2019

Social Media Care

I remember when I started using social media, many years ago (in fact, 10 years ago), it was a place of excitement. It was new for everyone, it was filled with normal folk, as advertisers hadn’t really jumped on the bandwagon yet. Social media became a place of freedom of expression. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, this isn’t the case anymore. No matter what you express, it feels like there are always people about to try and pick holes in what you say. Like, I try to be kind and advice-like when I write, but people like to jump on what I say to be all ’that isn’t how it is to me, so you are lying’. And these people are usually anonymous profiles who seem to spend all their time hating other people.

It is important to look after yourself in an atmosphere that can be so destructive. So, I thought up I few things that I use, when social media gets to me.

1) Block button. Every social media site has the ability to mute or block certain users. This is good. You might have a friend who is posting annoying rubbish for a TV show you hate, you can mute them for a while. This means, you are still following them, but you don’t see their content for a while. Blocking means that the person is unfollowed, can’t see what you post or anything on your profile. This is a good way to cut out people who may be harassing you.

2)Take time out. Go for a day or so without social media. I usually simply put my phone on airplane mode for a few hours, like when I am studying, so that I can focus without the constant pinging of my phone. If that isn’t enough, and you want a few days away from the distraction of your Facebook timeline, delete the app from your most used device. A lot of the time, we check social media constantly because it always seems to be there. And it not being there, can free up a lot of time.

3)Don’t read bad comments. Sometimes, you could post a picture of an apple on Instagram, and it would attract bad comments. If you see this happening, try not to feel down. These people seem to get some kind of thrill of bringing people down. You can disable comments on many social media services, as well as make it so only your friends can comment. You will find that people are a lot less confrontational if they know you, or have to share their identity.

4) Just laugh. Try not to take social media too seriously. A lot of the content that you will be shown on sites like Facebook and Twitter are there to get a reaction. So they will either be content you agree with, or content you massively disagree with. For example, I would say I am ’left-leaning’ when it comes to politics, so the stuff I get shown is either supporting that stance, or is wildly opposing those views. So, try not to take everything as gospel, and just laugh when people do. It also can defuse a situation building up within yourself, as laughter does make you feel better.

5) Be kind to yourself. If you find anything on social media to be causing any kind of negative reaction to yourself, then step away. You are the only you there is, so it’s important you look after yourself. If there is too much BS happening, then go and read a book, play a computer game or whatever social media is distracting you from.

You can be selective over what you show on social media, and it’s important to remember that. Because everyone else is too. A lot of people show part of themselves, whether it be a nice or a nasty side. So if someone attacks you, then remember it is just what they think they see, it’s not actually you.

2017, internet

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.

2017, advice

Distraction

After a crappy few days, there is nothing better than focusing yourself on a task to help calm any bad feeling you may have. It is one of those things that seems impossible to do at times. I guess the important thing is not to force yourself to do something, especially if it is something that you may enjoy. Because forcing yourself on something you actually like, may take the joy away. It is supposed to be a respite for you, not simply another thing to give you anxiety.

I know, with myself, when I have a ‘bad turn’, I usually have to ride it out. I always try to do something, but if I am not in the right frame of mind, then nothing will help. I can easily sit and stare at the same page of a book for an hour, or zone out and miss 2/3 episodes of a TV show. These things that are normally relaxing for me, don’t seem to have the desired effect. There was a time, when I was younger, I actually thought my ‘zoning out’ was simply another thing that made me broken. Because for a long time, that is what I thought of myself. An unfuctioning, broken person. It has taken years of work to realise that I needed to give myself a bit of a break. Being harsh on yourself for having shit mental health, just makes your mental health worse. It is a vicious circle.

When I realised this, I started giving myself a time scale. For example, still staring at the same book page after 15 minutes, close the book and give it a rest. It became a rule that I followed, something I had to train myself to do. Because, if I didn’t, I would do nothing, and then feel bad because I had done nothing. I think that is the hardest thing about trying to self-manage your mental health. You should be strict enough with yourself that you push yourself forward, but you don’t want to be too strict and send yourself backwards. It is hard, and something it has taken me many years to try and get better at. But, I am getting there slowly.

What can be a distraction? Well, anything really. Here is a wee list of things that I use to help me feel a bit better.

Go for a walk- This could be anywhere. Luckily we have a lot of coastal walks around where I live, and I find the smell of the sea air quite relaxing. No matter where it is, a walk is something that gives you the good feeling of exercise. You may go to the park, walk to the shops, walk to a friends or even just walk round the block. I love walking, as it always has the ability of helping me de-stress.

Listen to music- Music can be great. It is a good way to block the world out, which is good if that is what is giving you anxiety. I have a variety of music tastes, and one day I’ll be listening to Pantera, the next Steps, and then some Faithless. Because different things can trigger my anxiety, different music can ease it. Unfortunately, I have a habit of leaving my iPod (with my full music collection) at home, but that is where iTunes, Spotify or Amazon Music come in handy. Every few weeks I make a new playlist. I pick a range of songs, from all different genres. It means, I can have the playlist saved to my phone, have music that is for my mood (whatever that may be), and it doesn’t take up all my phone’s memory.

Watch a TV show- This is hit and miss with me. I don’t have a lot of patience to sit and watch a TV show a lot of the time. But when I am in the mood, I can sit for several hours with the same program. The main services I use are Netflix and Crunchyroll. Again, I have a variety of shows that I am working through. So I can put on The Big Bang Theory when I need background noise, Pretty Little Liars when I want to sit and focus on something longer than 25 minutes or Naruto because I LOVE NARUTO. This again, is because my mood is never the same 2 days in a row, so I like variety.

Watch Youtube- I am addicted to youtube. It is the app I go on to when I am getting ready for bed. I love the variety. I love the variety of content that I can find on there. Watching some daily vlogs do inspire me sometimes, by seeing how motivated other people are, it kind of motivates me. I also like retro gaming, tech stuff (mostly mobiles and computers) and anime (Naruto) commentaries. The good thing is with youtube, especially on the most frequent app updates, you can click one video, and it will automatically set a playlist with similar videos, that it plays automatically. It never fails to cheer me up.

Draw something- I used to be better at this, than what I am now. Nothing I do, ever, compares to how drawing and painting makes me feel. Because of the lack of practice I do, the quality is kind of crappy, but that doesn’t even really matter to me. Whether the cat I drew, looks like a cat, doesn’t matter. I have bought myself these colouring books (the colouring for grown-ups, ones), and as much as I do enjoy them, they aren’t the same as doodling my own wee pattern, and colouring that in. My sketchbook is a mess, but it is mine, and sometimes I can look back and see progress in myself, in how I feel. Which is nice.

As I have said before though, you can do almost anything to distract yourself if you are struggling with mental health. But, do remember not to force yourself to do anything, give it a go, but if you can’t focus, stop. These things are usually so good at being distractions, because you enjoy doing them.

__________

Mental health is hard. If you are really struggling, you can visit your GP for help. I have found both Breathing Space  and Samaritans to be very helpful. You are never alone as what you feel, and there are so many people out there to help. 

2017, netflix

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.

2017, advice, internet, Life

Don’t Like Asking

Happy Sunday! I hope you are having an enjoyable and relaxing day. I did my usual, went to the gym, and then did nothing else. It is Sunday, after all. But, after deciding that I didn’t want to watch The Day After Tomorrow for the twentieth time (it’s not that good), I eventually started watching YouTube. And in particular, the wonderful Tessa Violet. Someone whose content I have been enjoying for a number of years.

Anyways, I was watching one of Tessa’s videos from a few months back, where she was talking about insecurities and how asking what other people though of her, made her feel uncomfortable. And that got those rusty cogs in my head spinning, slightly. What do I hate doing? Well, I hate asking for help or advice. I am a ‘think about it and just wing it’ kind of girl. I don’t know why that is, but it is how I have been as long as I dare to remember.

It’s why a lot of my entries here, end up being almost like advice blogs. Sometimes, there is no almost about it. I know that I have problems, I am more likely to search on YouTube or even WordPress, for articles or videos on my issue. This sounds a bit silly to some, but normally the advice given on these sites are not professional, they are just people speaking honestly from their own experiences. And that means, I can get helpful information without bothering anyone I actually know.

You see, that is a big problem about anxiety. You get so bogged down by your own problems, that you get the bizarre logic that sharing what’s wrong will just bog that other person down too. And, everyone else has enough problems going on, without dealing with my crap too. That mindset is one that has developed over years, and it means that as well as struggling to share what I am going through to an actual person, I can’t approach the subject at all. If I do, I panic, I freeze up, and I kind of fall apart. So it is easier to keep it to myself.

The internet has become a rich resource, and not just the generic help sites, I mean the user created content. Maybe it is because, I like reading or listening to another person’s experience. If I can relate my problems to someone else’s then I get strength to find a solution. And then, noone I know is bothered by me and my crap. It is easier that way.

Uncategorized

Owning The Day

It was the first day back at work for me today. The start of another week, where it takes every piece of energy you have to get out of your bed. I know that if I had the choice, I would just stay at home all the time, and do what I want. And if everyone was to act honestly, most of them would admit the same. But, we need to work, to get the money, to live a life.

Today was one of those days. I must have put my alarm to sleep at least 10 times, and I was still in my bed. But, I got to the stage where if I didn’t get up, I would have been late for work. I just didn’t know how to get motivated.

So once I started moving, I tried to give myself a bit of a pep talk. The idea was to try and make the day my bitch. Take charge, for a change. And as silly as it seems, now I am reading it back, it worked. I got the energy I needed to get up and go to work. I even ended up being quite happy most of the day, and was super productive.

Now, there are times where talking to yourself won’t make things better. I know that from experience. But sometimes, it is good to be able to give yourself the required kick up the arse to get stuff done. One person who inspires me to get moving is Superwoman. Not the superhero, the youtuber. She has a channel on Youtube, which she has talked a lot about ‘hustling’, and just being her own cheerleader and how it is not as shameful as you may think.

Uncategorized

To-Not-List

I have talked regularly on here, about what helps me get motivated. Because it has been something I have struggled with for years. One of the big things that has helped, has been writing ‘to-do’ lists. It is a simple way to methodically work through anything that is needing done. And the best thing is, that if you are feeling that little bit under motivated, you can make the items on your list. Like it seriously helped me tackle my anxiety, and I’d have days where I would have ‘put on socks’ and ‘go to bathroom’ on my list. But when I ticked them off, I’d feel motivated to get more of my list done, and I’d actually achieve something on a day where it would have been easy to do nothing.

But sometimes, a list doesn’t work. That happened yesterday. I came home with a huge plan of what I wanted to do. I wrote up a list, mostly chores, but also things like ‘tea break’. I came home, lay on my bed, and didn’t really move. I watched a movie, and then watched all the extras on the disc. Including commentary. And that was it. Nothing. So, when I woke up today, I thought about how to do an alternative. I needed to do something that would keep me going. Inspire me to do the tasks, like housework, that I don’t think anyone really wants to do.

But I came up with something that worked.

I filmed it.

I know that sounds silly. But, I just used my iphone and filmed wee clips as I got on with my day. And I did get everything done that I wanted to. And I even went out for a walk, and filmed bits of that too. Something that was really just me bumbling around doing what I needed to, ended up leading me to want to do something a bit different. It was a nice night so I went for a walk. It is amateur as anything, as it is all on my phone, but it was fun. I uploaded it online cause, I can. I like anything that leads me to express myself, and I ended up inadvertently doing that. The video is below.

I guess the point of this is, that sometimes what you may use to cope with any anxiety may not work. It hasn’t happened to me very often. I guess, the important thing is to stay calm. There is no need to panic, just know what it is that normally calms you, and just look at a different angle. All I did, by videoing my day, was record what I did slightly differently. And that small difference, made a huge difference to both my anxiety and productivity.