• Recaps

    Monthly Recap: July 2018

    It is quite hard for me to believe that July is over already. Where did it go? What happened to time? I was planning on writing another blog post this month before the monthly recap, but I did not have enough motivation and mentally I was going through a tough time as well. This recap will be different from June’s, as in, I won’t be going through every category, but rather I will talk only about what I have actually done and achieved, skipping the categories where no progress was made. This is so I can avoid repetition, but it also has to do with some conclusions I came up with following some intense anxiety episodes this month, which I will talk a bit about here. So, without further ado, let’s talk about July.

    How July Felt

    July very much passed too quickly. I honestly almost have no recollection of what actually happened this month. I spent a lot of days unmotivated, anxious and, for lack of a better word, depressed. My mood was pretty low and I felt there was nothing I could do about it. This state of mind tired me out mentally a lot, which in turn also tired me out physically, which in turn meant I had very little energy to actually do anything.

    Partially I feel the fault of this also lies in my surroundings. I talked about the negative effects that the flat I currently live in has on me, especially my mental wellbeing, so it’s of no surprise that it has once again played a big part in putting me into a slump. For pretty much the entirety of July, Scotland has been hit by a heatwave and it has been very hot (and especially humid). Given the poor insulation in our flat, it will be of no surprise that it became some kind of oven, where it was actually hotter inside than it was outside. Nighttime then became the worst time to be in the flat, as it would be too hot to sleep comfortably (but leaving the window open would pretty much be out of the question unless I wanted to be woken up by random drunk people in the middle of the night). I spent many nights of the month (in fact, I would argue the majority of nights) sleeping very poorly and as a result, I’d wake up tired, with no energy and late in the morning.

    My energy was thus depleted by lack of proper sleep, suffering the heat and anxious/depressed moods, which in turn also influenced my energies. For the majority of the month, I was trapped in a pretty bad negative cycle that took a big toll not just on my productivity, but also on my mood.

    As a result of all this, and as you might have already guessed by the tone of this recap… I did not get as much done this month as I would have liked to. Indeed, this thought of not having done much also added to my anxious and depressed mood, which made it even more difficult to do anything.

    It was only until much later in the month that I confronted some of these anxieties and was able to actually make some new discoveries about myself, especially when it comes to the question: “Why do I procrastinate?”. These discoveries, along with a change of scenery towards the end of the month, improved my mood immensely and the relaxation that followed made me a tiny bit more productive as well.

    I will make a post where I go in-depth into these discoveries, especially in regards to procrastination, as I feel it deserves its own post rather than be put into a monthly recap.

    I am currently writing this recap from Peter’s house, where we are spending a little holiday week, just the two of us and his cat, while his family is away. This is the change of scenery that I was referring to above and I found that already on Saturday and Sunday my mood had improved a lot and I could focus on my hobbies again.

    Another thing that added to my depressive thoughts and mood was my financial situation. It’s summer, which means I am going through the harshest financial problems of the year. Since I am unemployed (for a variety of reasons that are out of my control), I have been financially dependant on my father to survive. Unfortunately, summer is the period of the year where he makes the least money, which means I just plain don’t get money from him to survive. This stresses me out, a lot, and has a massive impact on my mood. Unfortunately, I found that exercising and meditating didn’t help much with this, either. I felt very frustrated, as physically speaking, I was doing all that I could to minimise my depressive moods; but, at the end of the day, no matter how much I exercised or meditated, the fact remained that I was (and still am) broke, with no real timescale of when I could receive financial help (my father is pretty unreliable – he will tell me he’ll send me money on a specific day, then when that day comes, he just says he’ll send help on another day instead, and so it goes until the month is over and I have received almost zero financial help) – and mentally, this depressed me and stressed me out, with all is physical ripercussions.

    Anyway, that is all in regards to how July felt. Now, I did get some things done, so let’s focus on the positive stuff! 😄

    Real Life

    I am including real life updates in this recap as I have some good news! So, for the past month, Peter and I had been on the lookout for a flat in Stirling, which is where we’ll be attending university. Our course begins in September, so really we only had a month and a half to find a place. Not many flats were popping up and not a lot of people were replying to our emails… So I decided to put up an ad of our own. It took about 2 weeks, but eventually, a landlady replied and we arranged to go and see her property.

    I am happy to say that we completely fell in love with her property as soon as we saw it. It is everything we were looking for in our next flat: it’s in a nice, quiet area, with quiet neighbours, close to a park and with plenty of greenery; the flat has a shared garden, gas heating (with no re-chargeable meter, which means our bills are going to be much cheaper!), good windows, plenty of space and it lets in a lot of natural light! Basically, it’s the complete opposite of the flat we are living in now and honestly, I still can’t quite believe our luck! The flat is seriously a great catch. We’re finalising things this week, but our move-in date should be the 25th of August, which works out really well for us (as induction week starts on the 28th).

    I am so excited to move there – I’m most excited about being in a quiet area and enjoying my living arrangements again. ❤ We had honestly gotten so tired of living in the middle of town and in one of the noisiest (and probably roughest) areas of the centre, too. This flat is about 10-15 minutes away from the centre of the city and I honestly couldn’t be happier about it – we much prefer living a short walk away than be right in the centre. Plus, it’s just better than our current flat in every possible way. I never thought we’d find such a nice flat, but somehow it found us. It has been a long time coming.

    So I am happy to say that, finally, we have found a nice flat. Finding the flat has had an incredibly positive effect on my mood; not just because it’s a great catch, but also because we have finally sorted out our living arrangements in Stirling before university starts, which means we will not have to commute at all. I was beginning to worry that we might not find anything on time, but now I don’t have to stress over that anymore! Plus, when we move, that will be point 1 of my 28 by 28 list achieved! Hooray!

    In other positive news, and to contrast my current dire financial situation, I have been approved to receive the maximum student loan, so I will be able to rely less on my father while I go to university. I should get the first payment of the loan on August 29th and hopefully, with that, I’ll be able to breathe a little and not stress so much about money anymore. That does mean I have to get through August, somehow… but I’m trying not to think about it this week, at least. I have a lot to look forward to and a lot to prepare for (the move, the start of university, the loan coming in) and right now I’m just trying to enjoy our holiday week as much as possible.

    That is all for real life, but finding the flat was quite an important update which will have many positive impacts (especially on my mood and wellbeing), so it deserved a lot of attention. I am so happy about this and absolutely cannot wait to move. 💖

    Hobbies

    Unfortunately, my anxious and depressed moods influenced my hobbies negatively, as I often didn’t have the energy for them, or simply could not enjoy them fully. That said, towards the end of the month, at the beginning of our little holiday, I was in a more relaxed state of mind and I found that I could concentrate and enjoy them again.

    📚Reading was something that fell a bit to the wayside in July, but I’m happy to say that I have picked it up again and with a vengeance! Although I haven’t finished any of the books I had been reading last month, I am now making good progress on them and I can read for long periods of time without losing my concentration. I am almost halfway through No Problem Here, I have almost finished The Time Machine and I have started two new books (just because I felt like it!): War of the Worlds and The Lonely City. I have missed fiction a lot lately, especially good science fiction, so I decided to keep on going with more H.G. Wells. The Lonely City is not quite fiction, but it’s not “hard” non-fiction either (it’s not about sociology or stats, like No Problem Here), and so far it has been a pleasure to read. Plus, the topic is really interesting to me and one I think about a lot.

    Reading The Lonely City is actually inspiring me to do a photography project about what it feels and what it looks to be lonely. It’s just an idea I have for now, but nonetheless, it is flying around in my head. Speaking of 📷photography, I will be covering Slough Feg‘s gig in Edinburgh on the 1st of August for RockShot! I’m super excited about that! I’m a huge fan of Slough Feg – in fact, their gig in Glasgow in 2016 was the very first “proper gig” I went to and I loved every second of it. And this time, I’ll be photographing them and writing about their gig for a magazine! I never thought I’d be doing this two years later… It’s a bit crazy to think how stuff like that happens. It feels almost like a dream.

    As for 🖋writing, I did write a tiny fiction story… though I wasn’t very satisfied with it. Regardless, it felt good to do so, as I felt I was letting go of a block that had been plaguing me for months. Even though the story isn’t good by my standards, I recognise that writing it was nevertheless important, as it was more about the act itself rather than what I wrote. I am hoping that I will feel more inspired, especially by the shows I have watched and the books I have read recently, to write something I can be proud of.

    I also finally made another dent in my 28 by 28! In terms of 🎮video games, I have finished Mass Effect (which was something I wanted to do by the end of July) and I absolutely loved it. I can definitely see myself replaying this game in the future. The gameplay was lots of fun and I could make different choices in my next playthrough. Right now, however, I’ll be moving onto Mass Effect 2. I’ve also been keeping up with my Blood Bowl league and right now my Wood Elf team, the Tolkien Throwaways, are first on the leaderboard! I was pleasantly surprised to see that last night after I won my 7th match 3-0. Only two more matches to go and it’s a real possibility that I might come into the top 3! 🌟

    The past couple of days I was so relaxed that I also watched 📺tv shows – some of which were anime, which I hadn’t watched since 2014! I watched Wotakoi, after hearing good things about it and I enjoyed it a lot. Just in general, I enjoyed watching anime again – I had forgotten how fun it is to just sit down with an animated 20-minute episode and relax completely. It was a good show, too – I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t stop watching it and ended up marathoning all 11 episodes in two days. I will very probably make a youtube video reviewing it, too! After that, I restarted watching Sailor Moon Crystal and Honey & Clover, both of which I had started years ago but never finished. This time around though, I’d like to complete both of them! I love these series so much, I don’t think I could ever grow out of them, to be honest. I’m happy that I am enjoying anime again. ❤

    Projects

    I’ll be honest – I haven’t worked on my projects as much as I would have liked to, for all the reasons I have talked about in this post. I did work a bit on my GIRLHAMMER video, though, which I was happy about. It’s not finished yet, but… I’m working on it. I’m getting there. Battling my non-existent motivation and my anxieties when it comes to Youtube isn’t easy, but I’m doing it, little by little. And I have decided not to beat myself up over it in this recap and instead be kind to myself. I’m working hard behind the scenes and on myself, and that’s what matters. ❤

    Thoughts on July

    I am not particularly happy with how July went, but that’s okay. I made some important self-discoveries, took steps in addressing my anxiety and procrastination and rediscovered some pleasures I had forgotten (i.e. anime). I’m currently on holiday, enjoying myself, relaxing and having a nice time, which is really positive. Despite my mood and my emotions this month, I still made some progress on my 28 by 28 list, which I had almost given up on this month, and that makes me feel really accomplished. And of course, let’s not forget the biggest mood-lifter of the month… finding a lovely flat in Stirling! 💖

    Even though I felt really down this month, good stuff still happened, and I’m glad for that. So good job, self. ✨

    Plans for August

    I will be honest – at the moment, I’m really not sure how much I can achieve in August, especially if this low mood and low energy persist due to my current living situation. So I don’t want to write down plans this month, as I don’t want to beat myself up for not achieving what I had planned while knowing that there are definitely some big external obstacles that prevent me from doing so.

    So, here’s my one definite plan for August:

    1. Move to the nice flat in Stirling! 💖

    And that will be all. Whatever I achieve after that, it will be a positive surprise!

  • Recaps

    Monthly Recap: June 2018

    It’s time for June’s recap! Every month, I will do a recap to note down what I have done, what I have accomplished, how I felt and how the big picture looks. My hope is that these recaps will encourage me to be productive during the month so that I will have many things to write here – but I’m also not taking them too seriously to the point of making myself feel bad if I don’t have much to write. As I said, it’s an encouragement and also a way to draw notes and reflect on things.

    So without further ado, let’s talk about June!

    How June Felt

    June felt… like a weird month. I had a serious block for the first two weeks. I wanted to do things, but couldn’t bring myself to do anything. I wasn’t inspired or motivated and there was a block preventing me from working on my blog and my videos – I just couldn’t write and felt like I wouldn’t be satisfied with anything I wrote.

    This block persisted for just over two weeks. I think it was caused by some fears and anxieties I was going through without realising them, and me putting some very high expectations upon myself subconsciously.

    Around the 20th of the month, I was finally able to get over this block. I changed my scenery for a weekend by spending it at Peter’s house and suddenly inspiration struck, and tons of it. While there, I was able to finally start working on the script for my Wonder Woman video and ended up writing 4,500 words – about half of the video – in just a weekend. It was just incredible how a weekend in a place with some peace and quiet (as opposed to the flat I live in), which also put me in a relaxed state of mind, had such a great impact on my inspiration and productivity.

    This also resulted in me in re-thinking how I approach my tasks and how I think of my productivity; and it made me reach the conclusion that traditional “discipline” doesn’t really work on me, but rather, I should be finding ways to trigger my inspiration, which results in me working better, longer and faster (when compared to when I force myself to work instead).

    Reaching this realisation completely changed the way I work and think about my productivity, so I think there are more discoveries to be made in the coming months as I try different methods to “trigger” my inspiration. I feel like I’m finally onto something here and I hope to make more helpful discoveries. 😊

    One of these “triggers” seem to have to do with a change of scenery, possibly to a nicer, quieter place – basically the complete opposite of my current flat. I’ve felt for a good while now that my current flat was having a negative impact on my productivity (and my mood too, which also affected my productivity negatively) and I think if anything, this little June episode confirms it. It has never been a good place for my inspiration, creativity, productivity or mental wellbeing.

    In the long-term, I can combat this problem by moving to a nicer place. I am already making preparations to move out of my current town to the city where I’ll be attending university and I can’t wait to find a nicer flat there. 😄

    Alright, now that I’ve talked about the importance that June played emotionally and mentally, and how most of the productive stuff was done in the last 10 days or so, let’s talk about what I achieved!

    Lifestyle Habits

    It saddens me to say it, but there have been no concrete changes in my lifestyle habits just yet. But! I am working on it! 💪

    Firstly, I am reading a book about mindfulness meditation called Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World. I have only read the introduction so far, which talks in-depth about the positive effects of mindfulness. I’ve practised mindfulness at different times in my life, but I’ve never kept it consistent, which is what I want to do now. Hopefully, by the next monthly recap, I’ll be halfway through this 8-week plan! 💪

    I haven’t made any progress towards minimalism or healthy eating yet. However, I did exercise this month! My online friends and I have a fitness group where we all post our progress, do the routines and cheer each other on. However, my terrible flat strikes again to break the eggs in my basket: my hard wooden floor makes it really hard to do any kind of exercise that requires lying down, which limits me when doing the exercise routines. I’m looking into getting a cheap but comfy yoga mat next month to exercise on so that I can do all the exercises and share my progress with my friends! This works out quite nicely (pun may be intended) to make exercise more palatable to my gym-hating self! 😆

    Hobbies

    In terms of 🖋writing, I haven’t written any fiction this month, or reviews. However, I did write scripts and map out my future youtube videos, so I’m still counting that towards writing! Especially the 4,500 words I wrote for my Wonder Wonder movie analysis video! Also, I have written a lot of pages for my blog, which counts too!

    In terms of 📚reading, I’m still going strong. I took out two books from the library in June: Leap Year and No Problem Here, both of which I have started. I’m still making good progress on all my other books, namely How to do Everything and Be Happy which I am finding okay to get through (although the fact that the book was intended at 40-something British people who work 9-5 jobs shows through a lot, there are still good lessons which I’ll use regardless of my current position). I haven’t read much in terms of fiction (other than for my Cringelit series), but that should change soon once I’m done with my current reads.

    📷Photography has been pretty abysmal this month. I was coordinating a fashion photoshoot with friends, but when my block hit, I let that fall to the wayside. I think I was just a bit burned out after taking gig photos at two gigs within the same month for the music magazine. I’m going to get that photoshoot done this month if possible! Also, I should get back to updating my Instagram accounts more!

    As for 🇫🇷languages, they also fell by the wayside. I’m actually thinking that it might be time to move beyond Duolingo, at least with my French and Norwegian, and find some more resources that go a bit deeper into learning grammar and so on and just keep Duolingo for vocabulary. I have an online friend who is studying French so we’ll have to plan something together! 🌟

    As for my current lists (the ones on the sidebar), not much has changed. I haven’t watched much or made progress with TV shows and movies (for most of them, I need to wait for my flatmates to be willing to watch them together, too). As for 🎲tabletop RPGs, the “second season” of our Mortal Kombat campaign has officially started and I can’t wait for the second session! I’ve got another Warhammer Fantasy campaign to play in too, GMed by my flatmate and I hope we can start it in July since everything for it is ready. As for 🎮video games, I have been playing Tekken 7 quite a lot and finished the main story recently. I’d like to think I’ve gotten better at it in the past week, but I’m still not great at it. I’m also now officially addicted to Morrowind. The game finally clicked with me and now I want to play it day and night! I’ve made a Paladin type character and am enjoying it a lot! ✨ I am currently level 2!! It’s so exciting! 😆 And finally, I have restarted playing Mass Effect (the first one). My goal is to finish it by the end of July!

    Projects

    My 📽Youtube channel kind of stalled this month, at least publicly (and the two weeks+ block didn’t help, either), but I’ve been doing a lot behind the scenes! Here is a neat list:

    1. I wrote 4,500 words, which is about half the script for my Wonder Woman movie analysis video! I don’t think this video will be ready in a month, it will probably take longer as I also work on other content. This does show, however, that if my inspiration is triggered, I can write quite a lot in the span of a couple of days! So I’m gonna try and trigger my inspiration again to work on this and do lots of research for the first part of the video (yeah, I want to cite sources and stuff. It’s quite a serious video). I’m pretty proud of what I’ve written so far though! 💖
    2. I recorded my first GIRLHAMMER video! Now that the recording is done, I need to sift through it, note down what lines need to be re-recorded and then gather some images for the visuals. I am about a third of the way through making this and I was pretty happy with the third take overall! I really want to put this online in July.
    3. I re-structured my first Cringelit video! The script was already finished, so it is now ready for filming! I’m also reading my third book for Cringelit! I hope to finish it in July and jot down some ideas for the script.
    4. I wrote down the main points of Episode 1 of TableTalk! I’m so excited about this one! Now it needs to be recorded.

    Yes, I am a bit crazy for working on 4 videos at the same time, but really I worked on what inspired me the most in the moment. I’ll be focusing on releasing GILRHAMMER episode 1 and TableTalk episode 1, while making progress on Cringelit and Wonder Woman in the background.

    As for my other project, my blog, well… you’re looking at it! 😆 I officially started my blog and shared it with people, which was a huge milestone for me! I’m still super happy about it. 💖 I managed to publish only two posts in June, but given my block, I’d say I’m counting this as a success! Plus, there are all my other pages too! Totally a success. 🌟

    Thoughts on June

    My block in June limited quite a bit how much stuff I was able to get done this month, but overall I’m happy with what I was able to do in the last 10 days! 💖💪

    I also feel like this entry was needed to give an “overview” of where I am starting at just now and to give a clearer context. Hopefully, as time goes by, I can look back at this recap and go, “Hey, that’s where I started and now I’ve come so far! Good job self!”

    Plans for July

    1. Upload a couple of videos to my Youtube channel and record a couple more.
    2. Finish the non-fiction books I’m currently reading and start reading some classic fiction.
    3. Finish Mass Effect and make more progress on my currently watching TV shows.
    4. Get back into photography and writing fiction!
    5. Do exercise and meditation!
    6. Blog a bit more in July!
  • Blog

    Début

    After what seems like an eternity, it feels weird but also extremely satisfying to be writing in a blog again and to be able to say: welcome to my blog.

    I stopped blogging in 2015 – not by choice, as much as by circumstance. There was a lot going on in my life, my entries in my old journal became pretty sporadic and I didn’t post anything after another long hiatus – effectively feeling and thinking that my journal was pretty much dead. This wasn’t as much of a decision, as much as it just happened.

    I tried to get back into blogging in 2016, but that was very short-lived due to having to face a really low point in my life, the lowest I have ever been. It was hard and it was crippling, and, since I didn’t want to turn my blog into a negative space, I decided to just delete it (there were only a couple of entries posted due to me not being in the right headspace to update a blog anyway).

    Then time passed. I got better. For the past year, I’ve always had this nagging thought in the back of my mind: “I want to start a blog again.” It was always there, it never left and would just pop back into the spotlight from time to time, then go to the back again, and so on and so forth. What stopped me ultimately was fear (of not keeping the blog as updated as I’d like it to be, fear to fail my expectations and my standards) and the fact that blogging seemed to have gone through some changes. Was anyone even interested in some old-fashioned blogging?

    Eventually, I came to the conclusions that: my fears were unfounded and not something I should give into – and, no matter how “scared” I got, the thought, “I want to do this” still persisted, which meant a part of me really wanted to do it; secondly, yes, some people still do the “old-fashioned” blogging about their lives and I and others enjoy reading that kind of thing; and ultimately, that my blog is something that is here for me first and foremost, something that I need to make myself happy, let out my thoughts, practice my writing… in general, it’s a very personal project meant for me, to make me feel good above all and anyone else.

    So after these realisations, there was nothing stopping me. I even got this little domain name a while back, while it was very cheap, and I decided I should put it to good use. And this time I didn’t just want a ‘journal’, but I wanted a blog with a purpose of some kind. And, due to the kind of person that I am and what is important to me, a motivational blog was the obvious choice.

    Motivation will play a big part in this blog, but it won’t be the only thing – there will be personal posts, posts about my life and of course my thoughts, too. Anything that I feel like writing in my little corner of the web.

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the major pages you see on the menu above and they really give you a nice picture of this blog, its purpose, the reason behind its name, what I hope to achieve, even my somewhat complicated relationship with the word “productive” and what my “philosophies” are when it comes to productivity – all of which form part of who I am. And of course, you’ll get to know me better as you keep reading my blog, too. 😄 I have many projects up my sleeve, many hobbies and there are many facets of me that I can’t wait to show the world!

    That said, I hope you’ll make yourself comfortable, maybe with a nice cup of tea, and enjoy the ride with me. 💝