Posted in Mentality

Of Emotional Burnout and Social Anxiety

Hello fellow people on this earth, I am back and a lot has happened. My mental health has gone from bad to worse and then to better again and now I would say we’re somewhere between okay and good. But let me start from the beginning.

Once upon a time… okay we don’t need to go that far back but let’s indeed go back a few months. As you may or may not know (you would know, if you watch me on twitch) my mental state was pretty fragile for a while after that stressful time last year. A lot of canceled plans, streams, events… you name it, I probably canceled it. I was constantly feeling stressed, overwhelmed and like everything was just too much. I felt like a rubber band that was being stretched too far, ready to snap at any given moment.

After a while I felt like something was seriously going wrong in my life. I started noticing things like myself being constantly anxious when around friends and family alike, which was something I used to only experience in social situations with strangers before. I also started to have a hard time doing simple things like going shopping or going to pick up a package without being super anxious or needing like days to prepare in advance.

Long story short, I noticed it was starting to affect me in my daily life and quite strongly so. I have always been a bit socially anxious but I’ve always managed to cope with it. At that point I no longer was able to, and a rule that I had set myself was that I would look for help incase it ever startes influencing my daily life and stops me from doing things. So that’s what I did. I got help and it got better. We figured out that my social anxiety probably started getting worse and developed into a disorder because I was rarely leaving my place and that that was because I was lacking the energy in the first place. So I realized that it was all connected like a weird hell cycle: Constantly stressed out and no time for myself led to me not having any energy and no longer enjoying things. That led to me canceling plans, meaning I didn’t subject myself to social situations which in turn made the social anxiety get worse and worse which made me more stressed out and …. I think you get the gist.

Fast foward a year to now and I am slowly beginning to recover. About a month ago I told my roommate “you know what? I finally feel like I wanna do more than the bare minimum again” and that was such a huge feeling for me after I had felt so empty and without energy for a long time. I’ve also changed a few things in my life. I have restructured my day just enough so that it has a lose structure to keep me from feeling like I am just drifting along, I’m trying to add some habits into my day like meditation, regularly working out and going to bed and getting up at a regular time and I call “offline-hour”.

Offline hour was really something I wanted to implement into my daily rhythm simply because a lot of my life happens online. During offline hour I turn off my Internet for an hour. No social media, no chats, just time for myself. Whether or not offline hour consists of me actively doing something or just chilling and listening to music for an hour doesn’t matter. This is my time that I am taking to turn off from the day, so to speak. And believe me when I say you cannot imagine how incredibly rejuvenating this hour is for me, it gets my mind to slow down and stops it from going what sometimes feels like million miles an hour. It’s pure bliss.

I also, believe it or not, may have finally found a solution for my pesonal problem that I have with procrastination. I will write a separate blog post on that soon because it’s really something I wanna share with you.

Alright Luna, that’s all fine and well you’ve found ways to no longer be burnt out but what about the social anxiety, how is that going?

I’m so glad, you’re asking, dear reader. As shitty as it might sound but the only way how you can beat social anxiety is by subjecting yourself to the situations you’re the most scared of. So I did. I went shopping although my heart was racing and I was constantly fidgeting around. I went to that gathering although my head was telling me a billion good reasons not to go and instead stay home where it’s safe and we don’t have to deal with anxiety symptoms.

However, just because you should subject yourself to those things, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it with stabilizers. I used to get massively overwhelmed by a lot of people and their noise, so I used to only enter stores or places with a lot of people with my headphones on. Works totally fine when you’re alone, not so much when you’re with someone or rather you’re meeting up with people to go somewhere, where a lot of other people are too. So that was always a bit of an issue. But thanks to my instagram algorithm I have found a solution for that too. I want to give you a proper review of that solution though also in another blog post because it deserves it. Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long.

But yeah, needless to say, I am doing much better. Of course there are always things that can still be improved, bad habits that can and need to be broken but I am making progress and I’m so incredibly happy about that. 😊

The last thing I still wanna say, if you’ve made it this far, is “thank you”. Thank you for sticking with me, thank you for being patient with me, thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for listening to me. I’m not writing these posts because I want pity or anything the like. I’m writing these because I want to be open about mental health related topics. I want to be open about how it easy it can be to slip into something like this and I want these topics to no longer be taboo topics no one talks about because we all have to function. We don’t. It’s okay to take breaks, it’s okay to say no and it’s okay to look out for yourself, to take care of yourself. In fact, it is not only okay, it’s a must.

So please do me and yourself a favor and do so ❤

And now I will go, offline hour is about to start. We’ll read each other in the next one.
Take care.

~Luna


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Posted in The Path to Self-Improvement

Day 1 – The First Step is Always the Hardest … Or is it?

Monday marked the first day for our “path to self-improvement” challenge, but before I go straight into our “findings” as promised, I want to first explain, how we decided to gage things.

It was clear to us that we needed some way of judging this whole thing, so we have decided to, besides just writing down our experiences, also create some parameters that would help us determine what exactly has changed/will change over the course of the challenge and we came up with the following:

  • Mood
  • Productivity
  • Sleepiness-Level (Energy Level was too mainstream xD) and
  • Motivation (that includes motivation for non-work/uni things as well as the stuff that we have to do)

Alright, now that you know the ins and outs, let’s jump straight into our experiences, shall we?

Thoughts on getting up early

Surprisingly, getting up at 8am for the first time in forever was not as bad as we both thought it would be. Joan even said that she felt surprisingly awake and excited in the morning but also mentioned that that might be due to her excitement about getting started with the challenge, which I shared. However, I think my brain was like “what the actual f is going on” because I was awake at 2am at night, after having gone to bed on time mind you, and couldn’t fall asleep for like an hour or so. Thanks brain… 😑

Morning Routines

Unlike me, Joan actually already had a morning routine (kudos to you girl, I thought I could never), which consisted of making her bed, doing her skincare routine and brushing her teeth, followed by “a nice steaming cup of coffee and some music to lighten my mood and make me feel less dead.” Her new morning routine isn’t drastically different but rather just improved. She added a 10-min yoga session and a 5-minute guided meditation with positive affirmations to the things that she was already doing.

As already mentioned, my morning routine was practically non-existent. Besides making my bed and brushing my teeth, my mornings always looked different from day to day. Sometimes I would have breakfast immediately, sometimes I would read for hours in bed or just be on my phone for ages and sometimes I would get up and have breakfast while watching a YouTube video. Basically pure chaos, zero structure (that sounds like a very bad ad for something). So, I definitely wanted to change that and start my day with some structure. Didn’t manage to do so on the first day tho, so more on that in the Day 2 Post.

Mood

Our mood was practically identical. We both were super excited to get started with the challenge and nothing really bad happened to us during the day either which led to both of us being in a pretty good mood for the entire day.

Productivity

Joan: “As it was the first day of a new uni semester today, I had a lecture to attend to and make some decisions of an organizational nature and plan some stuff out. I did more than usual on that day with the morning yoga and getting a healthy breakfast and all that. I noticed that I had a lot more time and I used that to learn some songs on my guitar like “Toss a coin to your witcher” (if anyone wants to start a band – let me know ;D).”

Me: Seeing as I work from home, I sometimes have pretty jam-packed days, but for the first time in probably since I started working for this company, I was actually done with all my stuff by roughly 2pm and I suddenly had a all this time at my disposal that I barely knew what to do with.

Sleepiness-Level

Joan: “My energy level was pretty high, also heightened by doing the yoga and the meditation in the morning with a noticeable down at around 10-11am. This down lasted for about 2 hours and I had to “fight” the urge to take a nap or something. I managed to do so and had a nearly constant energy level only interrupted by a slight headache at around 11pm in the evening.”

Me: I felt completely fine during the day and I was definitely more energetic than usual and it wasn’t until I had come back from a brief trip to the shopping center that I experienced an energy crash, but when I did, I kinda crashed hard. You know the meme of the little girl who just lays down on the beach and goes ” I wanna take a nap” – yeah, that’s what I felt like. I did resist the urge tho, by basically just eating a lot of cookies to keep my blood sugar up and distracting myself with some personal projects because I knew that if I took a nap right then and there, I would not have been able to fall asleep when I needed to at night.

Motivation

Joan: “I felt some motivation to get things started but not as much as I had hoped for. I cleaned the flat and felt excited to start the yoga routine and meditation, but I’m not sure yet, if that is not just my brain going ‘uhhh new stuff… shiny’. Jury is still out on that one.”

Me: My motivation was quite high during the entirety of the day and suprise, suprise there was barely any procrastination happening (say whaaat?). I got some work on some personal projects done and, as you might have noticed, for the first time in a long time I have actually written a blog post again.

So, this was our first day and those were our first experiences with starting the challenge. We are both still super excited to see what comes out of it, so I will definitely see you guys in the next post!

Stay safe and stay healthy!

~Luna


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Intrigued to see how this whole thing started? Here you can read the prologue of this miniseries:

  • Prologue – The Path to Self-Improvement
    Before I write anything else, I want to thank every single one of you that has so far liked, subscribed or supported this blog in any way, so thank you so much! It means so much more to me, than you can imagine! ❤️ So, there is no need to mitigate here: 2020 has been absolute crap for most of us, if not all of us. Admittedly, for me, there are some good things that have come out of 2020, however, the repeated lock downs and rule changes and heaven knows what not have been tiring, to say the least. […]

Posted in The Path to Self-Improvement

Prologue – The Path to Self-Improvement

Before I write anything else, I want to thank every single one of you that has so far liked, subscribed or supported this blog in any way, so thank you so much! It means so much more to me, than you can imagine! ❤️

So, there is no need to mitigate here: 2020 has been absolute crap for most of us, if not all of us. Admittedly, for me, there are some good things that have come out of 2020, however, the repeated lock downs and rule changes and heaven knows what not have been tiring, to say the least. To be fair, in the beginning it wasn’t so bad for me, since I am a huge introvert and don’t really go out that much anyway (introvert gang unite), but inevitably even I reached the point, where somehow everything went south.

I lost my motivation for things that I used to enjoy, including bullet journaling, streaming and, as you probably have noticed, blogging. Everything sorta felt “meh” to me and every single day, I only did the bare minimum that I had to do for uni and for my job. I even had days, where all I did was lie in bed all day, being on my phone and eating snacks. On top of that, I always stayed up until late into the night/ early into the morning, (depending on how you wanna see it) and got up late. So, needless to say, my life, time plan, sleeping schedule and mental state were all a bit of a wreck. And it stayed like that for the most part of the year. Not ideal for writing a thesis and finishing up your Bachelor’s degree at uni, but somehow I did it nonetheless. 😅

It was only recently that I found my spark again and decided that enough is enough, I don’t wanna live like this any longer. I realized that I alone had the power to change things and to improve, well, basically everything about my life, starting with my mental state.

Before I continue with my story, I want to state that I am 100% aware that in some cases this is not easy to do or might even be impossible without the help of therapy. So please, do not take this as a “oh, all you need to do, is change your mindset and then aaaall of your problems will magically disappear” *does the jazz hands*. Yeah, no. Mental health and related problems and of course mental disorders are to be taken seriously and they are in fact a real thing, despite what many people still to this day seem to believe, but in my case, it was indeed manageable.

So I took the time to look back on all the things that I had lost motivation for the previous year and really thought hard about why I lost motivation in the first place. What can be improved about these things, so that this doesn’t happen again? It would be too long to include all the reasons here, but let’s just say that for many things, I had the right mindset but the wrong approach.

When I recognized that what I had to do, was to approach things from a different perspective, all of a sudden my inspiration was back because suddenly there was something that I could do, something that was in my power to improve. I felt invigorated to go back to creating content, no matter which way, and finally again felt like I was actually able to do the stuff that I’ve been wanting to do. I realized and I know this is gonna sound cheesy af that the the thing that was holding me back was, as usual, none other than myself.

However, while changing my mindset was arguably the most important step, I also knew that it was only the first step of many that I wanted to take on this path to self-improvement (roll credits!). Mainly, I wanted to improve my sleeping schedule first and foremost and pick up some other good habits along the way.

Fast forward to I think it was Tuesday a week ago and a very good friend of mine and I are having a chat on discord about basically everything, as tends to happen with the two of us, and we end up talking about wanting to improve sleeping habits and the like. During the course of this talk, I somewhat jokingly suggest that we should make this into some sort of challenge and what do you know, roughly a week later, so starting from yesterday, we have set ourselves the challenge of getting up at 8:00 am every single day for this week and then starting from next week onward getting up at 7:00 am.

Many of you will probably now say: “Wow, 8:00/ 7:00 am? That’s so late, I (have to) get up at [insert any time earlier than 8:00/ 7:00 am] every single day” and I know, I know for many this will sound ridiculous, but believe me when I say that this a huge improvement, if you tended to not get up until noon before.

So long story short, I in particular wanted to have a way to hold myself accountable for actually sticking with this challenge and I thought it could be fun to document the results, difficulties, changes, improvements and so on. And thus, this will become a mini series on this blog (Yey! *throws confetti).

I have created a separate category, called “The Path to Self-Improvement”, where I will document the “findings” from the previous day every morning, for at least two weeks, in smaller blog posts. Joan, the friend that I am doing this challenge with, has agreed to also document and provide me with her “findings”, so we, and you, can see where our experiences differ and where they align.

So, I hope you guys are as excited to accompany us on this journey as we are about going on it and I will “see” you in the next post and of course, as always, please stay safe and healthy.

~Luna


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