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Meditation or Distraction? Personalising How You Manage Anxiety

When I was first contacted by Thrive, a company that develops therapeutic software, my curiosity was spiked by the sheer breadth and depth their app Feel Stress Free seems to promise. Allow me to explain: having used various tools for managing stress and anxiety before, I’ve often headed down a path of declining interest, as I get stuck in a rut of  repetitive activity. However, Feel Stress Free’s unique characteristic seems to be the huge variety of ways it offers for managing stress and anxiety – which have actually been created by psychologists/psychiatrists and are clinically proven to be helpful. I thought this could be a remedy for my tendency to lose that spark of interest.

The other main advantage I can see from the layout of the app is the possibility for personalising the ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, which is something I feel passionate about. I don’t think all methods work effectively for everyone, but that’s not a problem here; I picked up on five key areas of managing negative emotions that Thrive are striving to help with. I thought I’d outline these below and talk about how you can implement these things in your own life – both with and without the help of your phone.

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5 Steps to Get Through a Creative Crisis

I’m having a creative crisis. By this I mean that I was hit out of nowhere with panic over what I’m doing creatively with my life. More specifically, I’m lost in my blogging journey. It’s not writer’s block as such, I have plenty of ideas for posts; I have all the wood I could ever want to build a bonfire. What I seem to have misplaced is the matches. What I need to light the spark of desire to create content has temporarily slipped out of sight. It scares me; it upsets me. Most of all it makes me question everything I’ve created before and if any of it was ‘meaningful’ at all.

And so I’ve taken a step back. It might seem like I’ve only had a few days away from blogging to an outside viewer, as I had regular content going up on my blog until last Wednesday, but in reality I’ve taken a couple of weeks off and relied on scheduled content to get me through. In this time, I’ve become a little distant from the blogging community and haven’t been interacting as much as normal. There are excuses for this – being on holiday, getting ready to move to uni – but my gut instinct tells me these excuses aren’t the reason I’ve removed myself from the online world for a bit.

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5 Creative Hobbies To Reduce Anxiety

Recently, I’ve started creating art (if you can call it that) to try to combat feelings of stress and anxiety. You hear a lot about the therapeutic impact of creativity, but I think many of us feel a little too overwhelmed to give it a go. After all, the art we consume on Pinterest and Instagram is often amazing, and that in itself can be daunting.

But we can try to take that flood of other people’s creativity and turn it a positive way: we can see it as inspiration. So I thought I’d talk about some of the things I’ve tried to get involved in creatively, that aren’t too hard to pick up and could be used as a good distraction for negative feelings.

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Reviewing My 2018 Goals

We’re more than halfway through the year now, can you believe it?! You probably can as that’s perhaps the most oversaid sentence around the beginning of July. As well as being the perfect moment in the year for grabbing an ice cream or acquiring a sunburn, the start of July is a great time to pause and reflect on how your life is being lived and whether this matches up to your expecations and wishes from January.

At the beginning of 2018, I wrote a post about 18 things I wanted to focus on for the year, kind of like a list of resolutions but also not really. Resolutions aren’t particuarly my thing, but I thought by having a few aspects of my life to hold in mind over the months I would find it easier to define my priorities.

Stating all the wonderful things you’re going to do is all well and good until life take over and you forget all about them three weeks later. Which is why this check in of sorts could prove useful. Throwing it right back to my school days, in which I had to identify bits of my work that went well and skills that could be improved in some way, I’m going to evaluate the good, the alright and the not so good aspects of my progress with these goals since January.

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June Reflections – Illness and Travelling

Well it looks like we can all breathe a little easier as this post is going to be a lot more positive than May’s Reflections: otherwise known as the episode in the series in which disorder is the star of the show and no one knows where the plot is heading next. I would say head on over to check out why May was like rooting for Germany in the 2018 World Cup (on paper it looked like it was going to be a celebration but in reality it was a stressful disappointment) but that post is pretty depressing. For that reason I’d recommend sticking with this one (which has been more like the Russian football team: everything surprisingly and impressively pulled together in the end, and no matter what happens now no one can deny the excitement and success so far).

If football references aren’t your thing – and believe me, they’re not really mine either, that’s just what happens when you spend a month travelling with a football fan – then don’t worry as that was the last of them.

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Am I Good Enough to be a Blogger? – Conversations with Anxiety #10

Snapshots of the conversations that are had between anxiety and I: the things we fight over, the discussions and debates we take part in and the struggle to reason with irrationality. Some of these are based on past events or reoccurring battles, some on more recent occasions, and some are simply extrapolations of experiences I’ve had.

Anxiety: Why do we do this ‘blogging’ thing?

Me: Do you have to ask this now? I’m trying to concentrate on writing a post.

Anxiety: You’re avoiding the question.

Me: Ufff. We blog because it’s fun, we enjoy writing, we like connecting with others, hopefully we have something at least a little worthwhile to say–

Anxiety: Ugh, really? You actually think that?

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A (kind of) Introduction

To be honest I’m not a big fan of blog introductions, who really wants to read an introductory post about a stranger? However, it felt wrong to dive straight into writing ‘proper’ posts so I thought I’d put a short intro up just for the hell of it. I’m a 19-year-old introvert from Brighton, UK, currently studying Sociology full time with the Open University and on the cusp of starting a new job as a health care assistant. I’d describe myself as a traveller, thinker and socially anxious baking fanatic with a love for unconventional decisions.

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