Anxiety Overwhelming? How I dealt with a recent bad patch.

Good morning, fuzzbutts!

Been a busy couple of weeks for me. The job has been working me hard. I’m trying to close a deal on a home. I’ve been talking to various parties on how to get this home purchase done. I’m trying to find the time to draw. I’m working around my folks’ home to improve the place as much as possible before I move (landscaping mostly). I’ve been sleeping really lousy and I noticed I’m starting to get a little shaky in my hands sometimes. When I flop into bed at night, my heart starts to pound and, in spite of how tired I feel, I can’t fall asleep for a long while. When I do sleep lately, I wake up 2-3 times in the middle of the night. Gee whiz! How could anyone not feel so stressed?

The first thing I had to do was realized I was stressed. Not just temporary quick stress but prolonged, untreated stress. Even though I knew I was tired and not sleeping well, it was tough to recognize I was stressed. Once I knew I was really stressed out, I had to figure out why I was stressing. I tallied up the reasons why I was stressed and then needed a way to deal with it. Just diagnosing all of this took a lot of processing.

So what did I do? Normally, sleeping better would be the first step. In spite of trying to sleep better, I wasn’t able to stop waking up in the middle of the night. It was worsening a difficult situation but it wasn’t the cause of my stress. Normally I get stressed due to a lack of sleep but this was me lacking sleep due to stress. I had other things to focus on if I wanted to improve my sleep.

One, I had to stop trying to rush the process on the home buying. Yes, a labor day weekend to move all my stuff and settle in would be nice. No, I can’t actually rush through the paperwork and get all parties to sign it immediately. No it’s not so bad to only have a two-day weekend to move my stuff. Yes I am excited to move into my own home. No, I don’t have to keep talking about moving to everyone or asking for random advice.

Two, just because I was moving didn’t mean I had to rush fixing up the folks’ home. I wasn’t moving super far and would still have weekends to help out if my parents need it. It’s physically demanding enough without me forcing it to happen with everything else going on.

Finding time to draw turned out to be one of the easier things to resolve. During lunch at work, I eat my meal and head to my car. I brave the heat to sit in my car and draw for a while. I don’t care to have coworkers see my furry art and I’d rather keep my time after work to hit the gym. Still, I find this time of the day to give me the least amount of mental resistance and I sometimes surprise myself with a quality piece I enjoyed making.

As far as work, I decided to pace myself better. I have some control of my time and I had been rushing to get as much done in as short a time as possible. If I schedule appropriately, I can get everything done without running around like a wuff with his head cut off. Also, while scheduling my own work, I volunteered any free time between tasks to helping others get their own work done. One of the most satisfying evenings was helping somebody who had to work extra late and save them a few hours of time. Getting out of my head and dedicating a few hours to helping somebody was so helpful.

Last night was the first night in a while I slept well. It’s not like the stress magically went away. It’s still there. I’m still dealing with it but it’s manageable again. Much of the rest will go away with time and once I get through the situation with moving and home purchasing. I also enjoy the thought that my commute will drop by more than half and I’ll have way more free time overall. Things are looking up, even if I got pretty down recently.

Fall off the wagon? Time to get back on!

Hello fuzzbutts!

How’re those good habits coming along? Start drawing more? Eating better? Exercising more? All those good things? Did life get in the way?

Sometimes you’re eating better and then the convenience of lousy or fast food overtakes your new habit again and you’re back to eating some terrible food. You got active and healthier but then you got sick and had to stop. You’re all better now but it’s hard to start again and you feel like you’re starting from scratch again.

Well I have good news! Just because a good habit (or anything replacing a bad habit) has stopped doesn’t mean you’re starting from scratch again! Stopped exercising? You’re still healthier than you used to be and you know what to do the next time you hit the gym. Stopped drawing? Well all those extra hours or days of experience you built up before you stopped still have you as a better artist than before you got into the habit.

Imagine how awful it would be if you stopped drawing for a month and suddenly all your ability devolved to how good you were when you were 3Ick! 

So, since you were closer to your ideal life before, you just need to pick up the ball and run with it again. Resume working on those skills! Keep working on losing that weight! You’re further along than you think and you already did the hard work of starting the first time. Starting it up again will be easier this time. So dust off that list of good habits you stopped working on and give it another go!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Dealing with the Post-Convention Depression

Hi fuzzbutts!

You’ve had your fun at the convention. Met friends you haven’t seen in ages and made new friends! You had a care-free fun time the entire convention and then you’re on the plane or in the car to head back to real life. The high of the con starts dipping down and you get home again with a desperate need to do laundry and put everything away. However, by now your mood has dropped into the deafening void and the various chores to accomplish look impossible and you lost pretty much all your motivation.

I know I went through this. I was willing to let my fursuit air out after a long weekend of use and just took way too long to get around to actually washing it. Dirty laundry sat in the washing machine way too long and I just flopped on the bed or at my computer and found it tough to get anything done. So I did a bit of inner exploration, realized I was depressed after the convention, and then decided to figure out how I can address this since I know it affects many convention goers.

One of the first things I realized was a sense of loneliness since most my friends had moved away. While I usually enjoy alone time, even I experience the lows that come with missing friends. So the first thing I did was start reaching out to those friends. I made new friends at the convention too and we shared our contact info and social media and I started talking to them too. They were all pretty darn chatty too so it was very helpful to keep in contact with them to combat the PCD.

Another thing I realized is my mood was down because I was just exhausted. At the con, you’re riding high and you’re having so much fun that it’s hard to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Starving yourself because you don’t want to eat without your friends but they’re taking too long. Then, when you do eat, you’re eating quick food or junk food. Sleeping late because there’s so much going on. Drinking and having fun like a crazy person. Then we’re surprised that so many people leave a convention with con crud (the almost immediate cold/illness you get as you’re leaving a con or immediately after a con). Being physically tired/weaker will lower your mood and contribute to the post-con depression.

So if you’re set on not taking care of yourself at the convention and want to party hard, the best way to recover after the convention is to just rest and start eating better immediately. You’ve put yourself through a lot and need to take the appropriate rest and eat something that will put your body back to normal, if not even healthier food than normal. Your body will recover and then you’ll just feel better there too.

So the gist of dealing with post-con depression is to put yourself out there and reach out to friends in a way that’s enjoyable. Don’t go telling them you’re so miserable and sad. Just be social and chatty. Also, eat something to help your body and take the appropriate rest. You’ll feel better way faster and your mood will improve to drive away the post-con blues. Then you can get back to being productive!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Going for Walkies!

Hello fuzzbutts!

One thing I think a lot of us could work on some more is getting outside more often. It’s not the common furry that goes out and about to try new things or see new places. I’m very guilty of this, myself. I’m not even talking about in-suit. I just mean going out. The world around you can be fascinating and beautiful. So why not explore and see if there’s anything out there?

Well, I’m not really into just going out on my own so I started inviting friends. They’ve been working on their own levels of fitness and they were open to hanging out and going for walks around some of the areas none of us really checked out. Top of a mountain that people walk up regularly or a long trail that ends in a waterfall. It’s all enjoyable and you’ll hopefully feel a sense of accomplishment that you finally did something like that. Go with friends. An 8-mile hike might feel pretty daunting by yourself but friends make it amazing and fun. So look up some trails and interesting areas around your place and invite your pals to go with you!

Another thing I might try experimenting with is leading a group. Once I feel comfortable checking out a lot of these hikes and trails, I might start inviting more and more furries and make it a furmeet type of thing, only health-helping.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Good enough just isn’t, sorry!

Good morning fuzzbutts!

Sorry for the delay this week. Have you ever acid-washed a pool? I have.

Earlier this week I got into a discussion with somebody who wanted to announce to everyone, including you, that you are good enough and don’t have to worry about changing. For those of you who read my blog, you know I consider that heresy for anyone looking to do more and better in their lives.

“Good enough” in my opinion, is a level of dissatisfaction that somebody considers less painful/more comfortable than sticking to your goal. It’s trying to go from 240lbs to 170lbs but stopping at 200 because you really want that burger and you hate going to the gym. 200 lbs is “good enough.” It’s trying to draw artwork at a level like Strype and then stopping at the sketch phase because shading is hard or you don’t want to learn to color or refine your raw sketch. Your raw sketch is “good enough.” It’s settling for a job because a promotion or your dream job requires you to go to school or get some extra training. Because of the extra unpaid work involved in advancing your career, your current job is “good enough.”

Everyone wants to consider themselves extraordinary in some way. I mean look at your fursona! You love being unique! So become extraordinary! Good enough is just settling for less. Don’t become “good enough.”

I’m not saying to be dissatisfied with your life all the time. Celebrate the advancements and small victories you achieve. Just don’t settle at a level that isn’t your actual goal. Keep working hard and push yourself to levels that you only dream about.

Good luck, Fuzzbutts!

Time to get up early!

Hello fuzzbutts!

This title is a doozy for many of you! Just hear me out first!

I know in my previous posts from a couple months ago, I said I just wake up, eat breakfast, clean up, etc etc and then go to work. Well, the more I’ve explored my mornings, the more I realized these are great times to be productive!

After a day of work, you might be feeling rather drained. That’s one of the reasons I try to keep my workouts to the mornings since I’d rather avoid traffic and I’m usually tired at the end of the day. Waking up earlier gives me the time I need to do that!

After realizing how much better it was to have time for a workout, I expanded my idea to include other activities. What about a little mindfulness meditation to relax? Maybe squeeze in some time to read!

“I can’t wake up early. I’m not a morning person.” you say, still cuddling your blanket while you stand at the cash register buying coffee. “Nonsense!” I say. Anyone can be a morning person. It just takes a little work to get used to it. So how do I do it? No you won’t just be able to go to sleep earlier since it’s not really your schedule.

Wake up earlier than you want to by about 30 minutes. It’ll be difficult but you’ll survive. Go about your day as normal while enjoying that extra 30 minutes in the morning to make progress in whatever you want. Go about your day and then go to sleep a little earlier. Good chance it’ll be easier to sleep early this time around. Continue to inch yourself along until you’re waking up at the desired time.

Wednesday Tailtip: Instant pot

Hello Fuzzbutts!

As a follow-up to a previous tailtip about meal prep, I wanted to give a quick tip on my favorite way to meal prep: I bought an instant pot.

My multi-function 8-in-1 cooker has all kinds of functions. I can make rice, yogurt, slow cook foods, and program how I want it cooked. I love it because I can throw stuff into it in the morning, set the timer, and it’s kept warm after the programmed time and I have everything ready when I’m home! I also use it on Sundays where I throw enough food into it to prepare all my lunches for the week.

Mine was around ~$80 so it wasn’t a huge investment but it has made my life much easier. Hopefully you’ll also learn how to eat healthier as you search up tons of recipes online. Good luck!