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Monday, 27 June 2016

Just Let it Out!

Scream



There is something to be said for just riding the waves of your emotions for a while. Not trying to escape or distract or soothe yourself, but just feeling what it is that demands to be felt in you right now.

In the past few weeks since I last updated the blog a lot of things have happened. Murder, hate crimes, major political shifts and tireless debates. Lots of life-changing and world-shifting events.

I'm not going to talk about my political leanings to avoid debate (although it's probably fairly obvious) but, needless to say, I've not been very happy these past few weeks. I have been sad, afraid, confused, and angry, and overwhelmed, and while it would be a good idea to meditate and adjust my thinking towards a positive I haven't always done that, actually.

I have been vocal, compassionate, weepy, loud, sweary, unabashed and vehement in my beliefs. I have cried real tears and punched real walls and laughed bitterly at satire so on the nose it maybe aches a little bit to read. The thing I have to manage, however, is the difference between allowing myself to feel and becoming overwhelmed by those feelings.

It must have been a day or two after the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, and I could barely get out of bed for the weight of my sadness. I had been burying myself in first-hand accounts, information, think pieces, hearing the names over and over again until it became some form of self-punishment. It was working my anxious brain, thinking about the thing over and over because I feel like eventually I'll figure out a way to help, or because I think if I'm not constantly feeling sad I'll forget.


When I let it out though, by being vocal with my feelings or by writing things down, it's easier to order those feelings along with the words. As they leave the clutter of my brain via clear, structured sentences I can observe and understand them more clearly. By understanding my mind and how I'm feeling more clearly, I actually come up with something practical to do, and when I do something practical I get a boost of self-worth. Turning negative energy into something worthwhile
Maybe Facebook wasn't the most appropriate place to funnel all my emotions into, but hey, we're all human.
However you do let your feelings out though, activity is what should be at the forefront of your mind. I'm not just complaining to complain, I'm making the weight on my chest lighter to enable me to be more active. Don't let that be the only action you take towards feeling better.
But do let it out. It feels good, believe me.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Not Enough Time?

Panic! At the Disco - 2013


I was having a conversation with a good friend, one I haven't seen in a little while, and we were talking about live music. They were telling me about a show they had gone to recently, what they enjoyed about it, and things they had seen the past few months. Then they asked if I had anything lined up, I said no, and though I can't remember it exactly the rest of the conversation went like this:

"Nothing at all?"

"No, nothing's coming up."

"That's not like you at all. Are you sure you're okay?"

We also talk about each other's mental health, how we're coping and so-on, so I knew that's what he meant. I assured him that I'm fine, doing well even, but when he asked me why I wasn't planning to go to any shows I couldn't really answer.
Molotov Jukebox - 2013


As long as I've been old enough to buy my own tickets I've been going to gigs. I made a bit of a promise to myself when I was younger that I wouldn't miss out, after not being able to go to a lot of things then due to curfews and lack of money and things. These days, if there is an opportunity and the price isn't too much, I'll probably try my best to go to as many gigs as I can. I'm not really sure why I stopped though.

But I wasn't really sure why I stopped writing poetry, or why I stopped making music, or stopped writing for a while. It just sort of happened. These things tend to just sort of happen.


I mentioned this briefly in my list of ways to avoid being overwhelmed by your working life, but it's very easy to get worked up about life changes or new sources of stress. It feels like suddenly time is running out around us because we're feeling so busy and restless. So you think "i'll miss that class. It's not that important and I need to get some rest", "I'll skip this gig for today" or "I'll pick back up on this painting in a couple of weeks". Before you know it your life is revolving around work and rest, but you're just as tired as you were before.


The Secret Garden Party - 2014


What has been drained is your emotional energy, rather than physical. You spend all your active time grinding and so that work becomes irritating and restrictive to you and all you can think about is leaving. Then, because you're not looking forward to anything else, you go home and all you can really think about is when you'll next be back at work. That might make you irritable, anxious, or depressed and thus disrupts your resting time. Your mind doesn't stop thinking about the thing that's causing you stress for long enough, not giving it enough rest and therefore making you exhausted.
Even if you don't work at all, even when you do almost nothing you may still feel exhausted as long as you're not doing the things that make you happy and instead thinking about all the things you have to do, or should be doing, or wish you could do so you worry yourself into a state of almost paralysis, unable to function under the weigh of oppressive thinking.


 It may sound counter-productive to some, but whatever amount of time you have within your week you need to make time in there for the things that make you happy. The endorphins we get from doing the things that truly excite us is energising. Anticipating the time we get to spend doing those things is energising as well. I love to see friends on a Sunday because the good memories give me the energy I need to get up on Monday morning. After the conversation with my friend I bought about 4 tickets to gigs or live shows happening through the rest of the year, because I knew I had been feeling tired and weary but I could not place what was causing it. It's that drive to just shut out all the things in our lives that seem superfluous because we're busy, when actually those things enrich us and keep us going.
 
Fall Out Boy - My Birthday - 2015

If you're up for a challenge, write out a list of things you would consider to be your hobbies, things you enjoy doing, things you think you're good at, or maybe things you'd like to pick up or learn about. Put all of those into one column, and in the column beside write how long it's been since you last did something involving one of these things. Meditate and think on how long it's been, and compare that to how you've been feeling recently. Are there any changes you might be able to make? Definitely let me know your results, whether in the comments, via Facebook, or twitter and Instagram where I'm @JaxxOLantern.

Lorde - 2014