072/2024 – “In My Head”

Lyrics: “Zombie” – The Cranberries, 1994

The past week has been a weird one. I was anxious a lot or to put it more correctly more anxious than usual. Which again led to more than usual unhealthy (mental more than physical) behaviour. Worrying. Ruminating. (Excessive) Daydreaming. Procrastinating. Luckily I seem to have manage to get back on track by the end of the week. Small steps and self-compassion and all that.

I had planned to publish a version of this post on Sunday evening, while I was watching my favourite TV show. I thought I could type and watch, but multi-tasking never really works, does it? And the commercial breaks weren’t long enough to finish it. Two days later I’m finally sitting down to give this another try.

I’m streaming old editions of the show on the side right now (because I found out that I can!), so I’m not sure how well this attempt to publish will go.

Screenshot of my desktop. On the left in a small window a stream of "Wer stiehlt mir die Show" S1E2 und links in einem größeren Fenster das Edit Fenster des Blog.
2nd attempt of writing this post

A few more thoughts on the past few days; in alphabetical order this time.

Books | One of the activities to get me out of my head and negative thoughts was and still is reading. The last few books I read were a bit of a let down, but my current reads are interesting enough. I usually try to read a fiction and non-fiction book at the same time, though sometimes the fiction wins, because it’s more interesting as a plot moves forward. My current reads:

Screenshot of my Storygraph Current Reads: Dances by Nicole Cuffy and Unwell Women by Elinor Cleghord
Stats from two days ago, I’m further in both books now

Caffeine | The weekend before last I noticed that my supply of coffee beans was running low. Some time ago I had re-read an article about caffeine’s negative effect on our bodies. I didn’t think I drank all that much coffee: Not more than 3 cups of not that strong coffee and always with a lot of (oat)milk. But I thought why not try decaf for a while. Do I really need the caffeine? Do I really like the taste of it? Short story short: I can’t really ultimately answer either question. I do like the smell of fresh coffee. I do like the routine of making it and sipping it in the morning.

That article and other sources recommended not going “cold turkey” but rather phase out. Of course I thought: “I don’t drink that much coffee, my body can’t be that dependent on it and I went “cold turkey” “. Which does sound as weird as the experience of going without any caffeine from one day to the next indeed felt like. I might be exaggerating, but I did feel a bit more sluggish and on the first and 2nd day actually had a headache. I very very rarely have headaches, so that must have definitely been a result of the lack of caffeine in my system.

Yesterday I bought regular coffee beans again and will now mix the ‘real’ and decaffeinated beans in my coffee grinder to find some middle ground.

Grace Petrie | Grace Petrie is an amazing folk singer, whom I got to know through Frank Turner, when she was one of his supports on the UK tour 2019. Her new album “Build Something Better” was released on Friday and it’s a proper banger. Three songs in I was up in arm to protest in Westminster. I’m a German in Germany, but who cares. Seriously. The album is a perfect bland of protest songs full of rage about what’s been going wrong in UK politics for so long and about misogyny world wide. But it also has a few sweet love songs and one rousing “We can still turn this around” anthem, which combines the rage wit hope and that’s a good mental state to be in these days in my eyes.

Frank produced the album and thus they did an Instagram Live together on Saturday which was fun to watch.

“Monkey Mind” | When I’m as underlying anxious as I have been this past week, my mind also goes off track much more often than usual. Hopping from thought to thought and activity to activity without really finishing either. It took me a few days to realize that this was what was going on and I started to pay more attention to my flittering mind and reign it in a bit more. But also using paper and post its on various spots in my home to be able to jot thoughts down to come back to them later instead of acting on them right away. It seems to have helped. Also using a ToDoList App to organize my day a bit more. Trying to establish a few more healthy routines. Again: small steps and self-compassion.

News | To keep my mind busy and keep it from wandering off into anxious loops too much I also tried to read more news articles. Newspaper. Proper articles and not just tweets and Instagram slides. A bit more background and more in-depth analysis. Unfortunately I bookmark articles to read quicker than I manage to catch up with reading them, but that’s okay.

Always remember: A lot of the world is not binary. Not just black and white. Not just pro and con. Sometimes I struggle with the ambiguity and also with all the grief and atrocities and catastrophes, so I try to also read “good” news, because those are out there as well. Maybe less in the current day-to-day global politics at the moment, but in other fields.

Photo of a few sections of last week's edition of the weekly newspaper "DIE ZEIT"
Last week’s “DIE ZEIT”

Olivier Awards / Operation Mincemeat | This section wasn’t part of the post on Sunday. I won’t bore you again with how much I love “Operation Mincemeat”. The Olivier Awards are one of the biggest Theatre awards in the world. The biggest in the UK anyway. Like the “Oscars” basically. This show, my favourite show, my happy place, written by four friends who have never ever before written a musical together, is nominated for SIX awards.

  • Outstanding musical contribution (Orchestration and Musical Direction)
  • ALL FOUR ‘acting in musical’ categories (male/female in each main and support)
  • Best musical!

I’m sooo sooo happy for them and can’t wait to see the show again in April. The night AFTER the Olivier Awards, which might be an interesting night to be there.

Teeth | Over the years I’ve probably mentioned that I have kind of crappy teeth. Not diligent enough dental hygiene, when I was younger? Maybe? Too much sugar. Probably. Last year one of my teeth which already had a filling sort of broke off. It already had a root canal, so it didn’t hurt and was no bother but all in all it’s still useless and thus was better pulled. Which happened today. It wasn’t too bad, small tooth and all and it was quickly done. I felt a bit woozy afterwards and from experience knew that I better take some ibu before the local anaesthesia wears off. So far I’m feeling ok.

#WSMDS | “Wer stiehlt mir die Show?” is my favourite TV shows these days. The only TV show I actually watch, when I know it’s on, which I somehow missed these past few weeks. I guess, because I’m not on Twitter as much anymore where there used to be sort of live tweeting back in the day. I only heard about it, when it was already week 4 of the 6 weeks the show is aired. Nerd and viewing for comfort person that I am, I decided to spend some of my free time last week to catch up with the episodes on the station’s streaming service. Which worked much more seamlessly than I thought.

I’m now rewatching old episodes, because… Nerd. Viewing for comfort person. I didn’t even watch the show regularly in the first few seasons I realized, so it’s also fun to see what changed over the years.

Work | Has been busy last week and I too often felt a bit overwhelmed, which made me anxious. Rinse and repeat. With a bit of hindsight by the end of the week I also noticed how even with all this anxiety I’m still handling it so much better than I used to. Noticing it. Reigning it in. As mentioned above.

Zen | One of the many things that do help to reign the anxiety in a bit quicker is doing my Calm mediation in the morning. I missed a few of them at the middle of the previous week and I noticed the negative effect of that right away. So weird. At least I believe I felt how it helped and if I feel it it must be true. Right? For me anyway. Getting enough sleep also helps and that is something I still struggle a bit with. Again: Small steps and self-compassion.

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