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NEW VIDEO: Psychologist's WARNING About VIDEO GAMES

Ending the Loop


Pochatok
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Day 143. Felt like journaling again because I have been very unproductive so far and it's getting out of hand. Spent ten minutes watching game trailers just now. I've also spent about 30 minutes just relaxing, but I did not intend to do it for that long, and honestly shouldn't have- 20 was the initial goal, and I went about 10 minutes overboard. Though I am on break, I want to keep some sort of discipline and stay motivated and excited for things that I am passionate about.
Break is both for me to get rest and also to learn and do things I am not able to do during school time. 

Here are some things I have been doing:

1. Learning and playing Volleyball. Played an amazing game yesterday, where I was the youngest AND the least experienced/skilled player by far. It was so fun, despite the fact that I barely contributed to my team- I've scored 1 point myself and have lost at least 10. But, I learned so much!

2. Bettering my practice habits with trombone. This one needs more improvement- I am not doing super well lately, and have been not feeling super motivated during my practice routines. I think that I am not super engaged with what I am learning. I should try either trying out composing again, or start a music instagram where I could post stuff to keep myself engaged. 

3. Bettering my exercise routine. I still can improve my goals here, too, but so far I've learned exercises to deal with my back injury (they've been very helpful), and am in the process of exploring calisthenics. 

4. Improving myself artistically. Same thing- I need more concrete goals, visions, deadlines, and such to stay more motivated to keep making progress. I have been learning for about 20-30 minutes every day, but I need to do more to meet my career goals. But, I don't really have concrete career goals oops- should set those too!

5. Hmmmm, I think those are the main 4. They're more than enough for me at the moment, too. Here are some things I would want to learn in the future:

  • Learning 2D animation on procreate (debating to pay for an online class for this atm)
  • Learning sound design and composition
  • Learning to cook better

Main issues with motivation and passion from the points above:

  1. I don't have concrete goals for some of my activities. Setting them always helps- I am learning volleyball faster than ever thanks to knowing exactly what I want to improve and why. Ahhh my serves have sucked so badly yesterday... 
  2. I should rewrite and remind myself of these goals frequently. 
  3. Looking not only for inspiration but for solid learning opportunities is important too- I need to track my improvement and be able to see it in order for the activity to feel more rewarding
  4. Being more consistent- I should set some daily goals to simply build the habit of practicing learning. Ultimately, consisten learning will lead to improvement.

 

Woah, this was highly helpful. Very glad to have taken the time to complete this. Will proceed to set goals now!

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On 12/7/2021 at 4:56 PM, Pochatok said:

Family can still be stressing me out at times, and I find it difficult to connect with my sister, which is a bummer 😞 

Is she actively countering your efforts to get closer or is she just indifferent? It's difficult to keep good familial relationships in this age, when every second marriage ends in divorce and all the anti-familial propaganda keeps telling us we can be everyone/everything we can be and ordering us to chuck relationships as soon as something difficult comes up.

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On 12/8/2021 at 2:52 PM, The_Creative_Quitter said:

There's a 14 day trial on the Mixcraft..  I will probably pick it up next year.  I have nearly zero music training (just a few basic childhood piano lessons).  Haven't used any other DAW's though, so I can't really tell you how it compares.  I need to go for whatever is easiest to learn .. :7_sweat_smile:

As for blocking...well I don't have Cold Turkey yet but I have the leechblock extension blocking a few sites.  So far doing the occasional 3 or 7 pieces of jigsaw puzzle is helping me fulfill the 'reward' center of my brain and acting as a much healthier substitute.  It sounds so silly but it's working!  I'm actually doing them on the computer as I haven't got room in our place for a real jigsaw puzzle.  If you're interested let me know and I'll point you to what I'm using.

I hear you about wanting to do music for games.  I used to work in the industry years back - now I work a (boring) day job part of the time but thankfully it lets me work on my dream job (independent artist) at the same time - sounds like you have that same need to do creative work.  Going in the industry, you will be -expected- to play a ton of games.  It will take up your life (just the truth).  One healthier possibility is you could go independent/freelance.    Gah I've written a novel here sorry.  All for now.  :8_laughing:

Haha, that's good! For me, the alternatives to video games have been board games and 3D puzzles (like Lego/Gunpla), but it also can get out of hand sometimes 😞 Thank you for your suggestion, but I find jigsaw puzzles oddly unsatisfying for some reason- I think that I secretly crave more complex mechanisms that turn into something completely functionally different once assembled together. 

Oh, that's really cool- must have been such a different industry to work in back then; it has changed a lot this decade, and not in the best direction imo. Yes, I think that independent could be better, or at least working for indie games, where I could have more control over my work and time. 

Hmmm, keep me updated on your musical journey! I hope to publish a composition by the end of March (hopefully it will open up some doors)- do you have any goals, too?

Po

 

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On 12/11/2021 at 4:19 AM, Ikar said:

Is she actively countering your efforts to get closer or is she just indifferent? It's difficult to keep good familial relationships in this age, when every second marriage ends in divorce and all the anti-familial propaganda keeps telling us we can be everyone/everything we can be and ordering us to chuck relationships as soon as something difficult comes up.

To answer your Q: Yes, kind of. She can be really closed off sometimes, especially when she is not doing well. And, when not doing so well, she also tends to get very mean but in a way that actually bothers me (a superiority complex, kind of), and then I take some distrance from her, too. 

Fortunately, I've been able to connect with her really well over the last few days as my parents were off in NY. We had some good small talk, and a couple deeper convos too. I feel much better now <3

As specifically to your opinion on the modern obstacles to familial relationships at this age, it is somewhat factually incorrect. Let me just verify some information for you: divorce rates are at ~30% overall in US and declining since 1980s, not 50%, and is lower amongst younger generations (1, 2). And, overall, America's divorce rate is highest in the world (3). Though consumerism (re-purchasing rather than fixing things, like you said) is a common cause for decline in family relationships, I couldn't find any evidence for anti-familial propaganda; at least, it is not primarily associated with either decline in family quality (4) or divorce rates (5). 

Haha sorry Ikar, I kind of love researchig from time to time- this is a lot to digest, imo. However, I do hope you'll find this information useful- I learned a lot from these articles 🙂

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Day 146. Gaming desires are very low, partially due to the fact that I've been developing unhealthy obsessions with other things haha. Wanted to journal because of that.

Decline in Discipline

I very much saw this coming- the last few days (and on a smaller scale, the last week) I have been getting less things done, and getting things done slower. There's been more inclination to relax for longer, to watch more TV shows and surf YouTube more often. Though this has, fortunately, helped me decrease the amount of time I spend on social media to pretty much 0, my overall procrastination has increased. 

I think that I am used to rely on external factors for disciplining myself- things like deadlines, forced responsibilities, and discpline-encouraging working environments (people around me being productive, for ex.). This week, I've been largely free of any strings, and not in the "best" working environment. The things I am currently attempting are entirely self-motivated, with no deadlines set for me by anyone other than myself. 

I need to figure out a way to discipline myself for my own sake and pleasure, rather than anyone else. 

Will come back a bit later with more thougths! I think I've spent a lot of time on this forum today. 

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6 hours ago, Pochatok said:

I find jigsaw puzzles oddly unsatisfying for some reason-

I know what you mean!  I need something to occasionally 'clear' my head so the puzzles work.  My work is complex enough I guess to make up for the loss of that in gaming --- but the real temptation for me is to get immersed in the game world - which ends up being that sort of escape that sucks up hours ..days, then weeks months years, haha.      As for the game industry; yes, very different then - even then it was a huge crunch but at least then ..games were still games, you paid for it once and you owned it.  It wasn't yet rigged to be the incredibly greedy thing it is - meant to addict people like gambling.   Even the old days in Las Vegas there were regulations on gambling - now that's all changed, the money-people have lost their soul.   Maybe I'm saying too much... lol but it is what it is.

Music - I hope to dabble in Mixcraft when I get time, but don't really have specific goals; maybe just to make some music I can use for my own videos and such.  Keep going with it and good luck with your Composition!!!

Edited by The_Creative_Quitter
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Day 147. Doing better today overall!

Here's a bit more to building discpline:

Continue to build concrete, goal-oriented habits. Something I have attempted doing, but not nearly enough. Here are a few NOT-TO-DO:

  • No phone 30 minutes before bed. Anything else is okay, but no screen time outside of texting my partner!
  • For the first 30 minutes I am awake (probably driving my sibling to kindergarden and walking the dog), I also should not be using any devices for procreation. 
  • Same goes for the following activities: bathroom breaks, being outside, eating, and talking to my partner. Avoid screentime usage at all costs
  • Stop watching Gunpla videos. I honestly have no reason to- I'm not considering purchasing any at the moment. In general, avoid planning purchases unless I am completely sure that I will be placing it.

Here are a few TO-DO:

  • Do my bed every morning!
  • Journal every day somewhere to some capacity. It's extremely important to continuos habit building.
  • Practice art and music every day at least to some extent- even 5 minutes a day counts. Consistency is what builds habits
  • Exercise every day to some extent- not every exercise gets me tired, some genuinely feels good and simply reliefs stress

In general, I need to shift my "restful" activities from screentime to something more beneficial- something that is helping my wellness, or offers a learning experience. I will achieve this by replacing my habits- for example, instead of watching another episode of my TV show, I am continuing to write this journal 🙂 I should make sure to balance my activities with actual rest too, though.

IT'S ANALYSIS TIME!!!

Ahh so excited to be looking over my recent stats again- I think that I will look over the last two months and compare each other. 

"green" is the overall wellbeing 

Time Management

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As usually is over break, my time management does get a bit worse. However, I do think that the falloff is less dramatic than I believe it to be; my perception is a harsher- I have more trouble justifying restful activities, and think of them more as "procrastination". The last week, I've allowed myself about 1-2 hours of free time, which is not much more than it was in prior month, when I rated my time management much higher.

Stress Management

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Happy to see that the break is not severly affecting my coping mechanisms. There was an initial drop about three weeks ago, but since I have been improving continuosly.

Eating Habits

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Without having a concrete eating schedule, I tend to skip meals and snack throughout the day more often. I've been making more time to cook lately. Hope to keep improving here, not eating well makes me really unhappy!

Social Interaction Quality

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This is a bit difficult, but overall I think that I've been pushing myself to talk to both family members and high school friends more often. This break, I don't really feel the need to meet up with anyone- family is keeping me busy -but I feel socially happy!

Mindfullness

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Uhh this one is a struggle. With how chaotic things are at home, I only have time for mindfullness when walking the dogs or putting my siblings to sleep. I hope to find a way to carve out some individual time for this activity in the coming weeks. Feeling optimistic for next term, though- my goal is to have this match the "overall" by end of March.

Happiness

image.png.e0d902f89230e4e704903de6c03e5e7f.png

Also glad to see this one holding up despite being at home, where I generally feel quite more depressed haha. Though, I do think that this is a fault in self-perception, too! There is a lot of things that make me sad pn campus too, but I don't think I mind them so much. My coping strategies at home are definitely less effective.

How often I am feeling that what I do and care about matters

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Yay! This one has been pretty steady, and it will definitely be rising in the coming weeks- I've been meeting up with a lot of people and improving networking; so much encouragement from folks to keep doing what I doing 🙂

 

This is it! I think that I'll switch from Fortify's wellness tracker to my own, but I am yet to design it haha. Will get around to it sometime tomorrow. 

Hope you've found some of this interesting,

Po

 

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On 12/13/2021 at 6:18 PM, Pochatok said:

As specifically to your opinion on the modern obstacles to familial relationships at this age, it is somewhat factually incorrect. Let me just verify some information for you: divorce rates are at ~30% overall in US and declining since 1980s, not 50%, and is lower amongst younger generations (1, 2). And, overall, America's divorce rate is highest in the world (3).

My bad, I made a hyperbole with the 50% divorce rate. It is true that lesser and lesser amount of people are getting divorced, because lesser and lesser amount of people are getting married in the first place. Article 1 you provided mentions that the % share of people who got never married is increasing as time goes by. Article 3 has nice graphs and I think it's best not to look at the absolute or relative number of divorces, but rather single-parented households and births outside marriage to get to the cornerstone point I had in mind when I made my original comment:

https://ourworldindata.org/marriages-and-divorces#there-has-been-a-decoupling-of-parenthood-and-marriage

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-of-births-outside-marriage

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-of-single-parent-families

Marriage is an institution to primarily protect the children of the parents and to ensure they get a somewhat fair treatment in case both of the parents are not around anymore (for whatever reason). I don't buy the argument that marriage is there to "secure the love" in the relationship or whatever - I don't need a piece of paper to prove that I enjoy being with my girlfriend or to stop me from cheating on her if things go sideways. The main point is below:

"Single-parent households are among the most financially vulnerable groups. This is true even in rich countries. According to Eurostat data, across European countries 47% of single-parent households were “at risk of poverty or social exclusion” in 2017, compared with 21% of two-parent households."

What worries me is the combination of the increasing poverty of the single-parent households coupled with the increasing amount of these. Then, there are two solutions how can the government go about this:

1) create a rich welfare state to support the single parent families, or

2) cut the welfare state to the absolute minimum to perhaps pressure some sense into the squabbling parents with the child

I see the 2) as the more reasonable solution, because it frees up money to be spent elsewhere and it doesn't sponsor the anti-social behavior towards the taxpayer as well as the child. Kids today are (roughly) a 20-year project until they are reasonably independent, so it's nearly impossible for anyone to set up two successful families (biologically speaking).

On 12/13/2021 at 6:18 PM, Pochatok said:

Though consumerism (re-purchasing rather than fixing things, like you said) is a common cause for decline in family relationships, I couldn't find any evidence for anti-familial propaganda; at least, it is not primarily associated with either decline in family quality (4) or divorce rates (5). 

My lengthy explanation above probably explained this part too; the conclusion in Article 4 is that (30 years ago), tearing down the nuclear family will have negative consequences in the future - and since then, I think the West has definitely moved in that direction, looking at the graphs from Article 3. Again, with a hyperbole, I hope I will never wake up one morning to see some TV advert, presenting family on the same side of societal ills such as tobacco or alcohol.

On 12/13/2021 at 6:18 PM, Pochatok said:

Haha sorry Ikar, I kind of love researchig from time to time- this is a lot to digest, imo. However, I do hope you'll find this information useful- I learned a lot from these articles 🙂

No problem, I thank you even. I made a quick careless remark and you called me out on it, so I had to explain what I meant in more detail what I mean by what I wrote. I hope I made my argument clearer now 🙂

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On 12/15/2021 at 12:34 PM, Ikar said:

My bad, I made a hyperbole with the 50% divorce rate. It is true that lesser and lesser amount of people are getting divorced, because lesser and lesser amount of people are getting married in the first place. Article 1 you provided mentions that the % share of people who got never married is increasing as time goes by. Article 3 has nice graphs and I think it's best not to look at the absolute or relative number of divorces, but rather single-parented households and births outside marriage to get to the cornerstone point I had in mind when I made my original comment:

https://ourworldindata.org/marriages-and-divorces#there-has-been-a-decoupling-of-parenthood-and-marriage

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-of-births-outside-marriage

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-of-single-parent-families

Marriage is an institution to primarily protect the children of the parents and to ensure they get a somewhat fair treatment in case both of the parents are not around anymore (for whatever reason). I don't buy the argument that marriage is there to "secure the love" in the relationship or whatever - I don't need a piece of paper to prove that I enjoy being with my girlfriend or to stop me from cheating on her if things go sideways. The main point is below:

"Single-parent households are among the most financially vulnerable groups. This is true even in rich countries. According to Eurostat data, across European countries 47% of single-parent households were “at risk of poverty or social exclusion” in 2017, compared with 21% of two-parent households."

What worries me is the combination of the increasing poverty of the single-parent households coupled with the increasing amount of these. Then, there are two solutions how can the government go about this:

1) create a rich welfare state to support the single parent families, or

2) cut the welfare state to the absolute minimum to perhaps pressure some sense into the squabbling parents with the child

I see the 2) as the more reasonable solution, because it frees up money to be spent elsewhere and it doesn't sponsor the anti-social behavior towards the taxpayer as well as the child. Kids today are (roughly) a 20-year project until they are reasonably independent, so it's nearly impossible for anyone to set up two successful families (biologically speaking).

My lengthy explanation above probably explained this part too; the conclusion in Article 4 is that (30 years ago), tearing down the nuclear family will have negative consequences in the future - and since then, I think the West has definitely moved in that direction, looking at the graphs from Article 3. Again, with a hyperbole, I hope I will never wake up one morning to see some TV advert, presenting family on the same side of societal ills such as tobacco or alcohol.

No problem, I thank you even. I made a quick careless remark and you called me out on it, so I had to explain what I meant in more detail what I mean by what I wrote. I hope I made my argument clearer now 🙂

Oh, I see! I definitely agree more with you on this point; I do think that there are both negatives and positives to marriage rates and signle-parent household % changing in the recent decades, but I definitely agree that the government should take better care of single-parent households' financial wellness.

I do think that there are some good reasons for people to avoid marriage, but I also see its benefits. I don't think anyone should be pressured into marriage, and rather government should try to make it more appealing rather than pressure folks into it, and/or support single-household parents better. Ye!

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On 12/16/2021 at 2:53 AM, BooksandTrees said:

Very interesting analysis. I've never seen such in depth analytics on mood and social environment. I like the graphs. Can you add a legend or key to them next time?

Thanks! The next time I'm going to do a longer post, I'll try to make it into a blog article too, where I am gonna be more playful and rigorous with the format.

14 hours ago, Pochatok said:

Oh, I see! I definitely agree more with you on this point; I do think that there are both negatives and positives to marriage rates and signle-parent household % changing in the recent decades, but I definitely agree that the government should take better care of single-parent households' financial wellness.

I do think that there are some good reasons for people to avoid marriage, but I also see its benefits. I don't think anyone should be pressured into marriage, and rather government should try to make it more appealing rather than pressure folks into it, and/or support single-household parents better. Ye!

I think people should make do with what they have and work as if there was no welfare state, save for the small % of people who have some serious disability and are unable to support themselves. It even makes me doubt if there should be a retirement/social security system in the way it is now - going from working 40-50 hours a week to 0 hours a week - primarily because work always has some of its meaning and because the mentality of "I have to work X years of this shitty job before I can retire." is detrimental to mental health. I think it'd be best to have it as a scale, coming in together with the normal salary.

Regardless, there are very few "outside" projects in life with the lifespan of kids (let's say they really "need" parents until they are 18). I also believe that the typical situation is that both parents love their kids, but the reason they get divorced is because they don't get along with each other. And that they do not get along with each other because they forgot the two of them are the base and have neglected each other for a long time.

At this point, the welfare state kicks in and says something along the lines of: "Dear Parent, because you have been incompetent in dealing with your personal relationship with the other parent of your child, we will bail you out financially." Now, I'm not saying that there's a fortune to be made in single-parenting or that all complete/nuclear families are heaven on Earth, but that it likely facilitates the lack of civility, the lack of long-term planning needed to raise a child and interchangeability of people (consumerism in romantic relationships?).

I read about someone famous on Wiki that they divorced after their youngest kid turned 18 and I thought that if I ever get divorced, I want to do it that way. I hope I won't live to find out that this text bit me in the ass 😄

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Day 152! It's time I journal a bit more here, again. 

gaming stuff

Urges minimal but there- normal when I am not feeling well. Video games seem to be promising some excitement and full relaxation, but I know too well what the cost of those things is, and don't want to give into that. Games eat up too much of my time and give too little back. I can live a happy, fun, relaxing day without gaming; maybe not now, but soon I will feel better!

Building discipline

I had a peak of Netflix/Youtube binging a couple days ago, and have since been continuosly lowering my usage. Just finished blocking netflix on all my devices; this block is only lasting until tomorrow, but it will help me be in control of my watch time. Other than that, I feel like I have been able to push myself to be more caring, strong, and efficient. It is still difficult with the "I'm on break" mindset, but I will be coming back to campus soon, so it's time I get back in shape!

Mental health

Not feeling too great- a lot of things about my partner's life are making me sad (not them, but the situations they get into), and it's frustrating that I cannot change anything at the moment, though long-term change is possible. My family is also getting on my nerves from time to time- there are really nice moments, but they are few, and during most of the day I am constantly looking for reasons to not like being here. I don't think it's my family's fault entirely, there is some inherent bias, too. I am too harsch. I hope to work with my counsellor on this next term as I do want to be kinder to and happier around my family. 

Good stuff:

  • I've been continuosly learning something new every day. Feels great to be expanding my horizons so much! Just payed $120 for an online Art Class, very excited for it!
  • So many new people are on my radar! I've been reading about and meeting so many of my aspirations, it's unbelievable. Turns out, people are easy to contact if I do it right. I hope that this will aid my career in the future heh
  • Career exploration has been going steady- I've been refining and adding post-graduation goals every day, and feel much more ready and excited for life after University. Still so many questions, but I know I'll answer them!

Bad stuff:

  • Distractions do be getting into my head; hope to put an end to it now!
  • I've been working on an art project for nearly three full weeks now, and though I'm working very hard and very consistently it feels endless. I know that I just need to keep at it, but it's frustrating.
  • There is a bunch of daily habits I wanted to develop over break but my schedule doesn't allow for such consistence, sadly. I am making an effort to do those regularly, fortunately. 

All for now, thank you all who read this journal, I appreciate you so much!

Po

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Day 160. Ohh, been awhile! I regret not journaling during this time. 

Gaming

    I have been aimlessly watching gaming-related videos lately for about 10-20 minutes a day. A bit annoying, since I am not really experiencing urges to play but have the tendency to connect myself to video games this way. My sister has also been playing games a bit recently, and that has giving me more "reasons" to play too. I don't think I will relapse though, there is just so many other things to do at the moment! I might be at higher risk around Jan 1st, but until then I am just crazy busy. 

Discipline

     There's been a bit more distraction with TV shows and Youtube than usual. The last two or three days, I've doubled my time spent on those activities. Though I have been very consistent with some of my tasks like doing my bed daily, making art, daily, and just having a strong, enjoyable routine overall, it's not very stable. Some thoughts on this:

  • I am experiencing less positive feelings when doing my favorite things like painting, exercising, and music. This has been likely due to me adding more challenge and, unintentionally, stress to some of these activities. 
  • I've been getting less sleep lately. This causes me to be more relaxed and laid back.
  • The TV shows and other media has been simply becoming more fun to watch. It's more immersive and consuming. 
  • There's been more "idleness" in my life in general. I lose track of time while surfing media more easily, and get into the process of surfing media more easily. 

Some solutions:

  • I simply need to persist and seek more inspiration/goals for my activities. This has been very helpful in the past, and I believe that it will help me now too. 
  • Sleep more, duh. No screentime 30 minutes before I go to bed!
  • Put time limits on screentime- I need to simply layer up the restricting apps I use again, rather than just using one of them at a time. 
  • Practice mindfullness and being more present in the moment. Meditation and stillness in general are quite helpful. 

Mental Health

       Pretty good overall. I do think that I am having pretty difficult days from time to time, but I am able to stay afloat 100% of the time. There is a minimul degree of productivity that I am able to uphold every day despite my mood, and I'm very happy with that. I do hope to begin working on my mental health more intentively and efficiently soon though. 

Things to continue doing:

  • Have a good, active posture. It helps me avoid idleness and stay very productive.
  • Practice art/movement every day. I have noticed a good amount of improvement in my skills and approaches, and that makes me pretty happy. Consistency is key to building better habits. 

Things to avoid repeating:

  • Keep restricting my social media usage. I need to uphold a certain threshhold of screentime at all times, even when I can allow myself a bit more than usual. I really can't control it effeciently on my own, sadly.  
  • Prevent repetition of mistakes by being mindful of how they originate and avoiding those situations from recurring. I often just brush off the mistake and rely on my willpower; that's never enough lol
  • Being inconsistent with my habit building. It is pretty much impossible to quickly build up a habit without being consistent with it for a certain period of time. 

Hm, I think this is good! Happy holidays everyone, I will visit this place again after the year ends heh. 

Po

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On 12/28/2021 at 10:13 PM, BooksandTrees said:

Does focusing on your posture seem to help? I never focus on mine and wonder if I should. 

I'd say so! I think that keeping my physical state in mind when working on something helps me take faster notice of tiredness and focus loss. Good posture in general helps me work faster and more efficiently, and improves my focus. I think I should mention that by "good posture", I actually mean practicing Alexander Technique (I find those pretty similar tho).
You can literally google "benefits of Alexander Technique" to see more of what it offers. I don't think that there is much scientific data to back up the "benefits", but I do think that it overall offers good stuff to people who use it!

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Day 171. I keep starting a journal and then never submit it- sorry for such a long pause. 

Back to school
Something I am happy with: keeping up the necessary amount of work to shine academically has been rather easy. I forget how easy most of the classes are for me now that I've improved my study habits. Something that is frustrating is the amount of time I spend doing leisure activities every day- more on this below...

Hobbies Lobbying
It has been so enjoyable to be able to dedicate time to hobbies I feel truly passionate about, like board games, video game music/art, and building model kits. However, it has completely stirred out of control. Every day I spent 30-60 minutes looking up new model kits to purchase in the distant future, 20-30 minutes on board game playthroughs, and the video game dev things add it all up to nearly two hours. That's far too much leisure for me, given that I spend about 3 hours a day relaxing with my partner during lunch and dinner hours. 
This lack of control on my hobby time management has led me to missing out on some important larger tasks like preparing internship applications, improving relationships, and getting non-academic work done. It is quite frustrating that I'm getting so close to a few important deadlines with so little progress; next week will be more challenging because of the mistakes I've failed to avoid over the last few days. Not to be getting too negative, though- all in all, I've managed to achieve a lot of good things and continue to do the necessary minimum that will keep me afloat no matter what. 

I have already heavily policed my hobbies this week via application and website blocks, and it has been helping. Something I could have done sooner is this- the process of self-reflection and journaling.

No matter how satisying hobbies are, I need to remember that the slightly less fun, more tedious and responsible but nontheless important projects is what betters my future, and the future of the people I care about. I am extremely priviliged to even have hobbies in the first place, and many people in my family do not have this luxury. I must balance my priorities and personal interests better in order to carry out the larger goals and aspirations I have. Let's continue with this mindset (probably a bit more positive than this haha). 

Mental Health

The only thing that has been so visibly affecting my mood is the issues with time management. I do feel like that is simply an underscore to something bigger that I am simply not noticing at the moment, but it is hard to tell yet. I hope that this "adjusting" week is the only one in which my productivity and passion is fueled so much by guilt, frustration, and regret. After all, I just want to be happy, now and in the future, and this ain't getting me anywhere. 

A few additional Bad Habits that have been surfacing lately: 

  1. Picking my hair/face. It always gets in the way when I am on my own for extended periods of time. I am doing better than usual, but it's still here grrrr
  2. Imbalanced diet. Something I felt really happy at home about was my improved sense of appetite- I didn't snack and ate full meals when I felt hungry. I have pretty much reverted to snacking and smaller main meals this week. I am, again, improving here too, but it's frustrating to be taking steps backwards -_-
  3. Social anxieties. Public speaking, multiple social interactions, and other things are driving me a bit nuts again. I will adjust soon, but I hate feeling so nervous every time the possibility of having a conversation with someone crosses my mind.

A few Good Habits I've worked on this week:

  1. Focus! My practice sessions and study time in classes is much better than before. Today, I was able to hold myself away from using social media and was super engaged during the class discussions.
  2. Not comparing myself to others to feel better. Something I just noticed now- I'm extremely critical of myself because I am only comparing myself to myself, and not looking at any other individuals and their ways of doing things. The few times I've felt like I am "not enough", I was able to get myself into a more positive and progress-promoting mindset fairly quickly. 
  3. Balancing Rest and Work. Though this is were the time-consuming hobbies make me angry, I'm much better at taking breaks and actually "resting" rather than just opening up Youtube and extending my stress. 

This is all for now. I will write more often- it makes such a huge difference. Self-reflection is so important.

Po

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21 hours ago, Pochatok said:

This is all for now. I will write more often- it makes such a huge difference. Self-reflection is so important.

Agree 100%.  I had no idea how much this journaling thing would help.  No, I take that back - there was one time I journaled years ago where there were noticable positive changes in my life and the way I did things - I had forgotten!  Never did a public journal before though.   It's incredible how much just committing to doing this most days is helping.  I passed 60 days no games on the 5th - I honestly don't think I would have been able to do it without realllly struggling if I wasn't writing here.   I love your journals, btw - well done!  But don't be too hard on yourself, you're doing great.  :691_balloon:

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On 1/8/2022 at 1:34 PM, The_Creative_Quitter said:

Agree 100%.  I had no idea how much this journaling thing would help.  No, I take that back - there was one time I journaled years ago where there were noticable positive changes in my life and the way I did things - I had forgotten!  Never did a public journal before though.   It's incredible how much just committing to doing this most days is helping.  I passed 60 days no games on the 5th - I honestly don't think I would have been able to do it without realllly struggling if I wasn't writing here.   I love your journals, btw - well done!  But don't be too hard on yourself, you're doing great.  :691_balloon:

Awhhh thank you! I'm not too hard on myself in general, but here I try to be a bit more critical 🐝 And same, keeping a personal journal is also helpful, but for curing bad habits and thinking patterns, writing here is so much more helpful in my experience!

Congrats on 60 days, that's a huge milestone! To 90 days and beyoooond 🙂

 

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Day 180! I've passed my previous streak, hurray! Doesn't even feel like a major milestone at this point, because of how easy it is getting. I think that I will continue to have urges in the foreseable future though, as there is an array of things "lacking" in my life- connections, feeling of success and fullfillment (though I feel like my life is very purposeful), and the occasional mental health struggles. 

Some nice recap:

I do believe that a lot has changed for the better since the last time I've hit this number (it was late July, I believe). 

  • I've become more confident socially- I might not fully agree with this statement, but I know it's true. Talking to people has become much easier, so much. 
  • My relationships with family and my partner are stronger and healthier. It feels good to have gotten a lot of unnecessary negativity out of them.
  • There is more purpose to everything I do (though motivation is still an issue, but I'll try to continue working on that). I feel much happier about my classes, jobs, and hobbies. 
  • Procrastination has gone down significantly. I still get upset at myself for wasting time, and quite often, but the quantitative decrease is there- rather than spending 10-20 minutes on social media, it's 2-4. Rather than aimlessly looking through internet for half an hour, it's less than ten minutes. My metacognition has grown. 
  • I am spending more time doing things I find important and don't feel "bad" for doing them because I better understand how they align with my dreams, goals, and values. Still a lot of growth in this area, but it feels a bit more in-balance. 
  • I am better at cooking, yay! Me and my partner have made some delicious soups over the holiday seasons 🙂 

This is partially reassuring, but more so it reminds me of where I still need to improve- there are so many areas in which I am afraid to explore or improve upon... I think that this month I want to spend some time figuring out where that fear stems from. 

Other things from more recent times:

Nothing significant has been going on. It's still amazing though, how easily I am affected by anything negative in my life. Even the slightest bit of failure gets down on me, though I can now see how ridiculous this kind of thinking pattern is. It's been a very busy, but very rewarding week. I've put in a lot of work into securing a better future, and I hope that this effort will pay off.

 

I also think that I should carve out a bit of time for journaling here in my weekly schedule. I'll do that now?

Po

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2 hours ago, Pochatok said:

I am better at cooking, yay! Me and my partner have made some delicious soups over the holiday seasons 🙂 

I might have said this before but I love your journal entries lol...    I'm quoting you on cooking although you have way more great things going on in your list (which give me even more hope for the future that this really is the right choice I made, too).

I'm not Korean but tried making "Tteokbokki eggs" (spicy!) for the first time last week, was delicious - life improves so much when you've learned how to cook!  I try a new recipe every week (or make one up).    

As for failure, yeah I feel ya, shake it off, shake it off!  :7_sweat_smile:

Edited by The_Creative_Quitter
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5 hours ago, Pochatok said:

 I think that I will continue to have urges in the foreseable future though, as there is an array of things "lacking" in my life- connections, feeling of success and fullfillment (though I feel like my life is very purposeful), and the occasional mental health struggles. 

Even Cam got urges when WoW Classic came out. I remember he made a video about it. He mentionned nostalgia. Sometimes I still have dreams about WoW even after over 10 years of quitting. Maybe I still have some letting go to do.

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On 1/16/2022 at 8:33 PM, Nico Indigo said:

Even Cam got urges when WoW Classic came out. I remember he made a video about it. He mentionned nostalgia. Sometimes I still have dreams about WoW even after over 10 years of quitting. Maybe I still have some letting go to do.

Ehh, I think that it is extremely difficult to ever fully let go of something that one truly feels passionate about for whatever reason unless one fundamentally changes as a person. There has been a lot of change with how I view video games, but I still find them really awesome and interesting, even if I don't want to necessarily play them. But I'm cool with it- overcontrolling my emotions (I think that urge for something is an emotion?) is not good for mental health. 

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On 1/16/2022 at 5:57 PM, The_Creative_Quitter said:

I might have said this before but I love your journal entries lol...    I'm quoting you on cooking although you have way more great things going on in your list (which give me even more hope for the future that this really is the right choice I made, too).

I'm not Korean but tried making "Tteokbokki eggs" (spicy!) for the first time last week, was delicious - life improves so much when you've learned how to cook!  I try a new recipe every week (or make one up).    

As for failure, yeah I feel ya, shake it off, shake it off!  :7_sweat_smile:

Awhhh thank you! I really appreciate the fact that you take the time to read them 🙂 I do think that cooking is super important to me, it has intense therapeutic effects and I feel amazing every time I attempt to cook something, even if poorly. 

Ooo, I've only ever done the simple marinated eggs that are served with ramen, thanks for the recipe! My partner's mom cooks at a Thai Restaraunt, so we try to mimic her recipies most of the time haha. 

Yes, shaking!

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Day 187. I think I'll stop counting these for some time as there is no way I'd ever relapse during the school time. It's just too much time. So, next time I'll resume this counter, I will be over 230 days without gaming... or so I think 🤔
 

Journaling Purpose

I spent about 25 minutes watching a short video while and after an online class and felt very guilty. The feelings are annoying and I have to take the time to process them before moving on. Though I already have done that in my head and am feeling totally fine now, it's valuable to put this down on uhh paper and share with y'all:

  1. Why did this bad habit become desirable: the class was going very off track, and though I've missed about 10 or so minutes of valuable information, quite a bit of it was very dissapointing and I wanted to get rid of my frustration and boredom. I couldn't leave class, but I also didn't want to be paying attention to it. 
  2. What was the bad habit: I've watched a very entertaining youtube video. I watched it at 2x speed, so it was about 25-30 minutes of time. 
  3. Benefits of the habit: numb my frustration, but also educate me on engaging character design, story pacing, combat/conflict design, and general artistic skills. There is a lot to reference and learn from; I might revisit that video. 
  4. Why I was unable to stop the habit sooner/continued to repeat it: I did not go far enough to distance myself from the habit- I kept the tab open, and only shut off my PC's screen. Had I closed the tab and/or put the pc to sleep, I would likely only spend 5-10 minutes on this activity. 
  5. How I wish to proceed next time: whenever in a class, always have secondary devices off and away. If urges arise, take 1-2 minutes to journal on how whatever I am doing is valuable and calls for all of my focus, and why it's important to avoid double tasking. This should be enough. 
  6. How this was a valuable learning experience: So far in my college experience, I haven't had to deal with bad education. Now I know what challenges it can bring, and how to address them. Negative experiences trigger a lot of stress, and it's important to acknowledge that and allow that stress to channel into something else. 

This is a template I will use in the future for any serious bad habits. On that topic...

Habit building update:

Don't remember where here I saw the "dopamine detox" video, might have been @Nico Indigo, but it had proven to be super helpful. I've managed to complete two weekdays without any usual quick satisfactory activities, and it really improved my passion for other things and helped me not turn away from challenging projects. However, there is more work to do. My ability to focus is inconsistent, and so is my motivation and passion for things. I will continue to improve my ability to focus through taking smaller breaks more often and rise up my motivation through additional goal building (which I am scheduled to begin tomorrow hehe). 

Life update:

I've been being busy as usual, picking up cool projects, developing my hobbies into career opportunities, and trying to enjoy the world around me and not be too critical about myself. Something new to this month is... networking! This is a very new thing for me to do, but it's so awesome to be finally learning to develop this, and I am 100% sure I am scratching the very tip of the iceberg. Already, good networking has brought me tons of opportunities and I cannot wait to network again in the coming week- I've gotten two new connections, and should be hearing back from the companies I've reached out to for internships... Exciting!

 

I usually journal a bit more than this, but quite a bit of my journal is going physical. I will continue to post here at least once a week, but only the stuff that I feel can be directly helpful to others; things I can keep to myself, I will keep to myself. 

Good luck with the coming week!

Po

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Day 194. Didn't realize it has been so long. I really need to journal more often- my addiction to pornography is having a comeback, sort of, and I can clearly see that it could have been avoided had I dedicated more time to self-reflection on a daily basis instead of when I am at my worst.

Addictions

I think that there are a few poor coping mechanisms that I've designed for quitting pornography, similar to when I was attempting to quit gaming a few years ago. I must acknowledge that overall I'm doing so much better; I've gone so far in just a year, and I'm very proud of the progress I've made. However, it is a bit sad that this has proven to be a much more difficult road than quitting gaming; all that took was one strong commitment (plus consistency, which I am lacking to be honest). 

I have noticed a few patterns:

  1. I'm experiencing high stress -> relapse
  2. I'm experiencing social anxiety -> relapse
  3. My sexual life is having some changes -> relapse

What do I do with these patterns? Develop different coping mechanisms. Honestly, at this point I have done this activity so many times that I know exactly what I should do differently. The issue is, I am not doing it... Or at least, not consistently. A couple weeks ago I was doing great, and now I've fallen back. I think that if I force myself to rest properly every day on top of any and all of my other activities, it will become a habit. I just have to make sure that I sit down and do it every time. One way I've been able to do that is to continue to find meaning in these activities- as soon as they lose importance to me, I lose the habit. I have to integrate them so deeply into my values that they will become essential to my existance. Ok, then...

Why is journaling so important

I am a very unstable individual. Though I am sure to be neurotypical, frequent mood swings are a part of my daily life. Usually, the worse my mental health gets, the more frequent the swings. This week, I've been experiencing a few swings every day. Very difficult to deal with to be honest... Additionally, I have a tendency to doubt myself and change directions easily. I'm very easy to reconvince when it comes to beliefs about myself. Though this helps me keep a very open mind to new experiences, it is also extremely unsafe. It has prompted many poor decisions and hazardous behaviors, and continues to be so until this day. 

I've used to think that what I need is discipline. But really, discipline doesn't give me more confidence in myself, it only enchances my ability to carry out behaviours under any pressure. Disciplining myself to believe that I am righteous in my self-perception of myself is much more complicated, and cannot be done by taking ice showers or completing challenging workouts. 

Journaling is a great way to reaffirm my current, previous, and future decisions. It is the tool that let's me create a stable set of beliefs as it lets me be aware of their fluctuations (and how that's problematic). By gaining an understanding of the instability of my core beliefs, I hope to be able to discover how to reclaim their stability. I don't know how effective this actually is, but journaling consistently is something I wanted to do for a long time to address my addiction with pornography and haven't done so far. After all, doing that is exactly what helped me quit gaming. 

Other stuff

I'm doing extremely well academically and personally. I'm leading my instrument section in the ensemble, consistently practicing and learning art (finally, after so many months of dreaming about that), and continuing to make more connections and take time to take care of the existing relationships. I'll be playing my first Volleyball game of January tomorrow, and I'm incredibly excited about that.

Life is good, overall. When I look at where I was 1 or 2 or 5 years ago, the progress is so obvious. I'm a bit happier, just a bit 🙂

 

That's all for now, next entry- on Thursday!

Po

 

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