Anxiety

*insert this is fine gif* #2017

Every time I see a new story break on Twitter, I want to reply to it using this gif.

A while ago I wrote a post about how to keep up with the news. But now I bring you a counter point, take a break from the news if it is getting too much.

There has been a lot of news happening lately that make you lose faith in humanity a little, terror attacks continue throughout the world, Donald Trump is still president, fear mongering is rife and everything kinda sucks. The other day I was listening to the latest Podcasts from Pod Save America and the New York Times, both focused mainly on the health care debate in the USA and I found the listen truly depressing. That people would want take away fundamental rights of their own citizens is horrifying.

Take a break from the news, its okay, people should not judge you for wanting to do so.

How can you do that though? Especially if you are like me and the first thing you do each morning is check Twitter for the latest news.

Think before you click.

I took that heading straight out of  an article in Psychology Today, because I couldn’t have said it better, the article says that “exposing ourselves to too much, too often runs the risk of making us become numb or overwhelmed.” I have done this in the past, I’ve seen a headline online that while it is near to my interests and is an important story itself, I wouldn’t read it because I knew it would overwhelm me and contribute to me feeling anxious. Instead the article talks about taking time to read up on the general issue and taking action or making a contribution financial towards the cause.

Radio silence.

Just take a break get rid of  all technology for a week and see what happens. The last time I remember doing  this completely was when I was traveling around Sri Lanka in December 2010. I recently deactivated my Facebook for a week which was great, I don’t feel the need to constantly go on it anymore.

Reach out to your family and friends.

If the world is getting you down talk to someone. Surround yourself with all your favourite people and all your favourite things and forget about the rest of the world for a while Don’t feel guilty that you aren’t paying enough attention to world events.

Remember there is still a lot of good things happening in the world.

I think about this quote a lot.

‘Humanity is good. Some people are terrible and broken, but humanity is good. I believe that‘ – Hank Green.

BBC Newsround published an excellent story following the Manchester Attacks in May Advice if you’re upset by the news

While this was directed mainly at younger people who may be upset, I think it gave advice that is applicable to anyone regardless of their age.

To conclude let me quote another Green brother, this time John:

“Bad news happens all at once. Good news happens slowly.” – John Green

He was referring to this story First Ebola Vaccine Likely to Stop The Next Outbreak when Ebola first broke out it was all over the news and then we stopped hearing about it, it became that 60 second soundbite that you would hear during the world news section of your evening bulletin. Although the news stopped talking about it, people were still working away to create a vaccine.

Good news is still happening all around, never forget that.

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Mid year report card

Okay half year mark of 2017, where did the last 6 months go? I say it every year but the last 6 months have flown by especially quick. I also say that every year.

I remain cautiously optimistic although while still feeling incredibly frustrated with myself and my inability to find work. I don’t want to moan though, today feels like a good opportunity to reflect on the last 6 months, on the cool things that have happened and what I have learned along the way.

January

It was wedding season in Wellington, I was in a wedding party which took up my January. It was a fantastic time, I kept busy and got to hang out with my friends. I don’t want to sound overly confident or anything but I reckon I can throw an excellent bridal shower.

I make good cake.

February

I finished up at my job of the last four years and officially booked my ticket to Melbourne. It was a month of ‘see you laters,’ it was emotional af. The anxiety of moving countries would come and go, one minute I would feel absolutely fine and then without warning I would feel overcome with nerves and would joke about taking my dog to Australia with me.

This is Millie, my dog.

March

I did it, I left Wellington. Part of me wasn’t sure I’d go through with it as I have been known in the past to say I was going to do things but then it would never happen. The first month I just explored, hung out at NGV, got use to the trains and buses and got myself acquainted with Melbourne. I saw The Book of Mormon which was the coolest thing I have seen on stage, period.

April

Not my month, although it really should be my month, after all I was born in April. I was dreading it though, first birthday away from friends and family. Nothing particularly noteworthy happened, I went to my first networking event which was good, but I would urge anyone new to networking to not wait two months to get in touch with the people you meet. Follow up asap!

May

My first interview! For a job I did not want…

I was relieved I didn’t get it, although proud of myself for getting through a group interview for the first time and putting myself within shot of being considered. Any interview practice is good.

I was also social for the first time in months with people my own age, I needed that. I set up a Instagram food account with friends, and I started this blog!

June

I networked more, I went to a party after a very long time, I talked about that here. I had another interview with a recruitment agent and it went really well, it was the most relaxed I have felt in such an environment ever.

And finally to cap of my June just yesterday I did my first temp job! My recruiter literally woke me up and sent me to cover reception for an organisation. I was flustered and did not know what was happening for the first hour, but I got it done and that’s a tad more experience now under my belt!

That’s it. First 6 months gone just like that. If I could grade myself I would probably give myself a C+. I’ve done okay, so much more to do though. I will give myself a higher grade in December.

Time to get to work.

 

 

 

 

Hi I would like some friends please

I would like some friends please.

When I first went to university in 2008, I lived in a hall of residence, best time of my life right? No. The first few weeks were the worst, I was incredibly shy and not sure how to come out of my shell, that set me up for the rest of the year. I went the whole year with not many people knowing who I was which was incredibly lonely for an 18 year old. That is not to say 2008 was a terrible year altogether I had a good group of school friends who kept me going and some fun was had. That experience of not being able to make friends has kind of held me back ever since, and now having thrown my self in to the deep end of moving to a new country I am reminded that I have grown a lot in the last 10 years but there is always the danger of me going in to my shell.

Making friends as an adult sucks, especially when you have moved to a city where you barely know people your own age. But I went to my first party over the weekend, my first party since my own farewell party from Wellington back in February. I was so so close not to attending, I was coming up with all the excuses:

  • I’m currently about an hour out of the city coming home at night would be a mission (and it was a mission).
  • I’ll be awkward (I was a little bit)
  • I’ll say something stupid (I did).
  • I don’t know anyone going (big lie I knew a bunch of them).

I am happy to report that I am pleased I attended, it was a boost to my confidence. That evening reminded me that I could still socialise and talk to people. It was the first time in months where I got to meet people my own age. I’ve been so use to hanging out on my own for so long I think I definitely needed a night out. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t dreading it, I spent all day in bed thinking I don’t want to go, but I have to go. I was saying things to myself such as “You can do this Anushka, you are a grown up 27 year old person who can go out and be social.” Once I got to the bar and the liquid courage set in I was alright.

I met some nice people and who knows if I will actually get the chance to hang out with them again, it might just only be through their Facebook updates, but hopefully I can continue to push myself to go out and do more. Melbourne is a pretty rad city to live in even if you don’t know many people, so it should be even better with a good group of friends.

I let that bad experience in 2008 define me for a long time, although insecurities remain, I am more confident and more sure of myself now. As I have mentioned before in other posts the more you push yourself, the better it will get. I really need that to continue to be true. In order to get out and meet people you have to find that extroverted side of yourself, its definitely there and ready. If there are other shy introverted people reading this post, I hope my little story of hanging out in a Melbourne bar for a few hours on the weekend can encourage you to go out and find what you want too.

Hi I would Like A Job Please

“There are no entry level jobs anymore,” reading that line in this article I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I obviously knew this was the case, that no entry level jobs exist. I still think I am relatively new to the job market, even though I have been working since 2013. I want and need a job where I can be trained up and something which will allow career progression.

Going through multiple job postings a day it is very easy to feel disheartened and feel like you have no experience whatsoever. I also get very anxious applying for jobs, probably due to imposter syndrome, I start overthinking and then I never apply. I was feeling all of this earlier today and I am channeling that frustration in to writing this post. The top skill I emphasize in all my cover letters and CV is my written communication, so what better way to highlight it than write a post on everything I have learnt in the last few months while applying for jobs.

For example one thing I have learnt in the last little while is that everyone will give you advise whether you like it or not.

For Example:

  • Take the first job that comes your way even if you do not like it, then spend time looking the right job in your field.
  • You need a niche!
  • Be patient with yourself.
  • “Is there any other courses you can take to learn new skills?”
  • Excel! Databases!
  • Get Linkedin, reach out to people.
  • First job is always the hardest to find, after that it will get much easier!
  • “Anushka I think the best option for you is to get a policy job in government.”

But I really should teach myself Excel.

I really should take the first job that comes my way, as money is nice to have.

I don’t have a niche, I said that in my very first post on this blog. I studied marketing, international business and international relations. I’ve worked in media intelligence and human rights, there is no clear career path which is exciting but also stressful.

Its really hard to write cover letters for jobs you are not excited about, but you have to apply for them anyway because you need a job. Networking is important, making contacts is important and most of them time people are really glad that you have reached out to them.

There are days when I feel that I am useless, especially when the generic rejection emails come in. There are days when I wonder if studying as much as I did was a good idea, I have a lot of self doubt. I can’t take any new courses, three degrees is enough and my student loan is massive, I will teach myself stuff  (I currently have a tab open on my computer that says SEO for wordpress). Volunteering is a great option, I got to intern last year for Amnesty International and got a lot from that experience. It is a bit stressful having to need years of experience for some volunteering roles, but that’s just how the working world operates in 2017. It sucks, but that’s how it is.

Random tips that I am trying to implement in my life:

  • The minute you see a new job posting apply for it, do not delay.
  • Treat the job hunt like a job, don’t stay in you PJs till 2:30pm and search for jobs in bed like I did today.
  • Be grateful for the advise, even if it may not be the most useful advise.
  • Be grateful you have the opportunity to apply for work.

The biggest thing I have learnt is to be patient and have no expectations, make use of of your free time and learn new things! Also have at least one free day a week where you don’t stare at the computer all day. There will be many hard days but eventually someone will take a chance on you and me, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Good luck to all you job hunters out there!

 

Happy Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! Start of the working week here in Australia (we just had the Queen’s birthday long weekend). Feeling rather anxious at the start of this week, but I am reminding myself to stay grateful. Here’s what I have been listening to all weekend, Dear Evan Hansen is so so so so good! Now that it has won the Tony Award I hope it will stay put on Broadway for quite sometime yet, so I can come and see it!

The Art of Combating Loneliness

The last three months have been the loneliest, strangest yet also most exciting time of my life I guess. Lonely as I am yet to make new friends in this new city, strange because it is a new city and exciting because its a new city. You hear all these amazing stories of people moving overseas for the first time getting their job within a week, finding the perfect flat and friends almost immediately. None of that has happened to me yet, most of which is due to my own doing, I am an introvert, I have anxiety, I am a serial procrastinator, these three combined is not a good mix.

I’m doing things for sure, but the last three months is probably the longest I have spent on my own. Last week I made a solo theater trip to My Fair Lady, it was great, I’ve seen two other shows by myself too (Matilda and The Book of Mormon). The more and more things I see by myself the more I think that it might be nice to share this experience with someone. Though I think of myself as introvert and love my alone time, I am starting to worry that I am spending too much time on my own.

Last week I  had some friends visit from Wellington and I forgot how nice it was to socialise with people again. Hearing from my friends I realized that I need to stop putting things off, I have to stop waiting for  things to come my way I must go out and get them, even though going out and getting it makes me incredibly anxious. Not that I didn’t know any of this before, but it is time to actually make an effort.

People move at their own pace I think all I need to do is pick up that pace. I’ve done a few things in the last week to start changing that, I signed up to a networking event that will be happening in two weeks. I’ve also arranged to meet two contacts next week for coffee to discuss career options. I’ve been attending Toastmasters here, which is a public speaking group, and I gave a speech after only attending the club for a month. I’m going to make myself attend some meet up events (I’ve been saying that for the last three months *insert laughing emoji*) and I have downloaded some apps! Bumble, Hey! VINA, Huggle and even Tinder. Hey! VINA is for women to make friends with other women and I am using it right now, honestly it feels strange to swipe left or right on potential friends but let’s see how that goes. I’m usually very shy at first but once you get to know me, good luck trying to keep me quiet.

So the art of combating loneliness? Be proactive. Just keep doing things, move at your own pace but keep doing things. I’m attempting to go for one new thing a week. One of my friends always tells me you just have to do what you love and the right people will come your way. Let’s see how it works out.

I write because…

“I write only because
There is a voice within me
That will not be still”
— Sylvia Plath

I write because I love it, that’s it. Do I think I am good at it? I must not be that bad, I have a couple of degrees which proves to me anyway that my writing is alright (although I did write a few atrocious essays). The only way I can get better is if I continue to write… right?

I write because I have always been shy, introverted and at times consumed with anxiety to speak my mind. The idea of raising my hand in a room is something that to this day makes my heart race from nerves, but I am working on it.

I write because I love learning about the world and I want to share that knowledge back. I remember a conversation I had with someone at university who thought it was weird that I was excited to write an essay for my international relations major. If memory serves me correctly she was an accounting major, so writing essays for the field is rather dry (I say dry from experience, I have written an accounting essay). I mean no offense to accounting enthusiasts but I digress, researching and writing about the world is something I want to continue to do.

I write because I can, so I will.

Facebook Holiday

I just deactivated my Facebook account.

The last time I did this it was 2014 and it was to focus on university, I was off for four weeks and it was great. This time around it will only be for 7 days (Facebook automatically reactivates your account after that period) and I am doing it just for me.

The more I think about it the more I realise that I don’t really gain much from being on Facebook. People (including myself) are so caught up in getting likes, its a source of validation which is not healthy. The site has caused me more stress and anxiety than anything else.

I hardly post on there anyway so this should not be much of an issue, when I do it makes me nervous, what if people don’t like my post? I really shouldn’t care that much. I’ve kept messenger purely due to the fact I live in different country to 99% of my friends and family and may need to get in touch.

Benefits I hope to get out of these 7 days:

  • Be less distracted, be more present.
  • I only ever go on Facebook only out of habit so this will help me develop a new one, not going on it.
  • In general just make better use of my time.

This is no social media blackout I have kept Twitter, I love it. Instagram is there too, I get all my baking inspiration from it.

Its just a holiday, and like any other holiday I hope to return feeling relaxed, and longing for the days I was on holiday. I’ll tell all my friends how amazing it was and recommend they take that trip too.