Monday, 8 May 2017

The Best Phone Games for Anxiety & Dermatillomania

The Best Phone Games for Anxiety & Dermatillomania
It's no secret that fidget/stim toys, though actually designed and intended for people with ADHD, autism, anxiety etc. are having a "moment" despite being around for ages; it seems everyone's got their sarcastic "these are pointless and millennials are the woooorst" takes. Ugh.

Fidget toys are great, and really help when I'm anxious or I catch myself scanning as part of my dermatillomania. My tangle toy and stress toy are never far from me, and I'm excitedly awaiting the arrival of my fidget cube (thanks, Mel!), but in the mean time I've been investigating a new stim technique: phone games.

While playing on your phone might get you thrown out of class or inhibit focus and productivity in lectures or at work, they're great for when you're at home or out and about on public transport. I've spent a lot of my life on trains--travelling to and from uni, visiting friends in various cities, going home to visit my parents etc.--and sometimes I need to keep my hands and brain as busy as possible, and listening to music or reading a book just won't cut it.

Below are the phone games I've found to be most helpful when trying to stay calm or ward off unwelcome habits. I generally look for games that are nice to look at, repetitive in some way and easy to play while demanding focus.

For the most part, these games are free, though I sometimes pay for no ads (£1.99 max!!) just to make everything a little cleaner (and because I'm high maintenance). There's a few cheap games in this list, too, but I wouldn't include them if I didn't think they were worth the price.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

In Defence of Pop Music

Justin Bieber - In Defence of Pop Music

Harry Styles released his first ever solo single and it's not what anyone expected and also really great, but in other news... some dude/Music Bro is crying about how pop music is ruining the world, again. Sure, music snobbery and general disdain towards pop music is not a new thing at all, but this particular viral Facebook status was so filled with pretentiousness that I wanted to talk rant about it on my blog (i.e. away from the danger of becoming troll fodder).

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Sleep and Me

sleep and me

My laptop tells me it's 5:43am. It's getting light outside, cars are starting to go past more frequently and I can hear birds singing. The world's waking up and, as always, I'm in my usual state of exhausted-but-staying-awake-anyway. A 5/6am bed time and 1/2pm wake up time has been my normal now for a few years; once or twice a month, too, I'll stay up all night "to sort out my pattern", only to ruin it again not 48 hours later.

I still can't work out what it is that keeps me up at night when it's not insomnia. Am I putting off tomorrow's responsibilities? Is it my love of the night time or my need to be alone a lot? Is it bad habits, a bad routine? Maybe my brain has started associating night time with creativity, with a productive brain, or perhaps that's wishful thinking and I'm simply too lazy to move to bed. Maybe it's more that I'm addicted to scrolling aimlessly through my Twitter feed or watching trashy YouTube videos, or I guess it could be that I'm dreading waking up, worrying about the state of my mind and mood in the morning.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

41 Things I Worry About Daily

Push For Prosecco Button: 41 Daily Worries
Last year I read this post by one of my favourite word-users, Natalie Wall, on 43 things she worries about on a daily basis. I tweeted her, well over a year ago now, asking if she would mind me using the idea because it was too relatable and perfect not to. Fast forward 18 months and I'm finally re-visiting the draft to finish and post it*. Hopefully soon I won't have to start each blog post with some kind of explanation or apology for my being inconsistent and terrible at blogging, but, whatever.

*I was employed when I started this post and I'm leaving in the ~office stuff~ because it's probably hopefully gonna be relevant again one day and, man, did I nod along at my own words when I first re-read my draft.

Whether due to my anxiety or due to just... being who I am, on a daily basis I worry about:

Friday, 14 October 2016

Reading, Lately: 5 Book Reviews

Reading, Lately: 5 Book Reviews (Book Pile)
It's super weird that I've never reviewed books on my blog before, because guys: I love to read. I love books. I could talk about books all day. I thought it was high time I got some book-related content up on ALG, so I've started with some reviews of the books I've read recently.

A few things:

Firstly, I like mini book reviews where a brief synopsis is included before the review rather than clumsily trying to avoid spoilers while writing my own summary, so that's the format I'm going for. Skip the italics if you don't like to know too much about a book before you read it.

Secondly, a friend of mine recently got his knickers in a twist about decimals in numerical scores ("just rate out of 100 if that's what you need"), so I'm restricting myself to the standard 5-star scoring system and I'm not allowed any half stars. Which is difficult.

Thirdly, I don't have photos of all of the books in this post because one is my sister's and one I lent to a friend. Forgive me.

Let's get on with it, shall we?

Thursday, 13 October 2016

You Have Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

Monday was World Mental Health Day, and while I didn't think I was up for blogging, I ended up writing a pretty long tweet thread and a hefty status on Facebook, too. Thought I'd publish the status on my blog as well because the message is important. No frills, no photos, just copy and paste. Take some time to care for yourself today, pals.

You can't see our illnesses, but that doesn't mean they aren't real, awful and often debilitating. The impact on our lives is huge, we are battling with our own minds most days. We are tired. And we're tired of being dismissed and discriminated against just because our illnesses are invisible.

Three weeks ago I went to a doctor because my depression and anxiety have got a lot worse since the last time I was getting medical help. My GP was ignorant, dismissive and uncaring. After telling him that most days I can't leave the flat, I was asked if I'd tried "going for a walk" to improve my mental health. Spoiler, educated doctor: if and when I am ABLE to “go for a walk”, sometimes my mood will improve, other times it won’t.

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