Wuff’s Log: Feelings Last Night

Hi Fuzzbutts,

Lately, work has been pretty rough. It’s been requiring a lot more multitasking than I would like so I’ve been getting scatter-brained and making some mistakes. No I don’t think it’s to the level my job is in jeopardy or anything, but as anyone else who wants to do a good job, it does shake my confidence. However, as somebody who usually overthinks, it is the kind of thing I might go home, feel down on myself a bit, and brood over the problems I’m having.

Last night was a Food Bank night, though. I went to the local food bank for a volunteer shift I volunteered for. Given the virus pandemic going on right now, there is increasing concern about spreading it, especially considering the food bank is powered by volunteers to help the less fortunate, elderly, or both. What was the big task? Bagging potatoes. Standing there, 6 feet apart from other people, grabbing 40lb bags of potatoes and turning them into smaller bags of potatoes to be passed out, I actually started to feel better.

Every single bag I made became a person receiving that bag from a distributor. Some hungry person, down on their luck, would get one of my bags and get a little relief with it. As lousy as I was feeling last night, it became a race against myself to help as many people as I could. By the end of the 90 minutes or so of just bagging potatoes, I felt a bit better. The problems I have feel so small when compared with other people. I still have my worries about work but I feel better about myself at least. This is a feeling I often have there but last night is when I really felt it.

These are my feelings. I doubt I’m the only one who has ever felt down or incompetent. I just wish more people would reach out to help others. Maybe more people would feel better too.

Being Responsible by Avoiding Responsibilities!

Hello fuzzbutts!

How’s your plate looking lately? Got enough things to do? You sure? Are you able to handle all of it? Maybe there’s one or two things too many and they’re slipping off the plate. It’s fallen off the plate like a tasty meatball that rolled off the spaghetti and now is sitting on the floor, making you feel bad as you consider whether or not to pick it up again.

Let’s face it. We can get over our heads. We have some time, volunteer for something, and then it becomes a bigger project than we planned on. We see some fun thing we want to try (me and my 3d printing) and takes that on. Before we are even finished with that, we pick something else we like! Finally, our homes fill up with unfinished projects that each nag at us whenever we’re home, sometimes things for other people with a deadline approaching! We meant well but there’s just too much going on now!

Well there’s only a few things you can try to fix the situation. One of which is hammering down and focusing on your work so you can fulfill some of those responsibilities and catch up with everything else. However, that doesn’t do any good if you end up volunteering for something else so soon. There will always be something.

Everyone wants to feel wanted or appreciated. People come to you as the fixer and you’re always available to lend a hand. You love to feel useful and help out. Even worse, if you say No to them, you’ll be letting them down and they’ll be miserable!

It’s irresponsible to take on too much responsibility. There. I told you. You want to help but you can’t. You have way too many things on your plate already. Taking on this new thing is going to just make things worse which leads to you wanting to be helpful or make up for the issue. Just stop. You have enough to worry about.

So what do we do? Well if you find yourself with too many responsibilities, you need to stop yourself and check your list of tasks. Prioritize them as needed. If it’s not in your top three things to get done, consider dumping it entirely. Do you REALLY need to do that thing? Just wipe it off the list and then come back to it later if it’s still bugging you. Sometimes I still think about 3D printing stuff. However, in the grand list of stuff I’d like to do or am doing, that ranks too far down for it to warrant serious consideration.

Next up, get used to saying No to new responsibilities. You might have a little free time but that doesn’t mean you can dedicate yourself to a whole new project. If it was something that was going to go smoothly, they wouldn’t have asked for your help to begin with! Let others handle their responsibilities and you handle your own. If you do finally reach the point where you don’t have anything to do, congratulations! You’re the only person in the world to be in that situation! Then go ahead and offer to help out.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Intermittent Fasting to Productivity

Hello fuzzbutts!

Hope you’re doing well! I had an extremely busy and difficult week. Next month doesn’t look like it’ll be any better. When this happens, it becomes easy to want to retreat. You do your work, have a hard time, and go home to put on your potato fursuit and binge some Netflix. Who wants to be productive when you’ve been running ragged? You can push yourself to be productive for a bit but it’s easy to burn out too. So how do you maintain productivity and avoid the burn-out blues?

You’ve heard of intermittent fasting, right? There’s different ways but it’s essentially changing your diet so you’re fasting at some point. It may involve skipping a meal every day. Sometimes you eat normal one day and then you do a 24-hour fast. There’s several methods. I’ll leave the rest of the research up to you as far as any health benefits (it’s interesting). What does this have to do with productivity? Maybe you’ve already guessed.

If there’s something specific you do that isn’t productive, it’s good to take a break from it. Likewise, if you’re so productive you’re leaving a fiery trail behind you, it’s ok to slow yourself down and take a break. Maybe you need a compromise on both.

For me, it tends to be video games. I come home, pop on a chat with friends, and play some games either to stream to them or to play with them. Then I lay my head down and don’t feel so great about how I spent my time. Sometimes I come home, spend a bunch of time working on something and when it’s time for bed, I still feel wound up like I can’t relax. When I catch myself feeling these ways, it’s time to figure out what to do. If I find I’m spending too much time playing, I’ll stop myself from gaming. That doesn’t mean I force myself to work on goals. If I stop gaming, maybe I’ll write a blog post or clean my kitchen or handle some other business that’s been in my brain. Likewise, if my brain is running on empty, I’ll hold off drawing or an online course. Either way, the important thing is moderation and keeping some control over your behavior and brain.

Is there something you do that you spend way too much time on and avoid your goals? Try just saying “tomorrow I won’t touch X” and avoid doing that thing. Finding yourself burning out? Before you do, say “tomorrow I won’t do Y” and give yourself a break. Take a little of the routine out of your life and try doing something new or at least avoid the usual things. If you always binge some Netflix when you take a break, do something else like read something fun or just chill out with friends.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Balancing the Digital and Real Lives

Good morning Fuzzbutts,

In the digital age, it’s easy to be stuck in the digital world. You’re watching videos or movies online, playing games, chatting about stuff, whatever. The day ends and you flop into bed.

“Oh I could have done this! Oh I had time for that! I want to do this!” pops through your mind. There’s tons of times I’ve done this and even seen plenty of relatable memes on this very thing. Either way, you’re now tired, in bed, and regretting how you spent your time, kicking yourself now because you have to go to work tomorrow and you wasted your weekend.

In the US, the states are becoming smaller. Friends and family seem to have very few barriers anymore to moving around. You can still maintain friendships, thanks to the internet, but it’s more common now a days for people to have more friends online rather than in their own areas. So there will always be a draw to sit on your PC, doing things while waiting for friends to pop on.

There’s also the usual games, movies, and so on. These are easy time sinks where you can blow several hours trying to accomplish stuff in a game or binge watching a good show. We set a goal for ourselves (I’m going to finish this quest after all these side quests, I want to finish season 6 of this show) and it eventually is accomplished. We’re so focused on the goal and we accomplish the goal. Then, as soon as your head hits the pillow, the real goals you had suddenly fills your brain.

That’s a sign you’re a bit of of whack in balancing your digital life vs your actual life. Your life goals are being temporarily held off by other things and you’ve let your computer take over for a short period of time. So what do we do to figure out a solution? Is there a way to get back to a balanced lifestyle?

Yes! It’s just a matter of checking in with yourself throughout the day. Stopping whatever you’re doing (or at least stopping your brain) and asking yourself “Is there anything else I should be doing right now?” Then take at least 30 seconds to mull it over. If there’s something better you think you should be doing, it’ll pop right into your thoughts. Then you can decide if you want to do that vs whatever you’re currently doing.

So how do you stop yourself and check in? We lose track of time so easily. Well that’s where your phone or a timer comes in. Set a timer for an hour and when it goes off, check in. You could also set reminders on your phone for every hour or two (I use the google reminders function on my phone) where the reminder just says “Are you doing what you should be doing right now?” to prompt you. Then you get to make a decision about what thing in your brain you want to do. Hopefully you’ll find yourself having less nights where you fall into bed, hating yourself for all the stuff you forgot to do.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Giving Back Time!

Hi Fuzzbutts!

One thing I keep seeing fuzzbutts post are things involving being a victim or sad or something terrible that has happened in their lives. It gets depressing when you see so many people losing it on Twitter or other social media (mostly Twitter). Sometimes it can be a true cry for help and other times people just wallow. Part of it is a lack of personal goals and productively working toward meaningful ends. Another part is that we can get stuck in our own heads. I have my own problems and therefore, how do I help others? If you don’t address your issues properly, you just end up stuck, focused on yourself and not getting any better.

Unless you’re the worst off person in the world, you have something to offer others. If you have a talent, like drawing or crochet, make a gift for somebody you life. If you have means, help out a friend or check out GoFundMe to see if there’s somebody you’d like to just help. Have some time? Volunteer for something to help out. I started volunteering at the Food Bank for the past few months. I sign up for a shift (no hourly commitment like other organizations), show up, get assigned some very simple work, and stick to it for a couple of hours. At the end, the organizer announces how much work was done and how many people we helped in that one shift. It does give the warm and fuzzies to be around so many people doing good, regardless of the reason they’re volunteering!

This isn’t some miracle cure for fixing your own feelings. Your feelings are the result of a bunch of factors that each need to be addressed. However, getting out of yourself and helping others is just one thing you can do to help yourself and improve your own life. You may even find yourself having an attitude of gratitude. So look into yourself for something you might like to do for others and give it a try.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Recognizing Your Emotions

Hi Fuzzbutts!

Have you had a day recently where you wandered around feeling stressed? How about just angry where everybody got on your nerves? Well that’s normal, depending on all sorts of factors going on. Could just be a lack of sleep. Could be a lot of stuff has gone wrong and you’re feeling frustrated. The first trick is to catch yourself when you feel this way. Once you catch yourself, tell yourself how you feel.

This has been helpful this week and last for me. There have been a couple of days where this wuff didn’t sleep well. I’d go to work and find things just getting on my nerves or I just feel like I don’t have the patience for certain things. So what do I do? Analyze how I feel. Is anyone actually doing anything different? Why am I reacting so differently? “I’m tired and irritable. I need a nap.” was all I needed to say to myself and I felt better instantly. I knew what was going on with me and what was affecting my emotions and just knowing that gave me way more patience when dealing with others. I was tired but at least people didn’t bother me as much.

I had another time when things kept breaking down or not working. I’m sitting there, doing everything right, from my point of view, and things still went wrong. After a few hours of that, it was clear I was feeling stressed. “I’m frustrated and stressed out.” and suddenly I felt more clear. Things were still broken but I was able to let it go and sort out everything that had been done and other options to try.

So if you catch yourself feeling terrible in one way or another, stop yourself and try to identify the specific feelings you’re having in that moment. If you can go a cat’s whisker further, try to identify WHY you feel that way. Not necessary but it all helps. So keep good track of yourself and see how you feel!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Out of your brain and into your plan

Hello Fuzzbutts!

In the quest to achieve a distraction free environment or life (about as easy as seeking perfection itself), we have to keep on our peets. Are there things around us that stick in our brain? Is there a project or thought you keep considering but avoiding, burning up precious brain power while you decide whether or not to go for it? Could be something significant like pursuing the life of a fursuit builder. Or it could be something small. One thing in my head is I want to investigate the plumbing under my bathroom sink. It seems to drain slowly so maybe there’s a clog somewhere? It pops into my head every single time I brush my teeth or clean my hair. I then proceed not to do anything about it except say “Sooooon.”

Don’t do that when it comes to something that keeps popping into your head. If it keeps coming up on a regular basis, then it’s time to do something about it! Set up an appointment with yourself, set aside some time, and then start working on it! I’ll be in the bathroom! You, on the other hand, might be tackling a project in the yard. You might be shopping for materials to advance your art. You might be looking up classes for something you’ve been wanting to learn! Whatever it is, take the time to look into the subject!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!