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!

Book Club: Dollars and Sense

Hello fuzzbutts!

I enjoy listening to so many books and I just finished one that was great and I wanted to recommend to you.

So this one is called Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter. It discusses the various ways we think about money and how absurd we can be when faced with situations.

One example is how people will watch a locksmith for twenty minutes struggle to unlock their door, breaking tools along the way, and then happily pay 80 dollars plus whatever fee to replace the tools. On the other hand, if that locksmith were able to deftly open the door in less than a minute, 80 dollars suddenly sounds like a rip-off. “You’re absurd. It took you two seconds to open that door and you want 80 dollars?”

It also goes into things like how the owner of an item values it for more than a buyer would (I know people who do this routinely and sometimes I do it too). The way language can focus our brains and steer us into a certain direction. Would you like a 20% fat burger or an 80% beef burger? How about the way the convenience and instant expectations we’ve developed as a society has affected our spending habits? Sunk cost fallacies.

The book does use pretty fascinating research and the humorous tone was delightful to listen to. It does give practical advice for a lot of the information it gives and, for some of it, just becoming aware of my own thinking will be useful in the future. Given the state of furries and finances, I think this book would be a great read to help the fandom.

Enjoy, fuzzbutts!

Deliberate Practice!

Hello Fuzzbutts!

Today we’re going over the concept of deliberate practice. It’s a very general term that is intended to apply to anything you want to learn. It’s not just doing repetitive actions like memorization or drawing circles constantly, but it is focused on establishing and performing specific tasks to improve your performance. You find your weaknesses and look for ways to fix them. You look for specific ways to improve and follow those techniques.

Since I like talking about my own goals of drawing, I’ll start with that. I could spend hours upon hours drawing circles  and a few lines to represent heads. Unless my weakness is being able to draw a circle, this actually isn’t going to help me out. However, if I’m not happy with the way a muzzle or the eyes turn out, that’s something I could practice more. Not only just me practicing the eyes I draw, but looking at references and images that I admire and trying to imitate that process. I practice the eyes until I’m very happy with the way they are. I also practice variety since there’s so many types of eyes out there. It has a clear intention for me- draw better by drawing prettier eyes. If I eventually feel ok about eyes but now find I don’t like the way I draw hips, then I apply the same exercises I established and proceed from there to improve my art.

If you want to improve math skills or something more school-related, you can still apply deliberate practice. Study the problems and the solutions to them in the book. Then practice a few problems on your own and check the solutions. If you made a mistake, review where it happened. Try again and see if it works correctly this time. Unfortunately, in many math textbooks I’ve encountered, many practice problems have only some of the solutions and zero explanation of how the solution was even reached. In that case, a classmate or tutor might be able to shed light on where things went wrong in your thinking.

A good read on the principles of deliberate practice along with a ton of great examples can be found at James Clear’s Website and I recommend you look into it even just to get some ideas with regards to things you could apply the idea of deliberate practice to.

 

Good luck Fuzzbutts!

Book Recommendation: The 12-Week Year

Hello fuzzbutts!

I wanted to drop another book on you all! I’ll summarize the gist of it and you can decide if it’s worth looking into for more details! I think it’s actually very useful and I’ve been trying to incorporate it into my life.

So it’s the start of the year (or end of another) and you come up with big goals for the year. Tons of things you want to improve or get done. You then live your life and realize it’s late October and you’ve done next to nothing. Suddenly there’s no time to get it all finished and you feel guilty for not taking steps toward your dreams. You push it off for next year and fall into the same trap.

The problem with goals for the year is that you have a whole year to do them. You lose a sense of urgency when it comes to working on them and so it falls to the wayside as you try to keep up with life.  You beat yourself up over it and regret the entire year because of how little you accomplished of the things that truly matter to you.

The idea of the 12-week year is to set your goals for every 3 months. I’ve discussed ideas like this before but this book really boils it down. By setting yourself up for 3 months, you can still set substantial goals for yourself. It’s also short-term enough that it’ll stay in your mind that you need to work on it (Write them on a white board to help!).

I just barely covered the main point of the book and book contains a lot of details and ways to think about this. So go read The 12 Week Year !

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Change Change Change

Hi Furries!

Well I made my own leap recently and got a new job! Notified my current employer and training people to take over for me. In less than two weeks, I’ll be working in a new industry (for me). Recent post from me was avoiding Burning Bridges! So now I’m trying to make this transition as smooth as possible. They appreciate it because there’s a lot on the line if things would stop. So I’m still doing my best with less than 2 weeks to go.

I’m excited for this new job but there’s a nagging feeling at the back of my mind. Am I going to actually enjoy this new job? It’s probably really different from things I’ve done before. I know the job and I know the people I’m leaving. It’s one of those “the devil you know vs the devil you don’t” situations. I have no idea how the new situation will be and yet I know how bad the current situation is. Will the new one be worse, better? It’s hard to change! You can actually get comfortable being unhappy when you’re not sure if things will get better by taking the leap. Writing this blog and working on myself for the past almost-year now has led me to the following: Changing a lousy situation is always better than staying in the same place.

So what drove me to make this change? I knew I wasn’t pleased with my current job. After almost 5 years there, I was busted back to doing the same job I did when I was first hired. Granted the pay was better (I had been promoted twice), but this job was becoming stagnant. On top of that, I had survived 4 mass layoffs at this job and every time, the CEO or management comes out and says “This is a good thing. We’re getting more focused. You’re all safe.” After so many rounds of that, there’s a reduced sense of security. So maybe I’ll get cut eventually. So I wasn’t developing professionally and I didn’t see the place improving. Does that justify switching to a new industry and employer? Well it’s time to weigh the option to decide if change is right.

I don’t know the people I’ll be working with. They could be cool or way worse. What about the environment? It won’t be as pristine as the lab I used to run and the instrumentation might not be as fancy. Maybe not but there’s definitely a certain instrument there that is new to me and I would love to get experience with. What about money? Well it’s the same for the moment but in 6 months I’m guaranteed a significant raise so yeah the money will be better too. Commuting distance ? Well it’ll definitely be shorter and I will avoid freeways now so that could mean a lot more free time to do things! Advancement? Well it looks like maybe 2 years to become an official manager. I’ve been a mentor for years already and was recently passed over as a manager for somebody who already had official experience at my current job. I don’t see any changes coming within the next 2 years that would allow me to become a manager so I guess it’s better to change. Can I take the experience elsewhere? Yes. I’m going to be working in a place that is part of infrastructure and will allow me to move wherever I want! That’s awfully nice for somebody, like me, who plans to leave SoCal someday.

So I came to the decision that change is needed. I’m anxious, sure. I don’t feel great about it. I’m finding myself needing to do a little more meditation more often. It’s definitely uncomfortable but that’s how you move on to bigger and better things. It’s not incredibly different from changing my diet to improve my health or working out more or reading more books. I hope you can find something to improve in your own life. Pick one thing at a time and make the changes you know you need!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

It’s the New Year! Time for a New You!

Well it’s the second day of the new year! Hope you did alright in 2018. Now that we’re both becoming more active and productive with our lives, it’s time to look ahead to the rest of 2019. You’ve gone through some of your goals for 2018 to review how you did and maybe you’ve been putting together some goals for 2019. If you haven’t got your plan going forward, I recommend you get started. The sooner, the better!

One thing to keep in mind, as you align your various goals, is to envision yourself as the ideal you. How do you behave? What are your hobbies? What kind of work do you do? Imagine your ideal life for yourself. If you find it difficult to picture or detail your thoughts, then just pick somebody you know who you want to be more like. You’re not them and won’t ever be them but they have certain qualities you wish you would have or develop. Then work out your goals to help yourself embody those aspects. Are they disciplined? Maybe start with a set sleeping/waking schedule. Are they charismatic and friendly? Plan a goal that revolves around being more social. Do they keep things or drama from getting to them? Research some personal development articles or books to learn about how to deal with those situations. Are they learning something you want to learn? Start learning it yourself!

When working on yourself, you can find somebody to compare yourself against at the START so you can get a bearing on your life but then stop comparing yourself to them from that point onward. You can only really compare yourself against YOU. Compare how much you’ve developed yourself against who you were yesterday. If you don’t feel like you took any steps forward, then you have to assess and figure out a way to move ahead!

I’ve given myself a few goals this year and a new one I added was to move back out from the folks house this year. I’m going to start looking for a new apartment in March. The folks are great but I don’t see myself staying here for another 2 years to build up enough money to buy a condo. I’ve been looking for a new job around most of the country but haven’t had much luck with the process which makes me think my career isn’t far enough along for companies to want to import me from California. So if I haven’t found anything by March, I’m moving out, signing a year lease, and then being the best darn chemist at my current job that I can possibly be.

I hope you’re coming along nicely in reaching your goals and ideal self! Feel free to share or reach out to me if you want to talk about it!

Have fun, furries!

Wednesday Tailtip: Checking in on Becoming Your Fursona

Good morning fuzzbutts!

So today I wanted us to check in on our personal journeys. A while ago during a health post I made, I said that rather than focus on just exercise, think of it as becoming more like your fursona (since the majority of our original characters have ideal body types). Well how’s it going? Exercising, still? Eating a bit better? Any progress so far?

Well I am. I took my running to the next level on a beautiful little hiking trail by where I work. I listen to motivational videos to push myself harder so I can get into the physical shape I need. As time has gone on, I even started improving my eating habits and diets. So that’s awesome. Progress is being made!

As I’m physically approaching my fursona’s type, now it’s time to think about the next thing. Do I have the good habits of my fursona? Does my fursona play video games all day? Does my fursona spread themselves really thin with a huge variety of projects or is he just really good at a couple of things. Do they focus on acquiring stuff or experiences? Well my fursona’s interests are things I also have an interest in. So why not focus on the interests since I find those fascinating already? It’s funny to feel like you should live vicariously through a character you created but sometimes that’s the perspective that will motivate you to improve yourself. I want to emphasize GOOD habits. If your fursona is dark and brutal, then focus on the positive aspects. Are they confident, strong, disciplined,or even free spirited and fun? Develop those aspects in your life.

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!