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 its 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!

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