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iatetheyeti

iatetheyeti's festive survival guide

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I was in two minds about doing this particular challenge. On one hand, everyone in one place creates quite a busy crowd, something that, historically, I'm not so good with no matter the circumstances. It's one of the reasons I've spent the latter half of this year hiding away with the druids. But on the other hand  this time of year is also something I've historically not been very good with, and while I could get through it alone, I doubt I'd be able to do it without resorting to self-destructive coping mechanisms.

 

And that was the deciding factor, really.

 

I'm not aiming for anything new this challenge, I'm actually still recovering from an illness that forced me to take time off work for the first time in almost four years. Instead I want to keep hold of the good habits and behaviours I've managed to build up in the past few months. Doing that whilst trying to work a dread Retail Christmas is going to be difficult, so rather than overwhelm myself with any 'must get here/there/do this/that' kind of goal, I'll only have one: Follow this lists.

 

These lists.

 

Daily Checklist

Essentials to keep myself reasonably fit and healthy, emotionally balanced, engaged with the present moment, and maybe even happy.

  • One household action (minor, something like doing the dishes, putting clean clothes away in the proper place, cleaning the mirrors, dusting down the blinds, etc)
  • One self-care action (variable)
  • Eat two actual meals (at minimum)
  • Mobility work
  • Post here
  • Evening meditation
  • Go for a walk (exceptions can be made for adverse weather conditions)
  • Earn 10xp on Duolingo
  • 30 minutes of personal time minimum (can be spent reading, gaming, playing guitar, anything that will be actually enjoyable)

 

Weekly Checklist

Major items

  • Saturday meal prep day (in a weird turn of events I have every Saturday for the rest of the year off of work, something which hasn't happened to me possibly ever)
  • Clean the entire flat (will probably also be a Saturday thing)
  • Ensure all bills have been paid/money is on the gas meter/expenses budget has been updated
  • Tend to the 'garden'

 

 

And that's it. My own little festive survival guide for one of the most difficult times of the year. It really isn't very festive at all...

 

All things I'm currently doing, or trying to do consistently, nothing new at all. The lists may undergo some changes depending on what happens as this month plays out, but I don't foresee any major overhauls. I'm hoping there won't be, anyway. Anything can happen over a Retail Christmas and all I can do is react, adapt, and push on through.

 

We'll see how it goes.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

A big part of my challenge this time around is not to start anything new till the new year. Following along.

 

Sometimes it's enough of a challenge just to keep things going as they are. Good to have you along :)

 

 

3 hours ago, Echoceanic said:

I like your focus. Knowing when to push and when to just hold on is a very valuable trait honestly.

 

Thanks :) Though I'm still learning, really, and I've made plenty of mistakes along the way. Right now is just erring on the side of caution and hoping that it was the right thing to do.

 

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Day One//Zero Week

Having a Monday off is a relatively new and quite enjoyable experience. It would have been even better if I'd managed to get out of bed when I actually woke up. I did not. Instead I crawled out before noon, just. This is a persistent and ongoing issue that I have very little idea of how to fix. I can go to bed early, late, or at a reasonable time, I can get good sleep, awful sleep, or anything in between and it will happen regardless. Apparently I really object to getting out of bed...

 

Aside from that, though, it was a relatively good day.

 

Daily Checklist

  • One household action: Three household actions today. Did a load of dishes, put on a wash (and put the clothes out to dry when done rather than forget about them while they were still in the washing machine), and wiped down the kitchen worktops.
  • One self-care action: This varies mostly because it depends what I'm struggling with. Today it was showering. It took me a solid six hours to convince myself to do that, but I did and felt much better for it. Plus I get the bonus of amusement whenever I walk past a mirror because my hair is still very much in the gravity defying stage of shortness and fluffs out to the point of hilariousness whenever I wash it.
  • Meals: Done, and they were even moderately well balanced today. Also both made from scratch using odds and ends.
  • Mobility: Done, and it also took me a long time to convince myself to do it. It's frustrating as I always feel better afterwards, but actually getting to a point where I get up and decide now is a good time? Incredibly difficult most days.
  • Post: ✔️
  • Meditation: Is usually something I do as a part of getting ready to go to sleep, so from tomorrow I will be reporting on the previous day.
  • Walk: I expected a continuation of the cold we've had for the past couple of days, with frost so severe it looks like snow and feels like it underfoot. Instead there was a drastic rise in temperature and rain, so I got a little soggy. If the temperature drops again tonight then I'm in for a hell of a walk to the bus station tomorrow morning, as I have to be up and about before the gritters.
  • Duolingo: ✔️
  • Personal time: Way more than half an hour today, which is standard for a day off! Spent a couple of hours playing Oblivion and a little time reading.

It all seems (relatively) easy right now, but the real test comes tomorrow. I have to be up at 4am (which means I should be in bed now, but thanks to my drastically late rise I am incredibly awake and already resigned to having very little sleep, I'll go to bed soon and just lie there, frustrated) for an eleven hour shift. An hour of commute each way makes for thirteen hours. These days wore me out when I was in reasonable health, right now I am far from that. Luckily I then have the following day off so I will have something of an evening to wind down, do what needs done (or what I can do, depending on just how tomorrow goes), and recover.

 

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1 hour ago, iatetheyeti said:

Having a Monday off is a relatively new and quite enjoyable experience. It would have been even better if I'd managed to get out of bed when I actually woke up. I did not. Instead I crawled out before noon, just. This is a persistent and ongoing issue that I have very little idea of how to fix. I can go to bed early, late, or at a reasonable time, I can get good sleep, awful sleep, or anything in between and it will happen regardless. Apparently I really object to getting out of bed...

In your defense, nothing is more comfortable than a bed when waking up.

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2 hours ago, iatetheyeti said:

This is a persistent and ongoing issue that I have very little idea of how to fix. I can go to bed early, late, or at a reasonable time, I can get good sleep, awful sleep, or anything in between and it will happen regardless. Apparently I really object to getting out of bed...


I was like this when I had insomnia. The quality of my sleep was so low that it didn't matter how much I got, I was always tired and getting up was always death. How's the quality of your sleep? 

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5 hours ago, Harriet said:

I was like this when I had insomnia. The quality of my sleep was so low that it didn't matter how much I got, I was always tired and getting up was always death. How's the quality of your sleep? 

 

Variable. Massively variable. I almost always have trouble actually getting to sleep in the first place and often have trouble actually staying asleep. When I can get to sleep right away and don't wake up at random intervals, it's almost always too much sleep (if such a thing exists), usually in the range of ten to fourteen hours. And being a restless sleeper probably doesn't help much either... Honestly, sleep problems are nothing new to me, I've had various ongoing issues for the past ten years, but it's been a very long time since getting up was this much of a problem.

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I like your keep-things-going goals. That is actually quite a lot to do on a long work day.

 

I'm doing Duolingo too! Which language are you studying?

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16 hours ago, iatetheyeti said:

 

Variable. Massively variable. I almost always have trouble actually getting to sleep in the first place and often have trouble actually staying asleep. When I can get to sleep right away and don't wake up at random intervals, it's almost always too much sleep (if such a thing exists), usually in the range of ten to fourteen hours. And being a restless sleeper probably doesn't help much either... Honestly, sleep problems are nothing new to me, I've had various ongoing issues for the past ten years, but it's been a very long time since getting up was this much of a problem.

 

Sleep deficits can accumulate, so ten to fourteen might not be too much, it might be you trying to play catch up? Are you tired during the day, also?

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Day Two//Zero Week

I think I got about two hours of sleep in the end. Lay there for a long while, grouchy because this time it really was my fault, and then woke up about an hour before my alarm and couldn't get back to sleep again. But getting up was a little easier. I ended up putting the comfortable, lounge about kind of clothes I tend to slip into first thing right next to my pillows, negating the need to cross a freezing cold room bare-ass naked to get to them. Clothes went on without me leaving the bed, then leaving the bed became easier. We're keeping this one, I think.

 

It'd be nice to say work went well, but... it was work. It went. Eleven hours of Christmas music, Christmas Customers, and Christmas co-workers. I have to admit I'm really struggling with this already, and it doesn't help when the jokes at my expense take a personal turn. Today it was that I'm spending Christmas alone because no one loves me, which is technically true even if it's not the actual reason I'm spending it alone, but also kind of uncalled for. Even if I did make the first joke about it. There's a limit. On the plus side I was, for the most part, able to run my department the way I wanted and ensure most of the damage from last week was undone. Almost there now.

 

And I got out a little early, so that's a bonus!

 

Daily Checklist

  • One household action: A series of mini-actions that we'll call one whole action. Put dishes away, cleaned up the mess I'd made earlier, put the bin out for collection.
  • One self-care action: Slowed myself down at work when I needed to and prioritised how I did things after getting home, two things I almost never do.
  • Meals: Four today. Two at work, two at home because I came back ravenously hungry. Still kinda peckish now...
  • Mobility: Done almost as soon as I got in. The arthritis didn't like it today, but overall the pain is relatively minor.
  • Post: Almost didn't. I dove into reading other threads earlier and got caught out by how fast this place moves (though really, what did I expect with every guild in one place?). My social mana hit zero fast and I backed out, exhausted. I'm hoping I'll adjust sooner rather than later!
  • Meditation: Done. Only a short amount of time, but enough to try and calm my mind and get rid of the frustrations building up. It ultimately didn't work, but hey, can't always win.
  • Walk: I mean, I spent eleven hours on my feet running about like a headless chicken. I'm altering things slightly and removing the need for an additional walk on full shift days.
  • Duolingo: ✔️
  • Personal time: Will commence once I've logged off. I intend to curl up with a book and read until I absolutely have to sleep, which probably won't take too long.

 

Day off tomorrow thanks to my odd schedule. I have a rough plan, but it really all depends on whether or not I'm able to get out of bed with my alarm, which depends on how well I sleep tonight. So really, anything could happen.

 

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10 minutes ago, Mistr said:

I like your keep-things-going goals. That is actually quite a lot to do on a long work day.

 

I thought so too, but it turns out it's actually quite manageable if I just remember to do things in a way that actually makes sense!

 

11 minutes ago, Mistr said:

I'm doing Duolingo too! Which language are you studying?

 

They've not long released Gaelic (Scottish, not Irish!), and I figured it was probably about time I learned my country's native language. How about you?

 

 

5 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Sleep deficits can accumulate, so ten to fourteen might not be too much, it might be you trying to play catch up? Are you tired during the day, also?

 

I'm constantly tired, and probably also constantly trying to play catch up. Though I will say I do seem to be equally tired whether I've had only a couple of hours sleep or whether I've had twelve.

 

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I'm working on French. I'm listening to Pimsleur audiobooks, doing Duolingo and I recently started using Drops for spelling practice. French spelling is mind-boggling for native English speakers (at least for me). The alphabet does not have enough vowel characters and French uses them completely differently than English.

 

Good for you being functional at work on only two hours of sleep!

 

Have you tried using melatonin to get to sleep on days like yesterday when your circadians are a mess?

 

My partner routinely wears footie socks to bed. He likes having warm feet to sleep and really likes not having his bare feet touch the cold bathroom tile in the middle of the night when he answers a call of nature.

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29 minutes ago, iatetheyeti said:

and it doesn't help when the jokes at my expense take a personal turn. Today it was that I'm spending Christmas alone because no one loves me, which is technically true even if it's not the actual reason I'm spending it alone, but also kind of uncalled for. Even if I did make the first joke about it. There's a limit. 

That's not nice to have to deal with.

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9 minutes ago, Mistr said:

I'm working on French. I'm listening to Pimsleur audiobooks, doing Duolingo and I recently started using Drops for spelling practice. French spelling is mind-boggling for native English speakers (at least for me). The alphabet does not have enough vowel characters and French uses them completely differently than English.

 

You're not alone there, French spelling is pretty mind-boggling to me too!

 

10 minutes ago, Mistr said:

Good for you being functional at work on only two hours of sleep!

 

Have you tried using melatonin to get to sleep on days like yesterday when your circadians are a mess?

 

I think I'm just lucky enough that I have a job that requires very minimal brainpower most of the time...

 

I have not tried melatonin, mostly because you need a prescription to get it over here, and even then there are pretty strict rules and regulations about who it can be prescribed to. Apparently I'm in entirely the wrong age group for a start. If it got unbearable I could likely make a case for an off-label prescription, but I don't think I'm there yet.

 

 

6 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

That's not nice to have to deal with.

 

Not particularly. That said, I try not to let the former bother me too much because I have people who like me and enjoy my company (so they say!), and I'm very grateful for that, and as for the latter... I know the co-worker in question didn't mean it in the way it came across initially, but the fact that they ignored me trying to move the conversation on and instead decided to stick with that point for a while, well, that was a low blow. I'll probably have a quiet word the next time I see them to make sure it doesn't happen again.

 

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36 minutes ago, iatetheyeti said:

I'm constantly tired, and probably also constantly trying to play catch up. Though I will say I do seem to be equally tired whether I've had only a couple of hours sleep or whether I've had twelve.

 

I'm sorry. That sucks. I had that problem for years. I still wake up tired sometimes, but it's better than it was.

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13 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

I'm sorry. That sucks. I had that problem for years. I still wake up tired sometimes, but it's better than it was.

 

It comes in cycles. Right now it's bad (and I will complain about it constantly, unfortunately) but eventually I will adjust and things will be ok (or I'll be able to deal with the lack of sleep a little better, anyway!) until the next bump in the road. I'll find something that will work somewhere along the line, just got to keep pushing on until then, really.

 

 

5 hours ago, OTTO said:

Have you read David Sedaris' "Holidays on Ice"? It seems apropos for your current work situation.

 

I have not, but I will definitely look it up and see what's what.

 

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Day Three//Week Zero

Guess who didn't get out of bed with their alarm again? In my defence, I woke up, switched it off, and was fully prepared to actually get up and somehow I fell asleep again because I woke up a couple of hours later. Oops? It wasn't as bad as it could have been. I still managed to do everything I wanted to do and have a fairly relaxing day at the same time.

 

Daily Checklist

  • One household action: More than one again today. Put my clean clothes in the appropriate wardrobe/drawers, swept the kitchen and living room floor, and even improvised a reasonably stable coffee table after moving my actual coffee table over to be a useful part of the garden.
  • One personal care action: I set a boundary that needed set. Or tried anyway, not sure how successful I was and won't know for a few days yet. That's all I'll about this one today.
  • Meals: One done, currently cooking the second. A little more grazing behaviour than I'd have liked today.
  • Mobility: Today's session went along easier than yesterday did. Arthritis seems to have calmed down somewhat and overall I'm moving with more ease than I was yesterday.
  • Post: ✔️
  • Meditation: Unsurprisingly, last night's meditation was a bit of a trial and was focused mainly on the issues brought up by my co-worker's comments before I could move on to actually clearing and calming my mind. Didn't work too well and my dreams last night reflected it quite heavily, but it wasn't anything I didn't know was coming. I've been here and done that many times now, and I just need to keep doing what I'm doing in order to move on.
  • Walk: Took a very short walk about mid-afternoon, made sure to time it so that I would not be caught in after-school traffic (of the people and vehicle varieties, I live next to a school so it gets pretty crazy at letting out time). It was a pleasantly warm eight degrees, I only got rained on once, and the sky was doing some truly wonderful things with colour and clouds on my way back.
  • Duolingo: Today I learned that the Gaelic word for kitten is piseag, pronounced 'pee shack', as far as I can tell, and that the phrase 'tha Irn Bru math' is going to be leaned on heavily. Wouldn't have expected anything else, really!
  • Personal time: Plenty of. Split between playing Oblivion and reading.

 

I did have plans for this evening as well, but I appear to have hit a wall quite heavily. One minute I was fine, the next I felt sick and headachey and generally not good. It could be the recent illness still lingering, it could be the fact that I probably haven't eaten enough today (grazing days always work out like that which is why I'm trying to cut down on them), it could just be tiredness. Either way, I now plan to sit back, eat my dinner, and do not much of anything before trying to get to bed early(ish). Another 4am start tomorrow. Another long, long day to push through.

 

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I'll be following in the distance. I like how two negatives end up with a positive in your approach.

 

Take care, rest well, survive.

 

21 hours ago, iatetheyeti said:

You're not alone there, French spelling is pretty mind-boggling to me too!

French spelling is mind-boggling to native French speakers too! We have love both for the obscure and for putting everything inside rules that don't hold up to the number of exceptions that they all have. xD

 

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On 12/3/2019 at 5:34 AM, iatetheyeti said:

Variable. Massively variable. I almost always have trouble actually getting to sleep in the first place and often have trouble actually staying asleep. When I can get to sleep right away and don't wake up at random intervals, it's almost always too much sleep (if such a thing exists), usually in the range of ten to fourteen hours. And being a restless sleeper probably doesn't help much either... Honestly, sleep problems are nothing new to me, I've had various ongoing issues for the past ten years, but it's been a very long time since getting up was this much of a problem.

 

You are me. These days I wake up at 4:30 am, then go to bed and then struggle with my alarm. It was really bad a few months back, as in I either got 4 or 14 hours of sleep. 

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8 hours ago, Jean said:

I'll be following in the distance.

 

Good to have you here :D 

 

8 hours ago, Jean said:

I like how two negatives end up with a positive in your approach.

 

Well, I've got that many of them, I have to do something with them, so why not the improbable? :lol:

 

 

7 hours ago, Echoceanic said:

You are me. These days I wake up at 4:30 am, then go to bed and then struggle with my alarm. It was really bad a few months back, as in I either got 4 or 14 hours of sleep. 

 

Yeah, it's really not so great. I think it's entirely possible my forced 4am starts are at least a small piece of my particular puzzle as I tend to wake up around then on my days off and on days I'm on late shifts, regardless of how much sleep I've had until that point, and that doesn't help at all.

 

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I put my alarm far enough from my bed that I have to get out of it to turn it off. It annoys the heck out of my wife, but I rarely get back into bed once I'm out (and she hasn't asked for a divorce yet).

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3 hours ago, OTTO said:

I put my alarm far enough from my bed that I have to get out of it to turn it off. It annoys the heck out of my wife, but I rarely get back into bed once I'm out (and she hasn't asked for a divorce yet).

 

I considered that, but I have to wear earplugs to have any hope of getting to sleep. My downstairs neighbour is a mostly deaf party pensioner who never wears her hearing aids to watch TV, which gets seriously loud (and right into the early hours too). As a result I can't really hear my alarm that well when my phone is stuffed under my pillow (partly due to my own hearing problems as well as the earplugs), it's the vibrations from it that actually wake me up.

 

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Day Four//Zero Week

Feeling like roadkill once again. This time the lack of sleep didn't have much to do with it. Going to rant a little for a moment.

 

Things started to go wrong from the moment I walked into work. The first thing that hit me was the place hadn't been wiped down and swept, which immediately put my back up because that only usually happens if someone has to go home sick or just plain doesn't turn up (or is the CO, who is apparently above cleaning). The second thing was that the label printer was broken, which was fine, I only needed to label everything I baked off and I only needed to bake off enough to fill the entire department... Which would have been easier had the prep from yesterday actually been finished.

 

At that point it was 0610 and I could already feel my blood pressure climbing.

 

When I found out no one had bothered with rotating the stock I started to get genuinely angry. Not only did I have to clean down the department before getting started, not only did I have to finish the prep that should have been done last night, not only did I have to take every single item to the butchery to label with their machine (and wait for them to print and deliver it to me because I can't set foot in that department due to health and safety reason), but I then had to take almost every single pre-packed item off of the shelves and switch it for the stuff still in the back that had a shorter date code on it.

 

All before 9am.

 

It did not get better from there.

 

It got so much worse. And so much busier. 

 

It was 1510 before I got my break.

 

And now I'm dead on my feet (dead on my ass, technically, and I can't really feel my feet). Much as I complain about my job, it's rarely this level of bad. The only good side to it is that the CO seems to have finally taken my concerns about the department seriously. We'll see what happens there, but I'm not holding my breath.

 

Daily Checklist

  • One household action: Tidied the living room.
  • One personal care action: ...?
  • Meals: A success, somewhat surprisingly. Had a very mobile and definitely against workplace policy breakfast, eventually got my lunch, and the first thing I did on getting in was start making dinner. Not only am I exhausted, I am ravenous.
  • Mobility: 
  • Meditation: Relatively simple, helped subdue a good amount of restlessness even if it didn't help me get to sleep.
  • Walk: Work day exception
  • Duolingo: Will be done after dinner. I've upped the xp amount from ten to twenty in an effort to help myself actually learn and retain things. I'm awful with languages but I really want to get the hang of this.
  • Personal time: I strongly suspect that, once I've done with eating and Duolingo, I will fire up Doom and take my frustrations out on some demons. Either that or I'll go in entirely the opposite direction and read.

Nothing is getting done tonight. Nothing. I don't have the energy and I don't have the will. What I do have, however, is a chance to start tomorrow right. Although I am working, thankfully I do not need to be up at 4am again. Instead I can sleep in a little longer, wake up a little more refreshed, and start as I mean to go on.

 

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