How I chill out – recharging from tough days and anxiety.

We all get those days, for some of tussle this might be a string of unhappy moments or a situation at work and we’re done with the whole world. Everyone deals with it differently. I decided to share how I, being an anxious person, deal with tiredness and stress in those few free hours before bed. 

1) Steam it off. Whether it is mind or body, having a hot shower or bath can really help you relax your muscles. This will help calm the outer effects of anxiety, feeling closed within yourself, by resting your muscles. I like to improve this effect by using Epsom salts, either as they come or in a shower gel when I only have access to a shower. I like to sit down and let water fall an my head and through my hair. I like to imagine I’m a fluffy animal in need of tender care. It helps. 

Also, if you know you can over think when you’re alone and not focusing on something (which I experienced a lot with OCD) a good thing to do is to use the water and shower products to ground yourself. It’s a sensory experience, so try focusing on the smells, textures and sounds, for example of the water.

For muscles, I try and massage my legs and neck, to get rid of any lactic acid build up from the day.

2) Feel cosy and safe. Try and do find a space in your house or room where you feel especially safe, don’t worry about being childish. A lot of people like building forts or just putting a duvet under their desk. It can really make a differrence when you’re anxious, finding a cosy place will help when you’re tiered (but remember to make room to rest your neck and legs) and make it feel like you have less “space” to worry about and are protected. 

Fun fact: we were actually not at the top of the food chain. We get anxious and freeze because we were hunted by other animals too. Scientist had found the remains of a type of giant cat that had a tooth designed to pull our heads off. šŸ˜²Not a nice idea to consider when you’re anxious, I know, but helps to put into wprspective that your situation isn’t as life threatening as you may think. 

3) Find the right playlist. My advice is not to put on anything that you know well or like too much. It might stir up some unwanted feelings if you’re anxious, and if you’re tiered then if you are an introvert, it may feel like it is draining you even more ( let me know if you feel that if you’re an introvert too, or is it just me?) 

Thanks to the spread of streaming services and channels of all types on YouTube, you can find something new that will feel just right in the background and can make you cosy enough so you feel like you in a Hollywood film.

Personally,  I like putting binaural beats on if I feel really down. If I’m manageable I like “Deep Dark Indie Folk” on Spotify, which includes songs by Hozier and Sarah Janosz. Or if I am on YouTube, I search for video music compillations by Axian or Emotional Tokyo. I also reccomend genres such as deep house, reggae and anything piano (think Chopin and Erik Satie).

4) Get busy and creative. It’s good to either keep your mind or body busy. If you’re anxious, it’s good to do something with your hands. I like to either strum my guitar and sing some songs, or watercolour. Km not at all pro at either, but it gives me time to my self and I am pleasantly surprised when something comes out right. 

Hope this of some help to you guys. If you struggle with anxiety, expecially OCD, feel free to contact me, I know what it’s like. 

– Alicja 

Missed Out and That- A Poem

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Let me lift you up,
I have a bouncing beat in my heart,
kinda like a happy deep house beat.

Come on, don’t go downstairs,
I’m an introvert too but
don’t settle for beign depressed.

Let’s get dancing for once
let your muscles do what they want,
feel that same house beat I do,

let’s drink,
smoke and have fun,
then sit back on the sofa
and laugh for a while.

I miss that.

Talking Point: The Forward Book of Poetry 2017

Welcome to this new innitiative of mine named Talking Points, which will consist of loose reviews and a general thoughts to which various entertainment wil lead me. Expect a mixture of contemporary and old stuff. 

This week (I’ll try and make this blog post type weekly) I gave some contemporary poetry a go. Forward is a prestigious poetry award give to best poems and best poetry collections. This book consisted of  the shortlisted poems for 3 different prizes and a bunch of highly acclaimed ones. 

For Ā£8.99 at Waterstone’s, I thought it wasn’t a bad deal. I was happy to see that the poetry section in the store had expanded, knowing that the things I write may reach someone one day. I get annoyed that the biggest market in the UK is for novels, which are often just as good as prime time television nowdays- so pretty unimaginative. Just re-washed versions of one another. 

The book itself has a massive forward (hehe) which I wasn’t bothered to read. The amount of space it takes up is slightly upsetting. I prefer to absorb the writing and interpet it through my own filter, rather than getting a pre-paid imagination plan like that. 

As for the poetry? Top quality, as you can expect, although I felt like if I had sent some of the shortlisted poems off I would not have been considered due to my lack of memorable surname. I would’ve  been told by my tutors that i try too hard to be poetic, Maybe it’s true, or maybe it’s my bitterness and I can’t understand the subtelty of breaking rules. Like any other career genre, poetry has it’s insiders, and only promotes people with certain agendas, I’ve realised. 

The good poems; however, are extreamly good. It was nice to see some of my native language printed in there, as a quote within Cathal McCabe’s poem Snow. I found Altar Call and The Murderer’s Dog particularily moving.

All in all, it’s a good buy. Especially if you want to know waht the hell is going on in poetry right now, or if you’re new to it and want to find what you like. I’m sure mosts tastes will be satisfied at least once in this collection.

I highly reccomend it.

What do you want to do with your life?

I should be writing a dissertation proposal right now- possibly a very major decision, if I decide to do a masters. Do I choose something that I enjoy, something I’m good at or something that’s fairly new?

I’ve realised all these decisions I make, and perhaps that you make too, are so often done under fear. We often feel like we can’t choose certain options. I could choose to do a question on Language in Marketing, and hope that gets me a job. It might, I’ll pretend it fascinates me and get a corporate seat in PR. But is it worth it?

What if I research something I enjoy, but it ends up not being useful? What if I do something new but won’t grasp it enough, and end up failing.

We run on fear. We don’t make our own decisions really, do we? We’ve had fear bashed into our heads, especially in school. A lot of parents have bought us up saying “don’t eat chocolate or your teeth will rot” or “you have to get into univeristy or you won’t get a job.” Both are of course false, but after having the same narrative bashed into us over time, we use fear as a mechanism in decision making. From that stem anxiety disorders.

I was walking by the canal near my house today, and was thinking about all the people I now who decided to do what they want. Some started a business in what was passionate to them, others moved country. I imagined-

If I was sitting in a comfy chair with a phsycologist, and he asked me what I wanted to do with my life, what would I say?

From what I’ve watched of Professor Jordan Peterson, I’ve understood that our problems stem from a lack of balance between chaos and order. Life can’t be too easy, but not too difficult. Seems obvious, but it’s not so obvious how to apply it to life.

I realised that inside, I want to take risks. I want to develop my talents. The one’s my family stopped me from persuing. I’d make a plan for my life and stick to it.

This came to in a seconds flash, and you know what? I’m gonna do it. 10435922_1464856140428203_186194162729113285_n

Prayer for a TeenagerĀ 

I’ve no clothes, two days became a week.
You were sitting with me on concrete carpet, 
on a market blanket full of dust and fur. 
Borrowed headphones on my shoulders,
salty air and goosebump silence.

The rose must have got trapped in my window last week
 – It closed and died. My bed was covered by mouldy leaves. 

I lied. You weren’t with me
like my mother,
like my priest
like the zigzag on my wrist in marker pen.

If you leave early I go off,
– mould unressurected. Sweaty palms on a phone.  
Burning ear and a cry that summons my dog,

as it gets dark at 9 o’clock.

What can I do with or without a Creative Writing degree?

This is ultimatley the question I am asking myself right now. I just finished second year of uni and I’m trying to find a placement. Exactly 64 applications later, I feel like maybe I’m looking for a career in all the wrong places.

I thought- I’m good at writing and I’m pretty damn good at doing great presentations, working in a team and all those nice “soft” skills for employment. So I attempted to find something in Communications. I assume, if you too, do writing, it’s because you are a naturaly creative person. Which sucks, because everyone’s CV says “creative” without people even knowing what it means. 

I gave up on the placement. I realised being creative, truly creative- relatable and novel enough, is a sign of intelligence. So I’m challenging myself. If I’m really creative, I should plow my way into a fulfilling career. I just need a novel and relatable idea. 

If we want to write, or create art in any other way, we should trust our artistic instinct. Don’t be afraid of writing in your own voice. Don’t be afraid of touching emotions people don’t want to explore. Follow what we would actually enjoy doing. If we enjoy the job, we will surely fight for it and make it work for us.
Go out and freelance- do you. If you know you can suck it up to a company and sell them bullshit about how writing for them is the single best thing that happened to you- do it. You do you. Try your hand at PR and Communications, or offer poems for special occasions. Become a song writer, or write badness odes in English and Romanian. 

Don’t be afraid to plan. I know a lot of artists are MBTI perciveres and would much rather float through their life, but having a plan will help direct you. If doesn’t work, you can always redirect yourself. 

Plan from yours and other’s experience. Glamour sometimes includes pages on “how they got there” you basically get to see someone’s successful CV. Look for the experience they had at each step of their career and slowly build it up yourself. Spend as much time at uni as you can volunteering, joining societies that truly interest you, see your careers service, join excel or language courses, take trips to other countries.  

It takes initiative to take initiative. Don’t be afraid to speak to people, to ask them about their careers or approach companies about internships or work experience. The more you do it, the more you will learn and the better you will communicate with them- that way your writing skills will also become applicable in the real world. 

 Before you know it, you’ll find that you’re learning. You’re growing to be one an expert in all the things you want to.

Good luck!

-Alicja