Feeling Run Down?

At the moment, my health is not my friend. With feeling sore all over, constant feelings of sickness, dizziness, and bouts of anxiety that can have me standing crying at the most embarrassing times. I have sought medical advice, so hopefully a solution is coming. But, it doesn’t stop me feel horrible every day.

One of the best pieces of advice, I have found, is to focus on things you enjoy. Because part of my problem is relating to my mental health, I end up doing things that I have done a thousand times before. I think this is something that I have mentioned on here fairly recently, but today I wanted to go into more detail.

The Hills (MTV)

One of the programmes I have been watching, again, is The Hills. It was a show, which appeared on MTV from 2006, that aired for 6 seasons. It was about young women, work and enjoy social lives in Los Angeles, California. The show was the first of that ‘US reality’ stuff that came on to my radar. There were always rumours, of scripted reality. Where things did happen, but they were edited to make a story, or sometimes situations were entirely fabricated. That didn’t bother me so much, it was simple tv. And some of the girls, Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port in particular, were interested in doing something creative. Yes, it was fashion, something I had never had much interest with personally, but I still found it interesting to see part of a creative industry I hadn’t seen before. It was something that I would watch whenever I got the chance. And when I found the whole series on Amazon Prime, I couldn’t resist watching it all. I have always been bad at watching ‘whole seasons’ of a show, but I have watched all 6 seasons in a couple of weeks, which is very fast for me.

I have also been trying to journal more. Write down nonsense, draw pictures, stick down memories, just create something. I usually sit and write a few pages before bedtime, and it helps clear my mind. I have some ‘study music’ playlist on in the background, and make the experience as relaxing as possible. I have found it is a good way to wind down after a busy day at work. As I am more relaxed, I am starting to fall asleep quicker. This means I am more rested, and able to deal with how challenging the next day will be.

On my Apple Watch, there is an app called ‘Breathe’. It guides you through a process of focusing on your breathing. It’s like meditation. Helps calm everything down, helps get my thoughts in line a little. I haven’t really tried meditation before, and maybe it is something I should do further. Especially in times, like these, where I can very easily become overwhelmed.

My immediate aim is to try and find more things that help calm my brain down. Try to let myself go enjoy something, even if it’s just a distraction. A lot of people will quickly dismiss distractions, as a waste of time. But, when life is hard, sometimes a distraction is exactly what is required.

Watching The World Go By

The world feels like it slowly coming back to some kind of normality for so many people, as a lot of countries are experiencing a decrease in Coronavirus rates. It’s meaning that people can see friends and family, businesses can open, and folk can go away on holiday again.

I work where I have to wear a mask, and my work has been open throughout. Other than more cars on the road, I don’t see much of a difference from when lockdown was in full effect. The changes that have occurred in workplaces, like mine, will stay the same for the foreseeable future. Must wear masks, must social distance, and loads of Perspex screens have appeared, to help people social distance whilst they work. When these things started popping up, I knew this wasn’t going to just ‘go away’ like a lot of people hoped. But, I did my best, and worked on.

Last Friday, Scotland made it compulsory to wear face masks in places like shops. Whilst I do think it’s late, I understand why it’s there. It’s not something that bothers me. Wearing a mask in a supermarket is more comfortable than wearing one whilst doing physical Labour. And when I have been in shops, everyone, even kids, have had masks on. I am happy I haven’t seen anyone kick up a fuss, as we all have to do our bit to keep one another safe.

As more starts happening, I have found that I have become accustomed to work-supermarket-home. Where, before lockdown, I would be looking to get out every day, I’m now happy relaxing at home, reading my book or watching crap TV. I have got used to spending more time with my family. I’ve enjoyed not feeling obliged to ‘go out’ to keep myself busy. There is plenty to do at home, that I haven’t done in so long.

So, I think, I’ll watch the folk who have enjoyed lockdown, go out and about. I might just grab a book and enjoy my new normal.

Take a Break

I am currently working my way back home to Scotland, after being away in the sunny climates of Cyprus for a week. I don’t usually do a holiday at this time of year, as it is normally time for me to buckle down at work for the busiest time of the year. But Scotland’s national football (soccer) team were playing there, so me and my friend took the chance to get some winter sun.

There has been a lot of things in my life that have been stressing me out recently. It is very easy for stuff to stress me out, the anxiety I suffer from has the habit of blowing things out of proportion. And instead of wallowing, I am trying to focus on the ‘good stuff’ to get me through the harder times. Whether it’s gigs, holidays or a new movie coming out, it is nice to look forward to something.

This holiday, could not have come at a better time. It was nice to get away to the sun, blue skies and fun. Scotland away games attract the Tartan Army, a name given to the Scotland fans who support their side through thick and thin. It is always so much fun when everyone gets together, and the good thing is, that everyone is so friendly and accepting. And when you start going to a few away games, you start to become friends with people, and the trip becomes a meet-up. Barbecues, alcohol and music, makes a great trip.

Cyprus was a beautiful country. We stayed in Pathos, which is at the bottom of the small island. The thing I like about Cyprus is that there is a lot of historical monuments, throughout the country, and everything seems built around them. For example, 5 star resort, Alexander The Great, has historic tombs, fenced off throughout the property. I suppose it is nice to seem them conserving some history, even if I feel they shouldn’t really build on something that is significant. The UK has a habit of knocking things down, and then going ‘whoops, that was important’ .

What was a shock was coming from 26 degree days, to minus 1, when we landed in Luton last night. I almost climbed back in the plane and wanted to go back. But, for me to do the good stuff, I also need to work. So home tonight, and back to work tomorrow. Hopefully feeling as refreshed as I feel right now. I doubt it.

Nothing To Say

When you create online content as a hobby, it can get very frustrating when you can’t create. Because everything I do online, be it blogging, video creating or art related things, is a method to help me deal with mental health, sometimes it gets a bit hard. The words I write down don’t sound right, or I can’t draw what I am feeling. It feels really stifling.

When I get like that, I feel stupid, because the things that are meant to relax me, aren’t. And I get really panicky and anxious, because what kind of person can’t write a few paragraphs or draw a picture. And I feel awful. The only way I can get out of that negative state of mind, is to do something else. Recently that has been jumping in my wee car and going for a drive. I always end up at the beach, somewhere.

That’s were I am right now. Listening to the waves, smelling the sea air and reading a new book. I feel super relaxed. I am going to try and go back into my schedule of posting 3 days a week. But if I miss out a few days, or weeks, it might be that I am struggling with my mental health. And that’s okay. I just felt I should share.

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A lot of people read my posts via Facebook, who have decided they shall no longer share posts automatically with personal profiles. This means I will have to post manually, or create a ‘page’ for myself, as it still works with there. And that is frustrating in itself because Facebook wants you to pay to promote your posts to your own followers. It’s a pain. And I don’t know what to do about it yet.

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.

T’was The Season

Christmas time is a great time of the year. It is that one time of the year, where people can spend time with their loved ones, and where thanks is given to those who support us. It is still the one period of the year, where everyone get’s some time off work. It is nice to see that a lot of non-essential businesses closed, as everyone needs a time to cool down and relax.

The only problem is, that I started planning for Christmas months in advance, usually by making lists for what I want to gift people, but I don’t actually do anything about it till the last minute. Once again, I ended up running around town on Christmas Eve, getting presents and the like. Because I know what I am getting people, it is fairly easy to get in the shops I need to, and then leave.I find it best, as that way I don’t have to deal with too bad crowds, as I am ready for home before midday.

Christmas day is classed as that one day where I eat too much, and watch rubbish on TV, and this year was no exception. When you work hard all year, it is nice to just kick back with family. And to me, that is what the period is about. Yes, presents are nice, but it’s about showing your thanks and chilling out.

You will notice, that ‘blogmas’ fell apart pretty quick, as expected. But December is the one month where time seems to just disappear. One day it was the start of the month, and it felt like it was Christmas day within a blink of an eye. Which is scary. They say that time going fast is a sign of getting older, which I am not particularly keen to think about.

But in a few days, we say goodbye to 2017, and start afresh with 2018. And I feel genuine excitement.

Summertime

In Scotland, people often joke that out of the entire summer season, we will maybe get 2/3 days of actual sunshine. Well, today was one of those days.

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I am a person who is suited to the cold. Always have been. The temperatures in Scotland usually go from just below freezing, in the winter, to maybe 25c in the summer. People always laugh when I say that I’m melting and the temperature is only in the 20s. But I overheat, I sweat a lot (gross) and I can get dizzy really easy, even when I do drink a lot. It’s very frustrating, and I have no idea I would cope in a hotter country.

I still enjoy the summer though. My favourite thing to do on a nice day, is sit somewhere with a book and some music. A nice wee read in the sun is a perfect way to enjoy the summer, in my opinion. If it’s a bit cooler, I like to go for walks. Being outdoors should be what the summer is about.

Worse For Wear

I partied too much yesterday. I drank to much alcohol and ate too little food. It really is predictable how nasty I felt this morning. As a person in her 30s, you’d have thought I’d have mastered this drinking business. But nope, I certainly have learned nothing.

Luckily, when I say I felt nasty, it was nothing past a butterfly feeling in my stomach and slight light-headedness. Not what most people would call a hangover, but it is the worst I really get. But I still don’t like the feeling, and do the ol’ ‘I am never drinking again’, thing. Which never happens. My problem is that I don’t drink very often, so when I do, I am an extreme light-weight. So I kind of thought of some self-care tips to help when I am feeling a bit sensitive, after a night at the pub.

1) Relax. Have a slow start, if your stomach isn’t feeling quite right, jumping right on the treadmill might not help. So stay cosy in bed, put on Netflix or a favourite playlist on YouTube, and chill-out. I find that not jumping up first thing, actually helps calm my fluttering stomach down. And it makes me feel better.

2)Drink water. This is a bit of a cliche, but there is a reason for that. Your body gets really de-hydrated after a night on the booze, and it really wants rehydration. Don’t drink entire bottles of water at once, that could make you sick. Just have a glass or bottle of water next to you, and slowly sip away at it. Hopefully, once you have taken in some water, the light-headedness should go away.

3) Fresh air. Once you feel a bit less nasty, go for a walk. Nothing to energy intensive, but just enough to get the blood pumping and fresh air in your lungs. The whole process should feel refreshing, and make you feel a lot better. I always go for a walk if I feel slightly rough after a night out, and it always has made me feel better. I put my favourite album on, or listen to a new audio book.

4) Eat some food. I am a firm believer that food is the answer to most of my problems. Whether it actually is or not, is something debatable, but it does make me feel better. I have been told that putting food into your stomach, dilutes whatever alcohol remains, and helps your body return to normal. I am not sure how true that actually is, but it always made sense to me. Again, like the water, it is not about making yourself full, it is just about having something new in your stomach.

I don’t know if these wee points will help anyone. They have always helped me feel more normal again, so hopefully they do the same for other people. Please feel free to share any hangover remedies you use in the comments. It might be interesting to see what makes other people feel better.

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. 

How I relax

I am a total stress-head about a lot of what happens every day. I can completely panic unnecessarily over nothing. I try to find one way to relax every d ay. Here is a few of my favourite things that helps me relax a little.

1) Listening to a random album whilst I travel on the bus home. Staring out the window and listening to some cheesy music really helps me relax. Any stress that I have felt over the day just melts away, and my mood is totally uplifted.

2) A hot bubble bath is also something that has become a regular occurrence for me. Because I work on my feet, and can easily walk over 5 miles every day. It is something that is good for my health, but can sometimes hurt my feet and legs. I get tendonitis, have done since I was a teenager, and that means that it doesn’t take much for my body to start hurting and swelling up. A bath is good, because it soothes my muscles, and makes it a lot easier for sleeping. If I don’t have a bath when in pain, I can’t sleep at night, which just leads to other issues.

3) I never used to watch much TV, as it bores me. If I start to watch a series, I always forget a part, and then get lost. So I don’t watch a lot when I am on my own. However, after a long day at work, I have grown to like sitting with other members of my family watching random TV. I think it is the companionship that relaxes me, the fact that I am not having to be on my own.

4) If I wake up in a bad mood, which happens more than I’d like to admit, a walk in the fresh air can make me feel better. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, just a nip round the block can be enough to get the blood pumping and motivate me for the day. I also love walking down to the sea, which is right next to the town where I live. I like sitting looking into the water, and looking across the Forth towards Edinburgh. I find the sound and smell of the sea very relaxing.

5)If it is sunny there is nothing more relaxing that reading a book in the garden. It is one of the things I love most about summer, it being warm enough to sit outside. It doesn’t have to be my garden, I’ll walk down the local park, or even just find a bench to read on. It helps block out everyone around me, and chills me out, especially if it is a good book.

In the world we live in, there is pressure everywhere, so it is important to find ways to escape from those pressures. But different people find different things relaxing. So, what do you do when you need to chill out?