Blogmas (Day 4) – The Stress-Detox

December can be a very tough time with Christmas approaching and all the things to be done before the year ends – who doesn‘t get stressed out, right? Fortunately there are a few easy tips which I‘m going to present to you today as to how you best get de-stressed in December.

First, don‘t do Blogmas! Blogging every day just overdoes it when you have a busy schedule at hand.

Second, don‘t work at a gift wrapping station in a popular book shop. Eight hours a day dealing with unhappy customers who want everything to be their way – who does that to themselves?

Third, read a book that doesn‘t challenge you to think too much. A vampire romance perhaps. Anything but titles such as Multiculturalism in Latin America. Your brain‘ll get all fuzzy and weird.

And lastly, eat healthily. Avoid stuffing yourself with porridge and TimTams for days on end.

Okay, I suppose I‘m not doing so well myself on the whole de-stressing issue – but honestly, I‘ve tried this Christmas themed porridge and now I just can‘t stop! And it‘s not like I have the essential time to cook between work and uni and homework. God bless the microwave!
For me to actually take care of myself when times are rough is quite the challenge. I get a bit into a crazy Hermione Granger mode where I spend nights on end reading and revising my notes, and I actually get up super early sometimes, just so I can be at the library when it opens. And this doesn‘t even have anything to do with Christmas, this is just the exam season alone!

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Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com

However, what I have found to be incredibly helpful is to take some time out when I really have no time at all to take out. When I realise that I need to rearrange my thoughts and just breathe for a bit I watch Harry Potter or take my dog for a walk. There are a lot of things that can be done in three hours, but then again it‘s just a couple of hours. If I fail an exam because of half an afternoon spent restoring my mental health, then maybe I‘d have failed anyway.

Last night my brother and I went to see Bodo Wartke in Bern. It was brilliant and funny and it really took my mind off things. And when we came back home close to midnight I actually found the energy to sit down at my desk and work for another two hours – something I might not have done as effectively had I stayed home all night.

This whole topic for today‘s post was Anna‘s idea by the way – as if I‘d ever come up with the idea of not stressing about! Not to blame her, just remember to have a look at what she has to say (probably less rambling, more sound advice – she‘s very wise!) – www.tinytrinket.wordpress.com.

I hope everyone‘s holding up fine and enjoying the festivity of the month!

Lots of Love from the Roots of my Heart!
xxx

And btw! Multiculturalism in Latin America is a brilliant book, do not read the latest Twilight novel instead, okay?

I get distracted… A LOT!

Those of you who have read my past blog posts will have gathered that my life has been quite busy recently. I have been out and about every weekend attending parties and other social events.

So seeing as I now have a couple of days without any plans I decided to use the time to write on a paper I have to hand in by the end of the break. Being a history major comes with a lot of reading and writing – not just the dissertation at the end of your studies, you‘re expected to write smaller analysises before that. So last week I sent the first one to my supervisor but instead of going out to celebrate this minor achievement, I stayed at my desk and started the entire process all over. After a couple of panicky e-mails to my supervisor yesterday as to how I should possibly figure out a main thesis, he patiently reminded me that we had already discussed this and that if I just had a look at my notes I would find that I had a solid thesis and only needed to start writing. To me, this is always the scariest part of the writing process: the actual writing. I spend weeks just reading and taking notes and thinking up good sentences, and whenever I finally sit down in front of my computer I feel so utterly lost. It‘s like packing for a long holiday when you can‘t shake off the feeling that you‘ve forgotten something very important. So today I put on my onesie and started writing an introduction but halfway through I realised that it was so terrible I opened a new document and wrote something even more dreadful, and after the third go I just opened up the first one again.

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I love writing more than anything and it‘s definitely something I want to some day do for a living – but the image people have of me writing is just not true. Usually when I talk about having to write a paper or article my friends go, „But this is so easy for you – you‘ll have that written in no time!“ Well, duh! I spend hours staring into the screen with my mind going  Write – Write something – Write ANYTHING – Write… maybe I should put on a bra, just to feel a bit more business-like – How would J.K. put this? – Come on, you little bitch, write! – ooh, a Facebook notification! – Aw, a puppy! – Okay, write! – I‘M BLUE DABBA-DEE-DABBA-DAH!

It is fair to say that I get easily distracted! Ironically enough I found this video by Giovanna Fletcher earlier today, and I must admit I went straight for the cupboard to dig for Nutella!

If anyone has a word of advice, I‘ll gladly take it! The only thing I successfully managed to do was to put a picture of Matt Smith on the wall that insists on me writing; to be honest, it scares me a little! And, I mean, I make progress; I‘m sure my supervisor will be very happy to hear that I have so far managed to quote one book, namely Groovy Greeks by Terry Deary. Sounds academic enough, right?

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Crazy Cat Lady or What Am I Doing With My Life?

Everyone has a picture of how they see themselves at a certain stage of their lives. Sometimes of course those pictures change – although I don‘t see how anyone ever stops wanting to be a Disney Princess! – and some pictures stay with us. For a really long time I wanted to be a teacher. Then I fell in love with Orlando Bloom when I started being a teenager, and I wanted to become an actress. When I finished Secondary School I settled for writing. When we think ahead we always see ourselves somewhere ideal. Maybe with a family in a big house or living somewhere abroad hunting kangaroohs or doing surgery on people‘s hearts. But getting there can be quite a scary process. Once you finish school there‘s always the big question of What Now? Becoming a teacher really seems quite straight forward, but do you really want to go to uni straight away? Wouldn‘t it be good to go on the safari you‘ve always dreamed of? Shouldn‘t you go on a couple of dates before you start working for good? Isn‘t there a way of figuring out who you really are? Days of lying around on your bedroom floor, just trying to figure out what you want out of life right this moment, listening to one song over and over again while flipping through the pages of a travel magazine…
But really, we stress ourselves way too much over these things. Dreams don‘t go up in flames if you put them on hold – whoever said that you had to be a human rights lawyer before you‘re twenty-seven? The world holds an infinite number of possibilities and we are able to do whatever we want to.

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To me the only thing that really matters is me being happy. I love writing and maybe some day I‘ll do it for a living. And maybe the plays I write are the only things that will ever be published. But what‘s important is that we don‘t define our happiness over the pictures in our heads. Pictures can change and sometimes they do for the better.
When I think way ahead I always imagine myself as a crazy old cat lady. It‘s not very ambitious but it seems peaceful and kittens are cuddly. I‘d drink tea all day long and I‘d knit funny socks for my grand children and I‘d rewatch Doctor Who.
I know life probably isn‘t going to be like that in seventy years (being optimistic here), but we need this picture inside us to get by. Maybe you‘re lying around moping right now, but as long as you have some idea of where you want to get you‘re not going to be stuck forever.

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I'm just gonnahave a bunch of 'em
I’m just gonna have a bunch of ’em

You may not have the potential to change the entire world, to bring world peace or to find cancer treatment – but you have the potential to live your life and to go where you want to. You may not get there tomorrow, but you‘ll get there eventually and life will make a little more sense!

Procrastination

I know it has been some time since I last blogged about whatever this is that I‘m doing, and I feel it‘s time to let all those who have been asking know: I have not been busy with sex!
Yeah, now would be a great time to apologize for being absent by telling some fascinating story about how I rescued a kitten from a burning house and how I then had to be rescued myself and how I have been looking after poor Mr. Snuggles for the past days, treating his injuries and only now being free enough to write some lines. Umm, well, no. Actually I once witnessed a house burning down, and I don‘t think I would have saved a kitten from in there. It was really scary.

Anyway, you‘ve probably already guessed it from the title that I‘ve been very busy procrastinating. I suppose sex could count as a form of procrastination unless it is specifically used to populate the earth, but really, that‘s not what I meant. Anyway! (*fakecoughing*) Procrastination seems to be a really popular topic to blog on lately, and I have so far always thought I would not write another article on this. Because, let‘s be honest, writing about procrastination is just another way of procrastinating your way around having to find an actual interesting topic to write on.

The thing about me is that I hate being bored. And that is kind of a problem if you are facing a five week holiday at home after having been to Central America for six months. And I have been really well prepared for all those free days, too. I was going to finally write a novel, there‘s a play I‘m currently writing with my theatre group in Bern, I have two blogs to update, I was going to read a ton of books… it worked well for a while, but then I decided I had to make a scrap book of Honduras, like, right now! And that turned out to be more fun than staring at blank pages, trying to fill them with words. That and watching „F.R.I.E.N.D.S.“ Also, I tried to start uni this week, but even that sort of failed seeing as I have only had one lecture so far.

First day of officially being a university student! Yay!
First day of officially being a university student! Yay!

The problem with procrastination is that it is fun. It may not get you anywhere, but it‘s far from boring. I don‘t mind watching „F.R.I.E.N.D.S.“ all day and sorting through pictures of happy times. And, you know, John Green did say that the time we enjoy wasting is not wasted time. Let‘s take some comfort in that!

Oh god! I just watched Daniel Howell‘s video blog on the topic and realised that I‘m not even doing procrastination right. I don‘t have lunch, I just get breakfast really late and then forget about eating until dinner time and I don‘t actually have any obsessions on the internet, because my Twitter account has like nine followers and Tumblr kills my Mac off. And I keep forgetting that my blogs now have a Facebook page. I think that is my cue to getting some actual, real life work done!

Cheers! xxx

(also, check out these videos that do not help at all if you want to be productive right now!!)