Today, I found the perfect anxiety de-stress activity, it was purely by accident, but it really helped me. I am talking about a massive ball of tangled wires!
As you might know, if you read my previous post Clear The Loft, Clear The Mind, I have been very good and throwing out unwanted tat from my loft. I was continuing this saga which is now into its 4th day when I decided to tackle my box of wires.
This box has been the receptacle for all spare wires entering the house since we moved in 8 years ago. As you can imagine, this is now a very impressive collection and has almost become sentient such is its mass.
I decided that I would be ruthless and throw away any wires that I no longer needed or any that I had more than one of. This job was more difficult than I had imagined, because, like a scene with Vger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I was battling a beast that did not want to die.
Knots within knots was what greeted me as I started to unpick this ball of copper and plastic. What I had intended to be a fairly quick job, took over an hour or struggling and cursing.
Instead of the Rubiks Cube competitions, they should have people trying to untangle a ball of wires in the fastest time. That would be a far greater challenge for the mind.
One good side effect was that the anxiety that was overshadowing me at the time, was overcome by sheer concentration. There was no room in my brain for anxiety and this complex problem at the same time.
I might patent this as a good stress release toy.
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I have just found out that today is the first day of autumn (in the UK). This is definitely not on, I thought there were at least a couple of weeks of Summer left.
Autumn signals cooler weather and eventually Winter. Winter signals cold and rain, that signals colds and germs. That all signals an ever increasing level of anxiety for me until we start to hit the downhill slope after Christmas.
Even then, there are nasty viruses and germs that linger on well into Spring. In fact, apart from Summer, I am in a constant battle with my anxious mind.
I have tried many different things in the past to try and cope with this added stress. However, this is the first time I will be entering Winter with my latest strategy.
With my reduction in caffeine and my initial dabbles in yoga, I have found a new calmness that hasn’t been as stable for a long while. I am hoping that this will also lead to at least a calmer Winter than previous years.
My aching desire to play hermit in the cold months has grown stronger every year. Although I have managed to still leave the house, the fight can sometimes be worse than the anxiety.
No matter how much I like Christmas, it always fills me with a certain dread, as there is the inevitable shopping. I could do all my shopping online, but the juxtaposed position I find myself in is that I actually like the festive bargain hunting. It wouldn’t feel the same for me if I did it all online. I would miss all the lights, decorations and festive music that comes with that time of year.
So, I am hoping that my new strategy along with my countermeasures, will succeed in allowing me to take part in Winter this year instead of wishing it away.
Lately, we have noticed a problem that many couple faces, we have no room in our house.
For a long while, we have been the type of people who will throw everything in the loft. This is regardless of whether it is working or not. But it has now reached the point where the loft was full and our ‘stuff’ was encroaching on the other rooms.
So yesterday, we made a conscious effort to clear out our loft and thus clear out our clogged minds. It can be a very cathartic experience to have a spring (well, late summer) clean and I really wanted the desk that sat in the loft, to once again become my work desk.
I just one day so far, we have managed to throw out 9 bags of rubbish and allocate another 5 for donating. We are very pleased with ourselves and have an enthusiastic energy for tomorrow.
It wasn’t as difficult to throw things away as we had thought. Once we had cleared the seat covers from a Model T Ford and removed the Penny Farthing, we were well on the way. My wife will readily admit that she is a hoarder. She has always had problems with throwing away baby clothes and toys, but she has been very brutal and binned things I never thought she would.
Among our rubbish pile are the documents for three cars we no longer own and dozens of colouring books that have all been completed. If there was a prize for the loft with the most useless things in it, then I think we would get 1st place.
I have recently started a new Emetophobia Facebook Page for all those that are affected by this phobia. I am also going to talk about health anxiety as this is often associated with it.
Please take a look and join if you are a sufferer. The group is a closed one so no-one will see your posts.
Despite tears and tantrums, the first week of the new school year is half way through.
There is always an element of dread when the long six weeks of the summer holidays ends. Mainly because my daughter has fallen into the calm relaxing day-to-day existence of getting up late, having fun days and of course, no school.
As the first day approached, I could see the wheels in my daughter’s head quietly calculating how much time was left on the holiday clock.
She willingly spend hours in the shoe shops and the department stores while my wife trawled through next years school uniforms. She even spoke eagerly about the impending Kent Test that all year 6 children are eligible for.
However, when the morning of the first day arrived, my daughter was beside herself with sadness and worry. Suddenly, the school was the worst in the world, she had no friends and everyone hated her.
We were surprised, seeing as she has more followers as school than Justin Bieber. But we did the usual you have to go routine and promised a treat when she got home.
To our surprise, the sadness didn’t last long. By the time that we had arrived at the school and she had seen some of her friends, she was well into school mode. By the time that we had deposited her at her class, it felt as though we had never been away.
Now as we enter the downhill slope to the weekend, we are well and truly back into the routine and only a few weeks until the next holiday!
This article in The Guardian highlights again how important those who are giving support, receive it as well.
There has already been one tragedy recently and we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Doctors workload is very high and in many cases, they are being asked to take on more work.
There needs to be a concerted effort to ensure that all healthcare professionals are able to access the counselling and support they need.
I was reading a very interesting article on the BBC News website about the role of social media in mental health. There is an argument that some aspects, such as holiday photos and beautiful scenery, can cause people to feel depressed or unhappy.
However, there are many that have set up self help and support groups on Facebook as a way for people to get together and find help.
I find that social media is a double edged sword, there are many people particularly on Twitter, that work hard to raise awareness and support people. However, there are also pages that do exactly the opposite, showing skinny women and proclaiming that you should have a body like that!
The problem with bearing your problems on Facebook and Twitter, is that they may be seen by people you don’t intend to tell. This is always a problem, which is why social sites like Elefriends by the charity MIND are so good. They let you anonymise yourself and discuss things between people going through the same issues.
I think that social media has helped many people who may otherwise feel alone and isolated, but for some, it may be the catalyst for deeper sadness.
This video shows the top 5 ways you can use mindfulness techniques to beat anxiety today!