Social Media and Anxiety

I have always embraced social media and praised its virtues. But I have always been socially awkward too. I long thought that sites like Facebook were a Godsend for people like me because I could be social with people all over the world,  and I didn’t even need to leave the comfort of my own home.

What I didn’t realise until today was how quickly things can go from great to awful if one uses social media while suffering anxiety. I’m not talking about having the sads, or feeling a bit stressed about the bills. That I can get myself over with some distractions, or some positive self-talk. No, I’m talking about the kind of anxiety that comes up behind you, shoves you to the ground and buries you up to your head. It’s paralysing, invisible and can send you insane or worse.

While under the influence of anxiety, normal perspective is weakened. You can hear, see and feel things differently. A comment or a post can be misread, misconstrued and in the absence of verbal tone, body language and immediate feedback can feel like an attack on our very person.

Little wonder then that it is the perfect storm for suicide.

Tips to adjust socail media activities and enjoy a less anxious life.

So, here are some tips I have compiled to help those who are at risk of anxiety while still maintaining an online presence.

  1. Cut off all social media contact by dinner time. Tiredness is a comfortable bedfellow of anxiety. Put your phone on charge for the night, in a place where you will hear it ring but out of eyesight.
  2. Make a pact with a few online friends you trust, to contact each other if you start to feel like your social media life is getting the better of you emotionally. This will make the decision to find help easier when you are in the grip of strong anxiety.
  3. Make it a habit to keep your phone in the boot of your car, while travelling. You should still be able to receive calls, but won’t be tempted to look at it in between light changes (and they can be quite lengthy).
  4. Make yourself go for a walk every day. Even if you only go to the mailbox, the change in setting can work wonders for your perspective.
  5. Trim your social media ties to only those that raise you up as a person. If they don’t leave you feeling better, ditch them. This goes for friends as well as groups and pages.

There are different things you can do, but this is what I consider the bare minimum in order to prevent negative social media experiences from taking over.

. Your emotions are valid and important and should be treated with nurturing hands.

Let me know in the comments section if you have any other tips for negotiating social media.

*** If you or a loved one needs help to negotiate suicidal thoughts, call LIFELINE on 13 11 14  or have an online chat with a lifeline counsellor via https://www.lifeline.org.au/. ***

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Hug me! 

So, I bet you didn’t know that MS can hug you. If you did know, you’ve probably experieced it. My commiserations to you, because i am feeling the arms of MS hug me around my upper and lower chest as i type this article. It isn’t fun. 

To those who have no idea what I am talking about, allow me to explain. The MS hug is so named because the feeling sometimes feels like someone is hugging you very firmly, making it hard to breathe. It can also feel like a sharp pain in your chest, which is an alarming symptom for anyone to experience. Many an MS sufferer has appeared at a hospital emergency ward convinced that they are having a heart attack. While it is certainly good news to know that you are not having a heart attack, you then have to try and find a way to manage the symptoms. 

My brand of MS Hug feels a lot like Athsma, except Ventolin won’t fix it. It is tiring trying to breathe, when your chest just won’t expand the amount it needs to.

I have tried massaging the muscles in between my ribs (which btw worked last night), and have now self medicated with a glass of Baileys and milk. It’s going  to be a long night because neither of these things is working. 

Link – Writing in Third Person – How to choose between Omniscient and Limited

Choosing what style of voice to use in your story can be tricky. There are advantages to using both limited and omniscient third person, as Nathan Bransford will explain in his blog post – Third Person Omniscient vs. Third Person Limited.  It’s a great article that explains the differences in clear, straight forward language (something I have a weakness for).  If you visit Nathan’s blog, tell him Liz sent you!

Cheers, Liz Bullock

 

Continue the story- a bit of fun to get the creativity juices flowing

Candice awoke to the sound of voices talking in hushed tones nearby. She instinctively knew that she wasn’t in a place she had been before, so she cautiously opened her eyes just a smidge. She was in a hospital, a busy one at that. She tried to move her body, but it felt it was suspended in thick molasses. Her head started swimming, in a drunken kind of way that wasn’t unpleasant. The last thing her brain registered was a nurse approaching her bedside, and adjusting a tube that was going into her arm. Then the black claimed her once more.

Ben browsed the chart, and was pleased to see that Candice was stable. But he still had to decide what to tell her when she eventually woke up. If he told her the truth, she would freak out, and likely walk out. He glanced in her direction, catching her move just slightly. She was starting to gain consciousness, and he was running out of time to think.

“Put her under for a couple more hours, Sister. One hundred mils should do it”

“Doctor” Sister Margaret nodded quickly and went over to Candace’s bedside, and extended the drip feed to her veins.


What happens next?       How would you rewrite this? 

Comment below with any ideas you have…

Understanding the world of today- through a mum’s eyes.

Is it just me, or is the world a scarier place today than it was yesterday, last week or even last year? I experience the world with ever-present thoughts of how my child will be affected, whenever I read a piece of news. Will she need to know how to safely fend off a sexual predator? Does she understand that her looks are just wrapping paper and that her insides are the gift? Can she stand up for what is right, and deal with popular opinion being against her? The answer is yes, yes and yes. It doesn’t make the job of being her parent easy, but I will find a way to help her to understand these things. Now If I can just get my own head around what I did to deserve such a gorgeous child, I will be golden. xo Elizabeth

Elizabeth Bullock author

Simpler times, when sleeping off a milk-induced coma made mum happy.

Reading out of my comfort zone

Elizabeth Bullock - reading out of your comfort zone
In order to expand my creative skills, I am experimenting with reading outside of my comfort zone.  I have chosen this book because I have a thing against short stories.  I want that long term commitment to characters, and I hate getting into a story, only to have it end on me. So yes, this book is outside my comfort zone. 

But, isn’t the cover just fantastic? Well, here goes…

Liz xo