Bleats

Anxiety Hacks To Add To Your Repertoire The Next Time The World Feels Like Too Much

Anxiety hacks to max your relax!

Anxiety is the human condition writ large and knowing how to smash it away is a basic life skill we all need. And hence we all need a collection of anxiety hacks for our own mental health – but what works?

And in a completely unscientific process – aka a call out on Facebook – we’ve established that a) there are some excellent anxiety breakers around and b) goddamn, there are a lot of anxious people out there.

Fortunately, they have some great ideas on managing it. Like…

Comfort TV!

The Office, Friends, Doctor Who, Queer Eye, Seinfeld, Buffy, Golden Girls: it’s fair to say that there’s a bit of a trend there.

Video Games!

Things that are relatively simple – as in, challenging but not open ended – seemed to be the go to, whether that was Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Civilization, SimCity or mobile games.

And then there was the video game we call life: specifically,

Get out into nature!

Walking outside was a big hit with a lot of people, especially in places where there are trees aplenty. And connected with that was…

Exercise!

Swimming and running had strong, passionate adherents – and many specifically suggested getting out into nature in the process, echoing the above suggestion.

Yoga and pilates were also big favourites, as was…

Meditation!

Relaxation techniques were recommended left and right, from apps to classes to just sitting in the sun and not thinking for a bit to practiced mindfulness. And then there was the most mindful practice of all…

Orgasms!

Either solo or not, your call. They’re all good. As is…

Getting off social media!

Which was ironic, since it was a question asked on Facebook – but my word, what a lot of people agreed. So maybe take a break if you can.

Those were the most popular suggestions, but there were also…

Other things!

Browsing op shops
Knitting
Baking
Pottery
Cuddling a dog
Weighted blankets
Practice an instrument

And, um…

Pimple popping videos!

Look, we’re not going to judge. Whatever gets you from one end of the day to the other is fine.

If you need to talk to someone, you can call Lifeline on 131114.

How Long Does It Take You To Get To Work? It Might Be Quicker To Jump Interstate

Which of our cities are getting least fun for the work-travelling classes?

The average Australian commute grew from 3.7 hours wasted to 4.5 dead, dead hours to every week, which is a long time to get to work unless you’re immortal.

And all those smug people who live in the smaller cities and got to boast about how quick their commute was – Canberra and Adelaide, basically – had that condescending smile wiped off their dumb faces with the news that they were still spending nearly an hour getting to work.

“Sydney had the longest average daily commutes (71 minutes). In 2017, it was followed by Brisbane (67 minutes), Melbourne (65 minutes), Perth (59 minutes) and Adelaide (56 minutes),” the Conversation has reported.

“Reasons for the increasing commute time vary among different cities but may include increased road congestion, urban expansion and poor public transport services.”

Also, the proportion of people travelling two or more hours to work is now almost one in five. So… yeah.

So what are the answers to this slow growth of daily time burned off in traffic that you don’t ever get back?

One way would be for companies to move to where people are living, but that’s generally a big ask; the other costs of running a business are generally lower in places where stuff is easy to get. Also, businesses tend to clump together, which is why you get central business districts.

Some employers allow their staff to claim their commute time as work provided that they’re on their computers and phones during the journey. That could work OK for writers and helpdesk staff, but probably less useful if your job is selling hot chickens.

That also assumes that people are on trains and buses rather than in cars, which becomes less and less likely the further from the CBD one gets; especially in states where the approach to public transport is more death-by-a-thousand-cuts than about serving the commuting classes.

Another is to do a better job of high-density living than we’ve managed so far. After all, there are many, many, many cities which rather nail the lots of people in limited space thing. However… well, Sydney’s recent history of building robust apartment blocks has been somewhat chequered.

Or we could just go “seeing as though a huge slab of our jobs are about to be taken by AI anyway, maybe it’s time to abandon this whole notion of ‘working all the time and then eventually dying’ idea and evolve to a better way of living.”

So yeah. Maybe download a lot of podcasts; on the current evidence you’re going to have an increasing amount of time to kill.

There Is A Very Itchy Reason That Harry Potter Had To Abruptly Stop Filming

"So if you’d like to gather closer, take a few wood lice and a bowtruckle …"

Get a bunch of kids in a confined space and you can pretty much guarantee that an infestation of lice will follow. It happens in daycares, it happens in schools, it happens in sports teams, and it turns out that it also happened in Harry Potter.

Well, no wonder if they were all sharing the same hat.

In what is one of the least glamorous stories of modern filmmaking, it transpires that filming on movie number two, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, was actually stopped for “a few days” in order to deal with a lice outbreak among the young cast members.

And we don’t know who brought their filthy parasites onto the set, but let’s be honest: it was probably Neville.

And we don’t want to know how much scratching was going on to force the shutting down of a multi-million dollar movie production, but we assume it’s a lot.

Fun bonus fact: if you’re reading this and unconsciously scratching your head then don’t fear. It’s a perfectly normal human reaction and it even has a hilarious name: formication, meaning the feeling of having insects crawling on (or under) your skin. It’s from the the same root as formicidae, which is the insect family that contains ants, and thus much less rude and more anty than you’d assume.

Reenactment.

And while lice is pretty ewww-inducing (although it doesn’t really have any health effects beyond being itchy), it’s also a reminder that these were really just a bunch of kids.

Speaking of which, and in slightly less parasite-related C of S trivia, apparently both Daniel Radcliffe’s and Rupert Grint’s voices broke during the filming. Awww!

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