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.

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.

Bad Connection

You don’t need to read very much here, to realise that I can get stressed out over nothing. Silly things, can have such an adverse effect on my mood. It doesn’t even really matter what it is, really. But that happens to everyone.

These days, we are so used at getting anything we want so easily. Years ago, if we wanted to know anything, we would have to have went to a library and researched. Now? A simple internet search can find you everything from historical information, to recipes, to watching cartoons. No longer do people have to wait months for new programmes to air in their respective countries, they can find an online service to stream content the same day as it is aired in the country of origin. I tell you now, my 12 year old self, would be utterly spellbound by this concept alone.

However. The internet becoming so important in daily life, does create an issue. Especially, when like today, your connection to the internet is a steaming pile of donkey shit. Yes, my internet connection, both my home broadband, and mobile 4G, have been playing up. It means, that it has taken till this time of night (10.30pm) before I could get a connection steady enough to post this. That is flaming ridiculous. Couldn’t listen to Spotify, couldn’t watch Naruto (sshhhh… don’t judge) and I had problems messaging my friend, because I use Whatsapp or Facebook messenger. I was angry. For most of the day.

It does make me think, what would I do if there was no internet. If I wanted to sit by the TV, I’d have to put on a DVD or stick to the schedules, instead of watching Youtube or … Naruto. (I am obsessed with Naruto, like a child, all over again.) I think it is very easy to take for granted on how simple it is to stay in contact with people, thanks to services such as Facebook. A service that can even link with your calendar on your phone or PC, to remind you of events or birthdays. The internet has simplified so much, that when it isn’t there, we come to a loss. If there is no connection to the web, everything can seem like it takes so much more extra effort.

Maybe we have just got lazy.

TV Binge

How annoying is normal TV? You have to work with a schedule which usually only allows you to watch one episode, once a week. There are very few programmes where I have the patience to do that with. The last show on TV that I actually watched with the schedules was Death In Paradise. Which is a bit like Midsummer Murders, on a Caribbean Island. It is something that I could easily watch after a day at work, something that would normally be dubbed as ‘Sunday Night TV’. But that is about it.

If I don’t watch the scheduled TV, then what do I watch? Mostly a mixture of things from Youtube, Netflix or Crunchyroll. I like watching stuff this way, because I can watch content that I like, that I find engaging. Which is a good thing, it is important to fill your time up with things that you find interesting. And there is usually enough content which could keep you entertained for hours. Just one episode after another.

The problem is, most of the animes on Crunchyroll, or vlogs on Youtube are short. At the most they are only 20 minutes long, which is a nice manageable size for a programme. It also means, it is very easy to watch through multiple episodes. Whereas, long programmes, like one on Netflix, can last about an hour. Now because the storyline is stretched out to cover that amount of time, it might not be as fast paced as the shorter programmes. This has lead me to have a bit of an attention problem with shows that have longer running times. I can maybe make it through a couple episodes, but then that’s it.Whereas I can watch anime for hours, like I re-watched Naruto and managed all 220 episodes in under a week.

When speaking to people, I understand that less and less people are watching what is scheduled on the standard channels. People now have the ability to watch what they want, and they are utilising that ability. It just makes me wonder, how much power do the TV networks actually have, now their audience share is going to other places to get content. It was bad enough when satelite TV came into play, with all these different channels. Like for years in the UK, we had 4 basic channels, and then it increased to 5, and with the digital switchover, every home had access to more and more channels. Which means the audience is split between all these channels, and that is not including the audience that streams their content online. Obviously this means that the networks (other than the BBC), make less money, so I would like to know how stuff is going to change. Are we actually going to see a bigger variety of programming?? Hopefully so.

Multi Media Viewing

I am sitting at home right now, Eastenders is playing in the background as I write this post. And, this happens all the time. I spend a lot of time with the TV on, whilst browsing twitter or checking news articles. There isn’t a lot of programmes that can keep my attention.

This isn’t anything new. A lot of people have the same problem, it is so hard to focus just one thing. I mean, even my mum sits with the TV on, whilst playing Candy Crush on her phone. It works in other ways, how many people read a newspaper or book with the TV on in the background. It does effect how we can view things such as movies. I have about a 30 minute limit to get ‘into’ a film, if I am not interested then I simply get bored.

It is something I want to combat. Like put my phone away more, and simple relax, enjoy one thing at a time. So
I can pay attention to programmes and films better. The only things I watch with all my attention are subtitled anime episodes. I think that is because you have to read as well as watch, you don’t pay attention and you miss what happens. At the moment, I am watching Naruto Shippuden. I watched the dubbed version of some of the series years ago, but the voices annoyed me. A big issue I have with a lot of English dubbed anime
series. But I am getting more into the ones with subtitles, as the original voices are less annoying, and as said reading what happens takes all my attention. It’s easier to stay focused.

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.


Sometimes I think I will never really grow up. After all these years, I still love a cartoon. Especially the cartoons I watched when I was wee. I think there is a huge feeling for nostalgia right now, covered in all the media. As if, someone somewhere, feels the need to make the rest of us feel unnecessarily old.

But as I said above, I still love older cartoons, so (in the midst of writer’s block) here is a wee top 10 list of my favourites. 

1) TaleSpin

2)Animals of Farthing Wood

3) The Silver Brumby

4) Chip N Dale’s Rescue Rangers

5) Aladdin: the Series

6) The Rugrats

7) Aaahh! Real Monsters

8) Hong Kong Phooey

9) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

10) Daria

This choice was harder than I thought it would be, but it was nice revisiting some I hadn’t looked at in years. So, reader, distract yourself for a minute longer and tell me your favourite cartoon. It can be from now or from your childhood. Let’s be distracted together. 

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?

Telly Addict

In the age of the Internet, we all seem to have the assumption that we no longer rely on TV. We spend nights browsing the web, rather than sit in front of the ‘gogglebox’ all the time.

People do still watch TV, it just maybe isn’t as traditional as it once was. High speed internet and DVRs have changed how people view TV shows. You can set things to record, and watch it when you want. You can watch episodes through various catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer or 4OD. Then there’s Lovefilm and Netflix, where for a monthly fee you can access a seemingly endless amount of shows and movies to watch on games consoles, mobile phones and computers. We have more options than ever.

And the problem is, that because i can stream 3/4 episodes in one go, i watch more TV than ever. I don’t have to wait for schedules for everything. I am watching through Buffy, Gilmore Girls, Dexter and Weeds. And by having all the episodes ready, I can watch them all intwined. It’s great, and super addictive.

I still watch shows as they are scheduled, only really Bitchin’ Kitchen, Skins and Casualty. I know none of them are particularly interesting to most, but I got in the habit of watching them. Which is something I have always done, had one or two shows that I watched regularly. Then the Internet and on demand viewing happened and I watch loads of TV, although most of it is through my iPad or Xbox.

It’s like i can feel compulsed to watch a certain show. Particularly the Gilmore Girls. It’s too easy to watch one episode and think, ‘I’ll watch the next one’. And before I know it, I’ve spent the whole afternoon watching it. It’s easy to do, and not something that used to happen.

TV still rules, it has just adapted a little. What shows are you addicted to, and how do you watch them?

Look To The Other Side

How many times have you acted without thinking about anyone but yourself? Be honest with yourself. People act without thought several times everyday. This is not meaning to disrespect anyone, or to make anyone feel guilty. It is just trying to get people to acknowledge that we are all selfish, more frequently that we’d dare to admit.

I was watching this new programme tonight called Prisioners’ Wives, created by the BBC, focusing on women whose spouses had been locked up. The episode centres around Gemma, a young twentysomething who is happily married and 6 months pregnant. It falls apart when her husband, Steve, is arrested for murder and Gemma’s life is placed into turmoil. To the the police who speak to her like a criminal, to her work where she may lose her job, everything quickly becomes a mess. It focuses on what the criminal leaves  behind.

Now whilst, it may seem that I am refering to the criminal, not thinking about his wife when he commits crimes, but I am mostly thinking of other people. You can feel the nerves as Gemma feels people judging her on what her husband has done. And it is realising that you will NEVER know what a person is like 100%, and doing so shakes the very foundations of everything you believe in.

It’s the fact that people automatically tag you as ‘bad’, despite never doing anything illegal, and being as innocent as any victim. But yet, people outside judge a person as good or bad dependant on circumstances thrown at them, which is none of their doing. It should be the dury that judges a person, not the press or public. But yet, the innocent family of a criminal, gets subjected to public scrutiny and the ruthless press, who all need to quench their thirst on breaking stories, no matter who it hurts.

It is easy to say that you would never treat a person with us much contempt as what any prisioner’s wife may experience, but it doesn’t need to be that severe. It could be an old woman that you push pass to get on the bus, that ruins her day. It could be the kid who is called fat, when he is trying to exercise. It is the person you said you’d help, but forgot about the next day. Everyone is guilty of hurting others, no matter how accidental it is.

All that is needed is thought. Think about how you would want to be treated, if you found yourself in the shoes of anyone you deal with. Would you want to be shouted at over the phone, as you try to help a customer? Would you want to be shoved aside, when you are struggling to walk as it is? Would you like to be picked out for every insecurity you have? It happens every day, to every person. If you took a second, and treated people with a bit more kindness, you will make a difference. And that difference will come back to you, as good-will is contagious.