The Ice Planet

November 21, 2020

Nee Naw

Travelling to Cyprus in the Summer

Many people who travel to Cyprus head towards the south coast where you will find some of the best beaches and attractions on the island. The southern coast is best visited during mid-June or autumn as when you are in the middle of the island’s summer, you will only feel comfortable either in the sea [...]

by Christine Walker at November 21, 2020 03:28 PM

October 21, 2020

Nee Naw

Summer Vacations: How to Have Fun and Stay Safe

If you’re like most people, you’re probably busy making summer vacation plans. Maybe you’re thinking about a romantic holiday or exploring Patagonia’s caves or just relaxing at an Italian spa. If you’re like most people, you probably aren’t thinking about anything but having fun. The sad fact is, however, that every year a number of [...]

by Christine Walker at October 21, 2020 01:01 PM

October 16, 2020

The Thoughts of a Mind

Rum Doings Episode 272: Why Is Bigamy Illegal?

In our 272st ever Rum Doings, our topic is: the events of 2020.

Welcome back. It’s a bumper-length episode this week, with all manner of discussion, from the jokes of Peppa Pig to the state of the American Constitution. Also we talk Pokemon Go, Nick joins QAnon, and John tries to convince himself to go running again.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

by John Walker at October 16, 2020 11:00 AM

September 10, 2020

Nee Naw

Tips for Traveling with Friends

Family vacations are approaching, but you want to enjoy this time with your friends without any problem. Do not worry, we will give you some tips so that you have a great time and are the most fun rest days of your life. Boys on ladder We know that they are your friends for something, [...]

by Christine Walker at September 10, 2020 07:57 PM

July 04, 2020

Nee Naw

4 Destinations in India perfect for Solo Women Travellers

If solo travelling has been sitting in your bucket list for a long time and you have finally managed to convince your family, you have already made a great start. Travelling across India all alone is probably one of the best things you can do in your lifetime to get up close and personal with [...]

by Christine Walker at July 04, 2020 11:08 AM

April 10, 2020

The Thoughts of a Mind

Rum Doings Episode 271: Other People Are Best Kept As Text On A Screen

In our 271rd ever Rum Doings, our topic is: whatever happened too all the white dog poo? (reprise)

Obviously we talk about the current happenings, from the perspective of John’s all-consuming anxiety misery, and Nick’s similarly pathological upbeat view. But there are other subjects too, such as John’s new attempt to start running, and the inevitable demise of Facebook.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

by John Walker at April 10, 2020 02:26 PM

March 17, 2020

The Thoughts of a Mind

A Bunch Of Ways Coping With Anxiety Disorder Might Help People Cope With The Current Weirdness

Someone said a very wise thing to me.

He’s right. So I’m going to do that. I’m going to share the techniques I use to cope with my anxiety disorder, at a time when an awful lot of extra people have been temporarily drafted onto our team.

To quickly explain terms, with “Generalised Anxiety Disorder” (GAD) one’s fear is irrational. There is just fear, independent of anything, boiling and churning inside. It then tries to find something to be about. So for those who live with GAD, attaching that fear to something tangible can often be the worst thing to do. I think of it as a mad, cruel octopus living inside me, its arms reaching out to grab whatever it can, then focusing all of its efforts on that thing until I believe that that it is what I’m scared of, that it – whatever it is – is a source of enormous danger/guilt/fear. For me, detaching the octopus’s arm is a crucial part of the process, but many of the means to do so are those anyone could employ to cope when there’s a genuine source of fear out there.

So here is my list of Things I Do To Cope With Being Scared All The Time:

1. Distraction

This is the most immediately useful one for me. I imagine other lists might put “exercise” or “healthy diet” at the top, and those are excellent things that will definitely help, but they’re always top because they look worthy. Distractions don’t feel worthy. They feel self-indulgent. And guess what! They are! Hooray! Because being self-indulgent – just a little bit, and not to the detriment of others – is crucial. I, as the unofficial President Of The Universe, give you permission to be a little bit self-indulgent.

I’m not being flippant. Doing this affords you the mental space you need to be OK. And for all the reasons you might feel guilty for giving yourself that space, you need that space! To help others, to look after your family, to get through work, you need to give your brain the mental medicine it needs.

You know what you like doing. So do it. Make time for it. If you need others’ help to make time for it, ask for it. Say, “I need time to distract my mind,” and they will completely understand. You can do the same for them later.

For me, my ideal distractions are puzzle games and podcasts. At the same time. The two occupy two different bits of my brain, allowing me to minimise the amount of brain left over for worrying. I play a difficult puzzle game on my phone (I recommend anything by Conceptis) while listening to podcasts or radio programmes. My ideal listening right now is serial dramas and 1960s comedies on Radio 4 Extra, but I might switch to bright and breezy novels on Audible, or mainline a fiction podcast with squillions of episodes.

The other new addition to my arsenal of distractions is Nanoblocks! I just found them on Amazon. They’re Lego, but for ants. The result is, you can pick up 2000-piece builds for under £20, that would cost £470 million in full-size Lego. They take just as long to build (well, longer, given how much poorer the instructions are). It’s just the result fits on your palm. I’ve bought a bunch of these, and am picking away at them in front of the TV in the evening after the boy’s in bed, watching bright, silly TV shows with my wife.

Yours might be gardening while listening to classical music. Or learning a new piece on the keyboard. Or reading a novel with glitch hop blasting in the background. Or dance. Or sing. Or draw. Or whatever it is. You know what it could be.

It’s just important that these are doing things. Curling up, lying in bed, giving your brain empty space and time to worry in, is what you’re avoiding here.

2. Help Others

There’s a corollary to the above. Too much time. Loneliness. You may cry, “But making time for myself is the last thing I need to do! All I have is time for myself.” Looking outward is essential too.

Fear makes us want to curl into a tiny ball. So fight that. Stretch out, reach out. That’s my new slogan. T-shirts available in the lobby.

There are so many ways to do this. Some of them are so obvious, so often repeated, that it’s kind of hard to hear them enough to realise you can do them. Like go put notes through the doors of elderly or restricted neighbours, asking if they need help with anything. Maybe they need food delivered, or the rubbish taken out, or just a phone number they can call to talk. (And offer what you can do – I couldn’t do the latter at all. My phone ringing is one of the worst things that ever happens – the idea of deliberately causing it… brrrrrrrrr.)

Text your friends and ask if there’s anything they need. I have a friend sending me stupid videos every now and then because he asked if he could help, and I thought that would be great. It is! Do that for someone. Honestly, receiving a buzz on my phone that doesn’t have the c-word in it is such a blessing.

Also, people are organising. In my small town, a Facebook group has been set up in association with the town council, appointing volunteers to team lead on each street, organising support networks for all who are going to need it. There’s bound to be something like that near you. And if there isn’t, you can start one.

Or you could write a far-too-long blog post about it, that waffles so much that you worry people won’t read it because of the length of the scrollbar, and then make it worse by writing this paragraph.

Focusing on what other people need is an incredibly effective way to not be thinking about your own fear.

3. Share Your Thoughts

Keeping your worries in your head is never the best plan. Saying them out loud to someone else is extraordinarily therapeutic. Heck, it is therapy.

Saying fears out loud has a number of effects. Firstly, you hear yourself saying them, and the truth or fiction of them immediately becomes more apparent. Daylight shines on them. Then having someone else hear them helps too. Especially if they laugh. No, really. Just being heard makes such a difference. And thirdly, for me it’s like mad-thought exorcism. I say it out loud, and at least a part of it comes out of me. It’s freeing.

Obviously use your sense. Don’t go find your friend with panic attacks and start telling them all your worst thoughts. But friends are there to be friends, and you can say, “Are you OK if I tell you what I’m worrying about?”

If friends aren’t available, there are just so many other options. The best, most available one is the Samaritans. They’re not just a suicide hotline, although they’re excellent for that. They’re there so anyone can talk to someone who’ll just listen. For students there’s Nightline. Also, here’s a complete list of UK helplines. Google the equivalents for you own country if you’re not in the UK.

4. Move About

See how cunningly I didn’t write “exercise”. Because I hate reading that. But then I’m a wobbly man who desperately needs to exercise. And honestly, I don’t even mean “go for a run”. I just mean, don’t stagnate.

Self-isolation obviously makes this tougher, but chances are you aren’t. And if you are, it’s just for two weeks. The rest of the time, you can go outside! You can go for a walk. Or a run. Or a saunter. Take headphones if you’re worried your brain is going to misbehave, fill your head with your preferred noise. Or perhaps you need a lack of noise, a time for your thoughts to float up into the sky, instead of having them bounce off the ceiling.

Being active really helps. I wish it didn’t. But it does.

5. Have A Routine (Have A Bedtime)

You’ll read this everywhere, because it’s really true. My biggest fear, my biggest trigger, is turmoil. Anything that breaks the normal pattern of my life. I find holidays really difficult for that exact reason. So the entire planet coming to a standstill and nothing being normal is really bloody awful. I imagine that’s not unique to those with GAD.

Routine makes such a massive difference. Knowing what you’re going to be doing tomorrow, and the next day, and the one after that. And knowing what you’re going to do in the different bits of those days. You can actively plan this, draw up a wall chart if it helps. (I’d rather cut my own legs off.)

And then stick to that routine. Routine gives children comfort and stability, and those that live in chaotic houses where little is planned or scheduled tend to have a tougher time coping with emotions. We’re all just slightly taller children. Give yourself the magic of a bedtime. Seriously. Pick a time that means you’ll get enough sleep, and then go to bed then. And set an alarm to wake up at a set time too. You’ll be so glad you did.

6. Have Faith

I mean that literally. I’m not for a moment suggesting what in, because good grief. But experience faith, experience trust. Which may seem really odd in a list like this, but remember, this isn’t How To Survive The Thing; this is How My Coping Mechanisms Might Be Helpful To Others At The Moment. And this is a really key one for me.

I am not in any way writing this to try to evangelise or whatever, and would be mortified if anyone thought I were. I just know that my faith helps big-time with this, and that being part of a community of people whose core aim is to love others is a really big benefit too.

So maybe find details about your local temple or church or mosque. Obviously meeting together for faith groups is about to become extremely tricky, but I know that not being able to meet is causing a lot of them to start looking outward. So hooray!

7. This Too Shall Pass

I can’t emphasise this one (to me) enough. This will come to an end. There will be normal again.

It’s frustratingly far away, certainly. It’s months, not weeks. But it WILL end. Every day life will go back to normal. Pubs will be open, films will come out at the cinema, and people will buy toilet roll in sensible quantities.

There are absolutely going to be long-term consequences. Especially for those who lose anyone. And for those whose businesses suffer or close. None of this is dismissed by what I’m saying in any sense.

But what I take from this is the knowledge that this isn’t forever. Because we are not cats in cupboards.

As if I need to explain that. But just in case. Shut a cat in a cupboard (by mistake, you monster) and it will WAAAAIIIIIIIILLLLL. The cat doesn’t cry because it wants out. It cries because it thinks this is forever now. The rest of its kitty life is in this tiny dark space. With anxiety, I’m so prone to cat-in-a-cupboard thinking. However I feel right now, this is how I’ll feel forever. And that’s not true.

Even if there’s a tail of weirdness, normality will gradually resume. Hold on to that.

That’ll Do

Congratulations if you made it all the way through that. I hope some of it is helpful, or at least distracting.

The tl:dr is: Allow yourself time to take care of your own needs, and if you need others’ support to do that, ask for it. Then allow time to take care of others. Get a routine, let yourself be loved, and then impatiently await the normality that is coming.

You are great, you are tired, you deserve love.

by John Walker at March 17, 2020 11:39 AM

December 24, 2019

The Thoughts of a Mind

Rum Doings Episode 270: Owned By The Lady At Waitrose

In our 270rd ever Rum Doings, our topic is: going forward, can’t we just agree to disagree?

Ho ho ho dear. It’s our CHRISTMAS SPECIAL! Is it our Hanukkah special? Is Hanukkah special?

It does sound like we’re about to talk about politics again, but don’t worry, we divert. Instead we ponder why no one visits Prince Philly in hospital, the worstest of all Christmas songs, and complain about Poundland’s tills.

We then talk about forgiveness, which is uncharacteristically apposite for the season, then try to come up with some new Christmas traditions.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

by John Walker at December 24, 2019 04:18 PM

December 06, 2019

The Thoughts of a Mind

Rum Doings Episode 269: Nasal Douche

In our 269nd ever Rum Doings, our topic is: should we amend the Great British constitution so that Andrew Neil be Queen during general election?

John has a CHRONIC SINUS CONDITION, and that’s obviously the big news of the week. So we talk nasal DOUCHING. He’s also just launched a new website about undiscovered indie games, but pah.

We also talk the awfulness of the election choices, as evidenced by the inevitable success of Mogg, about Judith’s appendectomy, steamed breakfasts, and the disastrous US healthcare system.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

by John Walker at December 06, 2019 12:25 PM

November 15, 2019

The Thoughts of a Mind

Rum Doings Episode 268: Quite Oddly Lax

In our 268rd ever Rum Doings, our topic is: should we be worried about TikTok?

Nick has a new kitten! It’s correct name is Maisy. This sadly doesn’t distract us from talking about the hopeless pit that is the UK general election. And then, with a great deal of sense and decorum, we discuss the ethnic demographics of the UK for the longest time.

Then, stepping into a subject about we’re even less expert, we talk evolution.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

by John Walker at November 15, 2019 06:56 PM

October 24, 2019

The Thoughts of a Mind

Rum Doings Episode 267: Munchy Vagina

In our 267nd ever Rum Doings, our topic is: With all the worrying news, shouldn’t there now be a vaping tsar?

There’s a little bit of politics. We begin with all the latest HILARIOUS ANTICS of Brexit, and then quite figuratively leap across the Atlantic at the depressing farce of the Democratic race. With special focus on the brain collapse of Joe Biden.

We learn the advice of children, and then get to the real issue of the day: Nick’s fancy new toilet.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

by John Walker at October 24, 2019 08:46 AM

September 25, 2019

The Thoughts of a Mind

Rum Doings Episode 266: Operating Within Chronological Time

In our 266nd ever Rum Doings, our topic is: Why don’t we kick the CAN’T down the road?!

Prepare yourself: it’s going to be Brexitty. Obviously we discuss at some length the excitement of the last day or so, plus our predictions for what’s going to happen next. And we try to understand the motivations for people who voted Leave, but aren’t racists or stupid.

We ponder how Rees-Mogg has been so rhetorically thick, and even more concerningly, how Farage is becoming so rhetorically smart. Then Nick is MASSIVELY racist against the Japanese, while John saves his racism for the Jews. Finally we celebrate how terrible BBC News has become, and, moving forward, condemn anyone who ever says that.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

by John Walker at September 25, 2019 09:47 AM

September 11, 2019

The Thoughts of a Mind

Rum Doings Episode 265: Punch Cars Out The Sky

In our 265rd ever Rum Doings, our topic is: Why don’t we just… prorogue traffic wardens?!?!!

So yes, we obviously discuss the Brexitty madness, and then the legacy of John Bercow. This then incomprehensibly links on to the irritations of “smart” speakers, Toby’s first day at school, and that dreadful modern music you kids listen to.

We argue about giving trophies to children, argue even more about whether John likes tennis, and argue a bit in the middle about whether to have fights.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

by John Walker at September 11, 2019 10:15 AM

September 03, 2019

The Thoughts of a Mind

Rum Doings Episode 264: #nolivesmatter

In our 264nd ever Rum Doings, our topic is: If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we put a man on the moon?

This week we talk instead about the absolute clustermuck that is this week in politics, and how no rules apply anywhere. We ask why phones don’t dut-duhdah-dut any more, the power of adverts, and we argue for the extinction of the human race.

Plus there’s the most important topic of all: what’s going on with toilet buttons?

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

by John Walker at September 03, 2019 10:36 AM

August 25, 2019

Nee Naw

Top safe skin lightening ingredients that can be used in skin lightening process and lightening creams

Beauty is being comfortable and confident in one’s own skin. No matter what shape or size a girl is she should feel confident in her own skin. The confidence spreads only when the skin shines. Therefore, skin care is much more important than make up. Make up becomes superfluous when one begins to feel the [...]

by Christine Walker at August 25, 2019 05:46 PM

August 23, 2019

Nee Naw

Things You Should Know About Netflix

Did you know that there is something like free netflix on Netflix platform? That and more is what you are going to learn. With internet streaming taking the world by storm as far as TV viewing is concerned, more people are cutting the cord and letting off their Blu-ray discs, and DVD to collect dust. [...]

by Christine Walker at August 23, 2019 12:51 PM

August 12, 2019

Nee Naw

A guide to thyroid problems – How, when and why do women face thyroid problems?

Thyroid is a gland that secretes hormones that regulate growth and development. The problems associated with the gland cause serious metabolic issues. If left untreated it can be deadly. What hormones does thyroid make? The thyroid gland makes 2 different hormones namely thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). What are the functions of thyroid gland? The [...]

by Christine Walker at August 12, 2019 02:02 PM

July 27, 2019

Nee Naw

Tips To Stay Healthy Even While On A Holiday

One of the things you sacrifice when on a holiday is a good and healthy diet. Being far from home and routine is a temptation no one can resist, eating too much, throwing proper caution away and doing more than what he/she is supposed to. A long car trip or flight may mean sitting too [...]

by Christine Walker at July 27, 2019 08:39 AM

June 30, 2019

Nee Naw

Best kratom for pain – take care and you can do better pain management

Borneo is one of the kratom strains with a pain relieving effect. In particular, it’s very amazing in alleviating joint and bones pain. All these are achieved at a small to moderate dosage. It ranks among the best kratom pain reliever such as Maeng Da and Indo kratom. Want to know more? Read this article [...]

by Christine Walker at June 30, 2019 01:41 PM

June 18, 2019

Nee Naw

How to choose the best Pickleball Nets?

Pickleball nets are very important for the game and the good quality makes sure that you enjoy the game in its full spirit. Use standard nets Make sure that the nets you use during the game are as per the standards of the IFP and are of good quality and reliable as well. Best pickleball [...]

by Christine Walker at June 18, 2019 12:37 PM