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Struggling to relax

ApolloApollo Posts: 804 Part of The Mix Family
edited June 2021 in Health & Wellbeing
Hi, I started writing something here about the past seven days and trying to relax, but it kind of turned into a ramble. I like what I wrote and think there's value in it so you can read it here by opening the spoiler tab.
Hi everyone, Apollo on the mic

This past week has been one of my favourite weeks in recent memory. I feel like I've learned so much, and I've done so much too.

7 days ago I decided I would delete the social media apps I had on my phone. I wanted everything to stop for just a little while so I thought deleting my social medias and trying to put less pressure on myself would help me relax and lift my mood a little (shit's tough).

I would say that I failed in meeting this goal. Although I deleted the apps from my phone, I basically just did other unproductive things like watching YouTube all day, and also I realised that I was pretty naïve. Maybe looking back on this it's obvious but just "putting less pressure on myself" and telling myself to relax doesn't actually do anything. I still panic, I still feel hopeless, I still can't relax. I'd like to mention right now that while I say I felt panic and hopelessness, which I did, I also enjoyed a lot of this week, I just wanted to express that I couldn't escape the feelings that I set aside a week to do.

My mood has been shifting really violently over the past week. As I mentioned I felt hopelessness, and this is by far my least favourite feeling, and I just genuinely couldn't see a way where I live happily, the thought of happiness just felt so unattainable. But then sometimes I feel just so determined, 'I'm going to get through this, and I'm going to be great' that kind of thing. What I appreciate about my brain is that when I feel like I can be great I don't imagine fame, I imagine making things that I'm proud of. I know that's not a big deal but it makes me happy that this is what my subconscious sees as personal greatness. Anyway, neither of these feelings can last and I can't seem to banish the feeling of hopelessness, as desperately as I want to.

Notably, there was one other goal I had this week, and it is uniquely unproductive. I wanted to start a video game that I had bought three or four weeks ago. Miraculously I failed that goal too. I wanted to start this game because it looks fun and playing games is a great way for me to relax, but I just couldn't. Every night I'd want to do something productive, like drawing or trying to make a song or something like that, so I couldn't start the game, because my subconscious saw that as a waste of time. And then I'd watch YouTube until 3AM and spend a further 3 hours trying to sleep, all the while feeling guilt about not doing anything productive. It's just a mess.

I realise I started this post mentioning that this was one of my favourite weeks in recent memory, and I feel like so far that might actually sound quite sad, so let me explain why I like this week. I've felt hopelessness before, in recent weeks, but this is the first time in a while I've felt a true determination and hope that whatever I'm feeling hopeless about can go get fucked because I'm better than it and I can beat it, its an amazing feeling. Also an assortment of things too rambly even for this section have happened and I just feel so fucking proud of myself sometimes, just for keeping going, for not letting my spirit die, even when sometimes it feels like it's already dead. I want to feel this determination and pride all the time. I want to love myself. I want to feel like I can relax. I want to be happy and feel like I have the energy to make things and be productive, but sadly that's the minority of the time.

It's just been such a crazy week. I feel like I've learnt so much. If you're here, thanks for reading, means a lot.
Basically, I tried to relax for seven days but I couldn't, struggling to relax has been really difficult and I'm desperate for things to just slow down and my brain to shut up, quite frankly. Does anyone have any advice on how to relax?

🎵 I feel so funny these days, I'd rather sleep than stay awake 🎵


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    naominaomi Posts: 94 Budding Regular
    Hey, I just wanted to start off by saying that I am glad that you have learnt something from this week. You may not it this way but you actually did something really productive in my opinion, deleting the social media apps. Not saying that social media is bad and makes you unproductive but from what I can gather you saw that as an area of unproductivity in your life and so you paused it to make room for more productivity, so don't be so hard on yourself.
    My advice to you is this, see everyday as an opportunity to be able to do something new. If YouTube is stopping you and you really don't enjoy spending that time on YouTube, I suggest taking a break from it. Every time you find yourself going to the app or on the app, put your phone down and try to do something else, pick up that video game or get a pad and paper and start writing lyrics for your songs. It sounds easier than it is because I have tried it and it is tough but if you are willing and want to just separate yourself from YouTube, this is something that has personally worked for me literally walking away from it.
    For relaxing, I personally listen to my favourite music or go for a walk to get out of my head. Even writing down what I am thinking or sorting through those thoughts out loud is quite helpful in calm down because you then can address thoughts right there and then. If you can spend time with others, play a game with friends or family to distract you from your thoughts as well.
    I hope my advice is helpful and I hope to see that you have another great week :).
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    lovemimoonlovemimoon Posts: 2,318 Boards Champion
    Heya! Sending out lots of love and encouragement! <3

    I agree with everything @naomi said here: you're making steps to be more productive by getting rid of areas of unproductivity. Making shifts like that can be difficult to adapt to so give yourself time! One of the strangest things about getting rid of that area is trying to fill in that void. This was once something you've spent your time on. You got rid of it, now what?

    My advice:
    To be productive, think of all the things that's causing you to be unproductive and slowly take baby steps to cut down the usage of that. Let's use Youtube, for instance: Set yourself a personal goal - use Youtube only in the evenings? As you get used to this, slowly cut down the time you're on Youtube. There will be moments where you've slipped and that's okay! Reflect back to what happened and take steps to improve. <3
    Another thing about productivity is trying to fit it in your daily routine. We tend to have plenty of ideas and sometimes it's hard to fit it all in. Give yourself at least one productive thing to do and go for it. <3

    Funnily enough, there are also little things you do that are actually productive: a big example here, you writing down your thoughts and sharing it on the Mix was very productive! You giving out advice and interacting with other people are also productive things!
    Celebrate every moment that you wake up and appreciate the actions that you do - you got out of bed, brushed your teeth, got washed/dressed, ate something, etc.

    Something that personally worked for me: highlighting reasons why this area is causing unproductivity and finding alternatives!
    I gave up my phone (and I mean, I haven't touched my phone for weeks now) for many reasons and with those weeks off my phone, I've learned a lot about myself and what exactly I wanted to do with my time to be more productive - and that anything that I did on my phone was a replacement of my hobbies. Anything that I used my phone for, I can replace it with something else. For instance, I used my phone for:
    • Taking photos - Bought a camera and I've taken it everywhere since.
    • Listening to music - Bought an MP3 player and downloaded songs there.
    • Reading books - I picked up a book from my bookshelf and started reading. Planning to go to the library in my free time if COVID clears up.
    And a lot more but you get the gist. In small ways, I've shifted my interests and hobbies into something productive. It's not something I do everyday, granted but it's a start.

    In terms of relaxing, there are many ways. Go out for a walk in the park, appreciate the scenery around you. Listen to music, play video games - maybe something that isn't too intense. Write down your thoughts in a journal if you're feeling too tense to do anything. <3

    I hope you're doing okay. <3
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    ApolloApollo Posts: 804 Part of The Mix Family
    @naomi & @lovemimoon

    Thanks for reading and thanks for your advice and your kind words.

    I think your advice all sounds good. I'm going to try not going on YouTube until the evenings, because a big part of my day is spent lying in bed after I've woken up, which sucks.

    I'll let you guys know how I find it, I guess I don't have too much to say but I really appreciate these responses.

    🎵 I feel so funny these days, I'd rather sleep than stay awake 🎵
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    Past UserPast User Recovering🥀 LondonPosts: 0 Just got here
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    ApolloApollo Posts: 804 Part of The Mix Family
    Thanks for the advice @zaynab_5, I'll be sure to try this
    🎵 I feel so funny these days, I'd rather sleep than stay awake 🎵
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