A letter for whoever needs this right now.

Hi,

I hope this finds you well.

I know that right now things seem more than a bit weird. You might also be finding it a tad overwhelming at the moment, what with the near constant stream of information (and misinformation) that is coming through every day from media outlets. It’s natural that you will be worried about your friends and your family, especially all those who are at high risk. I know right now my own priority is ensuring that myself and my own family are safe and healthy.

If there is one piece of advice I can give to you in a situation like this is, don’t stress yourself out. Stress doesn’t just affect your mental health, it puts a strain on your physical health too. It can impact on your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and other illnesses. So even if you don’t pick up coronavirus, you could still pick up something else. Be aware of what’s going on, keep yourself informed, keep washing your hands (it’s very important), but please don’t let your attempts at protecting yourself from this virus mess up your health in other ways. It really isn’t worth it.

In the meantime, if you’re feeling a little more anxious than usual at the moment, take time for yourself as much as possible. Also:

Mute anything or anyone on social media that is posting negativity. Better still, take a break from social media altogether, it works wonders.

Restrict your news consumption. Having BBC News 24 on all day when you’re already feeling down will just make you feel worse, as will following news sites on twitter all day. Check the news once a day, any time apart when you wake up or before you go to bed. Maybe even get a newspaper (yes they still exist) just avoid the S*n or Daily Fail.

Try a mindfulness app. I’ve found that using Headspace has helped me a lot when I have had bouts of stress and anxiety. I particularly recommend their sleepcasts if you’re having difficulty sleeping.

Sleep well. Eat healthily. Exercise. Read. Listen to music and podcasts you love, or discover new ones to enjoy. Watch your favourite films and TV. Play games. Have a go making that thing you’ve said you wanted to make but have never had the time to. If you are having to self- isolate at this time, now you’ve a chance to do it.

Be kind to your body and mind. Remember life still goes on, just in a different way from what you’re used to.

Take care.

Na…No.

I am reminded that it’s coming up to NaNoWriMo time again. I still get the emails about it a few years on from my first (and only) attempt at it. I’ve thought about trying again some time, but as each year passes I just feel more and more like I don’t have the energy or time to really make a go of it.

That doesn’t mean that I am totally against the idea of month long writing challenges. Indeed, I’ve taken on my own alternative in the past. November has seen me post a blog every day instead. Doing that every day felt a lot easier to me than writing novel chapters, even if I did run out of things to blog about near the end of the month. I didn’t do it last year and I am unsure as to whether I’ll do it this year, unless I can guarantee that at least 60 percent of them are not going to made up of me moaning that I have nothing to write about.

I did have a title for this.

Procrastination is not something I want to do. But I’ve been doing it even more so of late. I just can’t get myself motivated to do anything that I know needs doing . Maybe it’s down to currently having a lack of a routine. Maybe it’s down to my body getting used to being relaxed after such a long period of rushing around, being stressed and not having a chance to have a break. I don’t want to feel like I’m putting things off, I do want to feel like I am doing something necessary. Besides I promised myself that I wouldn’t be a lazy get.

Last week I created a list in my journal of tasks for the week. I had about three tasks for each day and I marked off each one I completed. Admittedly, I had more incomplete tasks than completed, but it was better that I managed to attempt some of them than none of them. That I made the effort to compile a list was also an achievement, I suppose.

How do you try to avoid putting things off? And how do you try to keep yourself busy?

My Brief History of Blogging: Part One

Hi. So originally I was going to make this a really short post about how I feel blogging is different these days. I ended up writing about my own journey as a blogger and it has turned out longer than I anticipated. In fact, I am still writing it. So I thought it would be a great idea to turn it into a mini series on here. I know you’re excited.

Here’s the first part of this post. Expect the second sometime later this week. Enjoy the read.

Blogging has changed so much since I started doing it back in the day. When I started, people were doing it as a hobby. It was an online diary. People used it to talk about their lives, share the things that they were up to and what interested them. They also used them to rant a fair bit and post the results of quizzes they did when they were bored and should have been doing something constructive. Or at least, I did.

In the days I first started to blog, MySpace was in existence. I didn’t sign up for a profile until about 2006 and I was probably getting on a bit to have one even then (reader, I was 25). I did post some blogs on there but not often. I thought it was a bit crap if you wanted to use it as a blog space but ok for the occasional quick ramble.

My first blog proper, was on Blogger. I’d looked at all the various blog platforms, including LiveJournal and one called 20Six but I settled on Blogger because it seemed like the easiest to set up at the time. I used the blog to post about my interests and what I’d been doing to begin with, then started to use it as a platform to let off steam about anything in the news or in my life that had pissed me off that day. Towards the end, I ended up doing various online quizzes such as “Which Muppet are you?” and “What superpower should you have?” and sharing the results as I had no idea what to write about. My first blog, which I can’t remember the name of, let alone the url, was eventually abandoned and left to float into the darkest depths of cyberspace.

 My interest in blogging, though, hadn’t entirely gone with it…

Short post

Every now and again, you may find yourself, in a random moment, thinking to yourself, “WHAT THE F*** IS WRONG WITH YOU?”

I’ve had many a moment recently where I’ve been thinking this about myself. And I still don’t know the answer. I am, however, able to identify the possible ones. Like a multiple choice question, that would probably comprise of about eight options. I will update this when I find out.

This week I…

Have spent most of it without taking my anxiety medication (which I only use when I need it). There were two situations when maybe I should have done but I’m trying not to become dependent on them and only using them when I feel I have to.

Managed to do one night of sleep during the working week without waking up at 4am and struggle to get back to sleep until I have to get up.

Emailed the counselling team confirming I want to access the service. Actually emailed them twice seeing as I realised that in the first email I’d sent them I’d got part of the email address wrong.

Realised I should have used my walking stick at least once this week.

Really want to get a SNES classic mini, because I never had one and always wanted to play Super Mario World.

Found out how I might look with purple hair.

(Yeah, probably not.)

New things

Recently new things have happened. I’m in a new house (rented, temporarily, while ours gets sorted out). I am a new age (it was my birthday the other day. Guess how old I am). I’ve been trying out new things and been considering options that I hadn’t really thought about until now.

I’ve been seriously thinking about making a particular change for a while. I’d been reading up on it online while feeling pretty down about where things were going for me, particularly job wise. I abandoned it for a bit until I saw a course on one of those online course sites that was on special offer. I signed up to it as I thought it might be helpful to improve skills and give a bit more of an idea of what it was I am interested in doing. The more I’ve read up on it, the more I feel like I could give it a go, if only just to make a bit of extra money in the first instance (yes I have read up on the tax things although I don’t expect to make shedloads of money from the start).

All I need really are the ideas and then I’ll be good to go… I think.