Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-Seven - Has Anyone Seen My Brain?

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-Seven – Has Anyone Seen My Brain?

I have been playing with what to write for days, literal days. I even started writing a post yesterday only for it to stop flowing through my fingertips. I just couldn’t write. For the past few days, my brain has been as useful as fluff.

On some days, I can get things done but others it just seems like my creativity has just taken a running jump and left me. It’s strange, I don’t know who I am really without being able to write. Normally it’s second nature to me, it’s how I make sense of things.

My guess is that while we’re seeing amazing things coming from creatives there are also times when they struggle – like I am now. I thought I’d write blogs upon blogs, my novel might get a good chunk written – maybe I’d create videos too! While I’ve blogged more than normal, that’s about it.

I know that a big chunk of it is that my mental health has struggled. Anxiety has been buzzing in the background and distracting me so much from my own creativity. It’s different when I’m working, for some reason I can still do that but my own stuff has struggled for a few days. I’m hoping it finds its way back

Is there a point to this post? I don’t know, I guess I just wanted to write something to try and get back into the mojo I haven’t had for a few days. Also, to see if any of you have felt the same.

Anyone else?

Anxiety is something that is floating around a lot right now and rightfully so. It’s incredibly normal to feel worried and feel anxious. But how about when you have anxiety? When you’re pretty used to your brain freaking out. I’ve lived with anxiety for a really long time now and have found ways in the normal way of life to cope with it but those aren’t quite working right now. So I thought I’d put down a few of the ways that I, and other people I know are feeling right now. You Don’t Want To Sound Dramatic, But You’re Absolutely Terrified Usually, any kind of anxiety or panic spiral that leads to catastrophising can be challenged with reason but when you look around and see other people who don’t have anxiety disorders getting worked up it sounds alarm bells. So it makes sense that your brain is on high alert and EVERYTHING feels like its on fire while you’re standing in the middle watching. Panic Attacks Feel A Lot More Scary Last week I had one of the worst panic attacks I’ve had in a long, long time. I was petrified that something was seriously wrong. Part of a panic attack for me includes a tight chest, trouble breathing and chest pain. Sound familiar? Exactly. Thankfully, I had Ali to help me with this one because it wasn’t going away on its own. In the moment logic went out of the window and it just overtook my brain. Afterwards I was completely exhausted mentally and physically. Regular Symptoms Are Harder To Deal With It’s kind of mentioned above but a lot of the symptoms of anxiety are similar to that of the virus. So your chest feels tight, then you worry, then you get anxious, then your chest gets more tight and so it carries on. You’re Not Quite Sure How To Manage Without A Lot Of Your Coping Strategies I spent years working on strategies to help me when I was feeling anxious, one of the easiest was going for a cup of tea and a hug with my Mum, which is out of the window. Borrowing a dog for a walk and play? Nope. Meeting a friend to get out of my own head and space? Also no. You Feel Alone I completely get this because it’s easy to feel alone in all this. BUT I can promise you that you’re not.

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-Four – What It’s Like To Have Anxiety Right Now

Anxiety is something that is floating around a lot right now and rightfully so. It’s incredibly normal to feel worried and feel anxious. 

But how about when you have anxiety? When you’re pretty used to your brain freaking out. I’ve lived with anxiety for a really long time now and have found ways in the normal way of life to cope with it but those aren’t quite working right now. So I thought I’d put down a few of the ways that I, and other people I know are feeling right now. 

You Don’t Want To Sound Dramatic, But You’re Absolutely Terrified

Usually, any kind of anxiety or panic spiral that leads to catastrophising can be challenged with reason but when you look around and see other people who don’t have anxiety disorders getting worked up it sounds alarm bells. 

So it makes sense that your brain is on high alert and EVERYTHING feels like its on fire while you’re standing in the middle watching. 

Panic Attacks Feel A Lot More Scary 

Last week I had one of the worst panic attacks I’ve had in a long, long time. I was petrified that something was seriously wrong. Part of a panic attack for me includes a tight chest, trouble breathing and chest pain. Sound familiar? Exactly. 

Thankfully, I had Ali to help me with this one because it wasn’t going away on its own. In the moment logic went out of the window and it just overtook my brain. Afterwards I was completely exhausted mentally and physically. 

Regular Symptoms Are Harder To Deal With 

It’s kind of mentioned above but a lot of the symptoms of anxiety are similar to that of the virus. So your chest feels tight, then you worry, then you get anxious, then your chest gets more tight and so it carries on. 

You’re Not Quite Sure How To Manage Without A Lot Of Your Coping Strategies 

I spent years working on strategies to help me when I was feeling anxious, one of the easiest was going for a cup of tea and a hug with my Mum, which is out of the window. Borrowing a dog for a walk and play? Nope. Meeting a friend to get out of my own head and space? Also no. 

You Feel Alone 

I completely get this because it’s easy to feel alone in all this. BUT I can promise you that you’re not. 

You’re really, really not.

Livin' La Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-Two What I Read In March 2020

Livin’ La Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-Two What I Read In March 2020

Better late than never, right?! March was a strange month and I found myself in a slump, particularly as news about the virus started to pick up speed. That said, I managed 4 physical books, 2 ebooks and 1 audiobook. Pretty good going, huh?

First up I finished my book club read of The Near Witch by V.E Schwab. Now I have loved everything I’ve read by Schwab but because of that I put off reading it until right before. In the words of Hermione Granger what an idiot. For a first novel this was pretty amazing and it was a 4.5 star read for me.

Next up I got to Great Goddesses by Nikita Gill that I borrowed from my friend Fred. I find Nikita Gill very hit and miss and this was no different. It was a 3 star read for me, while it was good I didn’t really know enough about greek mythology and had to keep stopping to look stuff up.

I got to a highly anticipated read of mine, partly because I knew the author at university and that is The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper. Two guys move to a NASA facility as their parents have been chosen for a space mission. There’s a love story, social media and space – the last of which I didn’t realise I’d be that interested in. A 4 star read for me and there’s a review coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Another LGBTQ based book which explores the world of drag – The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. This is a novel written in verse and while it did take me a little while to get into and get a rhythm with it. Because of the breaks I took while reading it I gave it 4 stars rather than 5. It also has a review coming soon.

I finally got around to getting to one of my Sara Barnard books that I won in a Twitter giveaway. Now, fair warning I love A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard book a whole lot. It features a girl who has selective mutism and a guy who is deaf and it’s their story of getting to know each other in a hearing and speaking world. It was excellent and, of course, it got 5 stars from me.

I also got Scribd in this month which meant I could catch up on some poetry collections I haven’t been able to get hold of or been able to afford before. Break Your Glass Slippers by Amanda Lovelace is the start of a new collection and it was okay. Again, this is another poet I have mixed feelings about. This collection was a 3 star read for me as the collections are starting to feel quite repetitive.

And last but not least another Scribd read and a book I’ve been curious about for a long time it’s The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. This romance was excellent and I absolutely loved reading it. It’s enemies to lovers, it’s passionate without being over the top and I want to read more Christina Lauren soon.

Did you get through many books in March? Any recommendations for me? Let me know below!

Livin' La Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-One An Average Weekday In Lockdown

Livin’ La Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-One An Average Weekday In Lockdown

What is life like for me in lockdown? What do I get up to? I thought I’d write about it because, why not?

I warn you – it’s not the most interesting life…but who’s is right now?

7.30/8.00am

Wake up, no matter what day it is I will wake up at this time. It doesn’t matter if I have any plans, any calls or if I have slept my body just seems to wake up at this time.

8am – 9am

After Ali has kicks me out of bed, my first port of call is to feed the Hams who act as if they have been starved for weeks, despite the fact they will have food in their cages.

Pour the first big cup of tea of the day – there is no time for

9am – 10am

Shower, get ready in whatever form that’s going to be for the day. Check my emails and LinkedIn to see if anything has come in overnight, make my list for the day. If I have work to do I’ll try and start in this window, if not I’ll take a scroll through YouTube to entertain myself or carry on with whatever I’m reading.

10am – 12pm

This definitely depends on what I’ve got on. I’m still getting some work, although less that normal so this will be the block where I work on it, have any calls or catch ups etc.

That said there are more days than not where I don’t have much to do and will alternate between cleaning (still boring), watching something or reading.

12pm -1pm

Pop out to sit on the grass for a bit, talk to my neighbour from a distance – if I’m feeling up to it I might even try and go for a walk but this obviously depends on how I’m feeling.

1pm-2pm

Remember I haven’t eaten lunch yet and I should probably do that… Also look at what I have for the afternoon. Prioritise my tasks and check LinkedIn again. If there isn’t anything I’ll try and find something to read/watch for a bit.

2pm-3pm

If I’m not working this is optimal nap time if I feel I need it. Now, this isn’t because of the pandemic. I have a condition that causes fatigue – when I was working full time in an office I’d have to try and have naps on both days of the weekend and early nights most week days.

When I work from home I can have my ‘lunch break’ as a nap if I’m feeling particularly rough. That said you don’t need a chronic illness to enjoy having a nap – especially now. Probably less so when you get back to work unless you have a REALLY good hiding place. 😉

3pm-5pm

More searching for something to do, aimlessly looking out of the window and reminding Ali that our next place needs to have a garden – this is coming from someone who is not an outdoor person and never has been.

Also, if my family is dropping food off for me it’s normally around this time.

5pm – 6pm

This will be around the time I log off for the day if I’ve been working on anything, although that’s not every day! I’m slowly trying to accept doing nothing and just trying to enjoy that. I might go for a walk if I haven’t already.

6pm – 7pm – Dinner, Brooklyn 99 and more importantly, GIN. Yes, I’ve definitely drank more Gin in the last few weeks with an evening meal than I have in my life with meals.

7pm -10pm –

This can vary, sometimes I’ll be on my laptop chatting to friends, I might be on the phone to family or just hang out with Ali. There have been evenings where we have caught up with some kind of streaming. Sometimes I even do exercise.

Also blogging, obviously.

10pm – 10.30pm –

Start getting ready for bed, play with the hams for a bit.

10.30 – 11pm – Try and sleep…sometimes it even works

What’s happening with your daily routine right now? Let me know below!

Beneath The Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Seventeen – Easter Readathon

Two bookish posts in one day!? I know, I’m spoiling you all. So, after seeing over on Kate’s Twitter that she is hosting an Easter Readathon I thought why not join? I’ve never seriously done a Readathon before and I think now is a great time to try…because I have no other obligations what so ever -yippie!

So how does it work? The Readathon runs from 12.01am on Friday 10th and finishes at 11.59pm on Monday 13th April. You can find more info and Kate’s post here, make sure to give her a follow too!

As with most Readathons there are prompts, for this one they are:

[Image description: Post reads Easter Readathon 2020 Prompts 1. Read a book that gives you Spring Vibes. 2. Read a book about new beginnings. 3. Read a book that’s under 250 pages. 4. Read a book with yellow or green cover. 5. Read a book involving family/friends.]

I’ve had a look and I’m going to try and complete the challenges – but if I get a load of reading done that’s absolutely fine with me!

Read a book about new beginnings

The Eve Illusion – Tom and Giovanna Fletcher

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this today and while I can’t say too much as it’s a sequel there’s definitely some new beginnings in it.

Read a book that’s under 250 pages

Beneath The Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire

Beneath The Sugar Sky – Seanan McGuire

Ok so *technically* I started this before the Readathon started and it’s an audiobook BUT I’m desperate to finish it!

Also reading about a candy land over the Easter weekend? That seems too good to pass up.

Read a book with a yellow or green cover

Watch Us Rise – Rene Watson

It’s on my April TBR and I really enjoyed the last two Rene Watson books that I read and they were quick reads so I’m hoping this will be a fast read.

Read a book involving family/friends

Crescent City – Sarah J. Maas

Ok it is a STRETCH but this is, another one I’ve already started but I’m really into. Also, do I think I’ll finish this over the next few days? No, no I don’t. That said, it’s started to get interesting.

Read a book that gives you Spring vibes

This is one I need a few recommendations for – please leave them below!

Are you joining in? Also leave your suggestions down below!

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Sixteen - Life With A Chronic Illness Right Now

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Sixteen – Life With A Chronic Illness Right Now

I woke up this morning properly and about 90% of my body hurt. I knew what was happening before I even opened my eyes. I’d spent most of the night tossing and turning, fully aware of what a pain in the arse I was being but I couldn’t get comfortable. Fibro has been rumbling along during all of this but today, again, it decided to kick my arse.

I’ve been debating about whether to write about Chronic Illness right now when so much has been going on health wise. Does it matter? Fibro doesn’t put me at a higher risk (asthma is another story) but as with any illness, Fibro would put up a fight at the same time taking me longer to get better. So I’ve been relying on family, friends and food deliveries.

That said, pandemic or no pandemic I’m still living with it every day. I know things could be worse, but that doesn’t take the pain away. Right now I’m not taking my painkillers of preference as they are part of the ibuprofen group which people have been advised to avoid. So I’m plodding along with paracetamol – which doesn’t do much at all.

I’ve felt for a while I couldn’t talk about Fibro or how it is right now, despite the fact that stress is a huge trigger for a lot of people with the illness. I thought, well when people are dying I can’t seem like I’m complaining but that was incredibly isolating. Slowly, I’ve seen other spoonies say that they feel the same way.

So I guess I wanted to write for my fellow spoonies or anyone living with a long term illness to say that it’s ok to still feel frustrated, sad or fed up with your illness right now. It’s ok to struggle with your health in another way because our illnesses don’t care if there’s a worldwide crisis, our bodies are doing what they’re going to do.

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Fifteen - What I've Been Binging

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Fifteen – What I’ve Been Binging

Now, this is optimum binge time whether that’s TV, Films, YouTube or Books whatever is getting you through the days is a great way to distract yourself and beat the boredom that I know a lot of us are really starting to feel. Also, if you’re so distracted by your screen or page then you’re not going to want to risk going outside, it’s a win win.

So, here are some of the things I’ve been consuming and for once guys, I’m on trend with something that’s on Netflix (this never happens):

Tiger King

I kept seeing people talking about it and I wanted to have a day to just do nothing and this was the perfect distraction because it was so damn insane. I can’t believe this is part of real life and these things have actually happened?!

I thought of doing a whole post on my thoughts on the show, if that’s some lockdown entertainment you’d like then let me know below.

ANYWAY I digress, this was bat shit insane and I just couldn’t stop watching, I spent 7 hours of my day watching – who even am I at this point?! I just have to say though, no one on that show can call themselves a rescuer of big cats. They’re all pretty terrible.

Brooklyn 99

We started watching 99 before the lockdown as something to watch while we ate dinner now we’re back – to the point where Netflix has asked if we’re still watching…

Of course we’re still watching, what else is there to do right now?!

Stranger Things

I know, I KNOW. Where have I been? It’s taken me this long to watch Stranger Things but that’s mostly because I am a huge scaredy cat and when I tried to watch it a few years ago the first part of the first episode I wasn’t sure if it was for me.

Then after the encouragement from friends I started watching it and did 3 episode in one sitting, only stopping because it got dark – I’m not watching it in the dark because I’d like to be able to sleep at night without staring at the walls.

The Boys

So, what if superheroes were celebrities? They were real an in movies with their own sponsorship deals. What if they weren’t as good as they seem. Ali and I watched the entire first season pretty quickly on Amazon Prime and the cliff hanger at the end had me shouting at the TV.

This is definitely adult viewing and can get pretty dark but it just works.

Wayward Children Series

Now for a book series, come on you knew it was coming. I recently got a free trial of Scribd because I kept seeing a lot of booktubers talking about and thought I might as well now I have the time.

These books are so strange but so good. It’s fantasy with a bit of a horror element about children who go to magical worlds and what happens when they come back.

I also love the audiobooks, they’re 4-5 hours long and I’ve been listening every day and I’m now on book 3. Hooked.

Poetry (General)

While I’ve struggled to sit and read full books at the moment but Scribd has so much poetry and I’ve been making my way through the collections. Some of them I’ve meant to read forever but seeing as poetry is quite expensive I can’t always get them but this is a great way to spend time.

What have you been binging and what should I get through next?

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Fourteen - Taking A Break

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Fourteen – Taking A Break

I didn’t post over the weekend. In fact I didn’t do much of anything, I let myself rest and relax. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I am not good at relaxing at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a pandemic.

I’ve binge watched Tiger King (insane, absolutely insane), eaten a lot of chocolate, started Stranger Things (finally) and I build an expert level Lego Mini Cooper set. That was my weekend. I needed a break from everything, including my own mind – which isn’t always easy.

Sure, I planned to blog every day but I’m not kicking myself when it doesn’t happen because this isn’t Blogmas – this is a really weird time and I don’t know how often I’m going to say that.

So while this is short, enjoy my Lego build…there are a few more to come!

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Eleven - 30 Things I've Done So Far To Entertain Myself

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Eleven – 30 Things I’ve Done So Far To Entertain Myself

Last night while I was trying to fall asleep I started thinking about all the ways that I had been trying to entertain myself since we went into lockdown. Seeing as I’m writing daily posts right now, I thought why not share it with you guys?

Some of these might be specific to me and some of them you can do too.

  1. Reading – Yep I’m trying to tackle my physical TBR right now, I even have a TBR for the month of April.

2. Playing Ukulele – I’ve played around with ukulele for years and it was fun to have something else to focus on.

3. Watching the first season of The Boys on Amazon Prime – Ali got me to watch this series and it’s pretty messed up at times but so good. That said I’ve had some super weird dreams since.

4. Doing a puzzle – 1,000 piece Harry Potter puzzle…it’s harder than you think.

5. Calls with friends and family – I’ve done a lot of Facetime, House Party and just normal calls recently and it’s one of the nicer sides of lockdown.

6. Blogging – almost every day – yep and to think I struggled with Blogmas last year?!

7. Attending a virtual birthday party – Our friend Ben turned 27 and obviously we couldn’t go and celebrate with him so we all got online, had a few drinks and played games.

8. Starting a sign language course – I’ve wanted to properly learn sign language and with a reduced offer I was able to start learning properly.

9. Working on a book – watch this space, my Gramps has set me the goal of finishing it by Christmas. 👀

10. Listening to podcasts – I’ve been listening a little here and there, particularly while doing number 11…

11. Sorting out my wardrobe – I have a lot of clothes to get rid of, so many.

12. Cleaning – I know, I know – who even am I?

13. Watching YouTube – There is so much content on YouTube right now! I’ve been watching so much.

14. Singing – I’ve been getting back into it and damn it’s felt good.

15. Solo dance party – honestly a lot of fun and a great way to cheer myself up.

16. Making a pillow bed – need to be comfy while watching all that TV, right?

17. Cooking – not well I may add, it’s still not my thing but I have done more of it.

18. Waxing my eyebrows – relax guys I’ve been doing this for years but I definitely felt much more human after they were a little more tamed.

19. Online therapy – My therapy sessions moved online and I’m really grateful, we’ve had technical difficulties but they are helping.

20. Movie nights – I watched 2 films on Ice Hockey back to back – for context Ali used to play…I never got to see it.

21. Writing lists – I bet this one really surprised you, huh?

22. Drinking Gin – duh.

23. Lots of hamster hugs – there are mixed reactions from the hams about me being at home more than usual.

24. Long Baths – Quickly running out of Lush products…

25. Making Playlists – I made a positivity playlist and sent it to my family on Apple Music, it was pretty fun.

26. Building Lego – If I had the money I would have ordered the Hogwarts castle the night we went into lockdown.

27. Order a takeaway – Pizza is a life saver right now.

28. Listening to audiobooks – So I found Scribd and I absolutely love it AND I got 30 days free? Awesome.

29. Walks – I was only able to start doing this today because I was so anxious but I’m hoping I’ll be doing more.

30. Quality time with Ali – I’ve actually really enjoyed the time we’ve been able to spend just being together. Which is good because the alternative was killing each other.

What have you been doing to entertain yourself in lockdown? Let me know below!

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Ten - Getting Into Routine...Kinda

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Ten – Getting Into Routine…Kinda

Well people we’ve made it through a week and a half of the first part of the UK Lockdown and I think I’m getting into some kind or routine or a new normal at least.

This morning felt a little easier, there was no magical change and I haven’t suddenly fallen in love with not leaving my home or seeing a real life human being, but it was okay. I might have slept terribly but I got up and felt more normal.

For the first time in I don’t know how long I was able to get up, drink my tea and catch up on some YouTube without feeling the panic and dread. I managed to do some bits around the house, shower, wear real clothes, get some ideas down and crack on with work.

It might not sound like a huge deal, maybe to some it isn’t but adjusting isn’t going to be easy. Every day that I can have some kind of control over my life and the little bit I can still do by myself and for myself. For the last few weeks my anxiety had gotten to such a level that I haven’t felt like myself at or, or like I have any way to make myself better.

I got frustrated this evening when I did feel that wave of sadness and hopelessness hit. I did cry and want to crawl into bed for a few hours. You know what I did? I let myself have some time to get the emotions out, I talked to Ali and some of my friends about my anxieties about going outside…and it was still progress.

As each day continues, I’m hoping I can have a little more structure. I’ve still got an alarm set for weekdays that I try and stick to and have a rough to-do list written down. It’s not ‘normal’ and so long as this virus is around it won’t be but finding some day to day routine has to help.

Are you getting into any kind of new routine? I’d love to hear about it! Let me know below or tweet me on @chloemetzger!