quickly by doing things. I have easily lost hours at a time just faffing around online, and I am pretty sure that I am not the only one who does it. I guess I can feel guilty that I log on to the web to check a few things out, and I end up staying on for hours after one site leads to another, or I get in a conversation with someone.

But whilst it has become the most common way for me to spent alone time, there are other things I do. I guess the way I and most others chose things like reading, TV or the internet to escape is because we feel that we need something to focus on that can help reduce stress. Normally, I guess that ‘logging off’ into something that we have an interest has become normal. It makes everything seem a little brighter, if you can fill sections of your life with things that your really enjoy. I think that it a fairly new-age concept, that people even need to log off. But then, I suppose the self-reflection maybe used to happen when people would make their own things or tend their garden. Any project which is solitary, I guess, can be a time of reflection and thought.

This is what makes doing something on your own so freeing and good. The focus on something other than what is causing you stress, is good. Everyone needs a release, and it can be anything. As long as it is something that you enjoy, you will find that even spending a small period of time on it, will change your mood for the better.  And that is something that I encourage.