The Room of Great Distraction

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Heather
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The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Heather »

We get a lot of people coming in here in a panic, or struggling with anxiety and winding up getting mighty stuck in their obsessions.

Distraction isn't usually the big answer when it comes to getting past that, but what it IS great for is as a temporary coping technique to help calm oneself down, which certainly feels better. It's also pretty impossible to start doing the things you really need to do, the bigger things, to deal or change those situations if you're stuck and freaked out.

So, here's the deal and the rules for this space: post some of your favorite distractions here so everyone can share them. Great books, silly videos, hobbies or craft projects, ideas for getting away from the 'net and getting outside, whatever.

This is NOT the place for posting about the rough stuff or asking about your panicked-obsessions, so please, no chat about: pregnancy scares, STI scares, bad relationships or breakups, or anything heavy here. Light-fare only, so it can become a space anyone freaking knows is full of fluffy, fun safeness when that's what they need! :)
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Heather
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Heather »

I can get us started here, with a gif I can probably watch about nine million times in a row and never stop LMAO at, thanks to Redskies partner one day when we were having a rough one around here: http://www.reactiongifs.com/nope-badger/
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Kaizen
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Kaizen »

Puzzle-type games are great distractions! Right now on my phone I have Buttons and Scissors, 2048, Dropwords, and Flood It.

Also, I like to write, so if I'm trying to get something done or distract myself (or both) I'll set a timer for five minutes and try to write as constantly as I can. When the timer goes off I'll check how much I wrote (line count if it's on paper or word count if on technology), write the number down, and start over. I end up with a list of line counts or word counts. I like to challenge myself to see how high I can get my average.
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Mo »

I really love hedgehogs. Alas, they are not legal pets in California, so I haven't had one as a pet in quite a while. But I love looking at pictures and videos of hedgehogs online! My favorite places are Hedgehog Calendar and Hedgehogs of Asgard. It's hard not to smile when you see a video of a little wiggly hedgie-snout.
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Sam W »

Kaizen, I totally do the puzzle game technique. I'll pair it with an audiobook or a podcast for extra soothing-ness.

My techniques generally involve some kind of audio. Usually it's a podcast (like welcome to nightvale) or a video series that I find interesting that I'll put on while doing something else. That something else is often baking, or embroidery, or sometimes minor cleaning. The talking from the podcasts helps drown out the thoughts I'm trying to distract myself from.

Also, as silly as it is, cute animal videos do wonders for me if I'm said. And reading is always helpful (I highly recommend the Moomintroll series of books if you're looking for a soothing story to read)
tealcoati
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by tealcoati »

Here's a few of mine:
  • Make rubber band bracelets if you have the bands. It's hard to think about much else when you're making one, or watching a video tutorial. A loom isn't even a necessity for several patterns; I've heard that a lot of people use a fork, their fingers, two pencils taped together, etc.

    The Youtube channel MEpearlA, most famous for Proper Opossum Massage. It's great for a dose of cute animals and quirky humor at the same time.
    For more cute animal videos, dig through Youtube until it starts recommending cute animal videos from foreign channels. You're unlikely to have seen them before if you don't know the language it's in, so bonus for surprise cute!

    Search a messy room if you have one! You can find a lot of nostalgic stuff or things you've forgotten about in the deepest layer, and if you decide to clean up or reorganize, it'll keep you busy for quite a while! However, if you're suffering a loss of any kind, and you think there's a chance you'll uncover something painful, you might want to skip out on this one.

    And if you really need to focus on something for a longer period of time, hide stuff in your local library. An internet friend of mine bought these little plastic gnomes and made several gnome paper cut-outs, then hid them around his library when no one was looking. Another common variant is inspirational cards or bookmarks. You might even find a nice distracting novel to get caught up in. c:

moonlight
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by moonlight »

Weed the garden. Something about the detail-orientedness of it is very soothing.

Watch a series you love from beginning to end. Pick anything at all, the more seasons the better. In times of stress, when I can't focus enough to read a book, still having something to lose myself in is a great feeling.

Do a cross word or Sudoku.
ratperson
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by ratperson »

Anime can be good. Ouran High School Host Club is a really funny one, but it's best to seek out the funny ones when you're in need of distraction, because there are a lot that aren't funny and will definitely increase anxiety.

Sometimes if I need distraction, I'll clean. Even just taking piles of neatly organized stuff and rearranging them or making the piles *neater* helps. I agree with tealcoati that going through a messy room can be fun. I'll go through the one that has my toy horses from when I was younger and play with them a bit sometimes - it can be great fun!

Coloring books can also be fun; when I go back to college in a few weeks, I'm definitely taking two up with me, along with a box of crayons. If you know how, or are willing to learn, things like crocheting and knitting, they can be fantastic distractions, and you can sell, use, or donate the things you make, which can also be a plus. :D
Infinitea
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Infinitea »

I find folding origami really soothing and it's my current go to when I'm feeling anxious. If you're new to it paper cranes are a good place to start, though I definitely recommend this tutorial on folding paper dragons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWadkkIPSJk

I also second ratperson's suggestion of colouring. The more detailed the colouring book the more calming in my opinion.

And for anyone looking for a good happy read suggestion, my personal go to is Howl's Moving Castle. Snarky, witty and little ridiculous, it's great paired with a cup of tea.
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Redskies »

Ooooh, the badger gif! :)

Not a specific thing, this, but something I find super-helpful when I feel very worried or freaked-out about something I can't do anything about or can't do anything about Yet is to do a different thing that I've been meaning to do for ages but just haven't got round to for whatever reason. Probably not anything particularly challenging or tricky, just "one of those things" - like tidying up something, writing an overdue email to a friend, finally starting watching that series that everyone's raving about, etc. Doing a "thing I'm supposed to do" really, really helps soothe the part of my mind that wants to do something about the issue.

In the spirit of fun and light stuff, this is probably my favourite picture ever: http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/2014-05 ... 912-17.jpg This dog just Loves those leaves! And I love that dog's expression and want to have that much fun every day.
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.
Kaizen
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Kaizen »

Another good one is to look up landscape pictures on 500px, Flickr, Tumblr, or any other photo site. It's very relaxing to imagine yourself being somewhere beautiful.
Mo
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Mo »

Redskies, that dog picture was exactly what I needed to see this morning, thank you. :D
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Onionpie »

Redskies, that dog picture definitely just made my day.

Like Sam and Kaizen, puzzle games are totally awesome. (And you know I just went and installed Buttons and Scissors on my phone). A puzzle game that I am currently totally in LOVE with is "blendoku" which combines puzzle-solving with, like, colour theory. You're provided with little squares of various shades and you have to organize them so they create a gradient. So you have to be able to analyse "is this colour part-way between blue and orange? Which side of the gradient does it go on, does it have more blue or more orange in it, or is it half-way?" Which for art-nerd types is pretty damn fun. It's also kind of fun to test your ability to detect minute differences in colour. It gets a little hard as you move on in the difficulty levels, though. "IS THIS GREY OR OTHER-GREY??" :P

I have a particular fondness for puzzle games that also involve cute characters, for example, Cut the Rope. I also like games that take a bit of strategy but aren't TOO challenging as to frustrate me -- games that involve some small level of achievement and progress so it feels like you're actually... well, achieving something and progressing :P I recently found the game "Curl up and fly" which I found myself playing into the wee hours of the morning. It's just perfect -- calming cheerful music, an adorable character, basic premise that isn't too challenging but does supply you with goals to achieve. You make an armadillo clinging to a firework fly and bounce off trampolines and balloons. How is that not the most perfect game in existence. A similar one is the android app "sea stars" in which you make a cute sea animal swim around to collect coins and avoid obstacles.

Strangely enough, one of my distractions is... being immersed in social justice. I go and read up on my favourite social justice tumblr blogs and other websites, to read cool people's cool thoughts about cool activism. And it calms me down :P "damn those are some cool people saying some cool stuff I want to be as cool as them!" makes you forget your own troubles for a fair while. And I'm also always learning new stuff about social justice, so it's a win-win!
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Amanda45 »

I always find exercise and music a great distraction it can enable you to just jam out to some silly pop song and just release some tension. The endorphins naturally will pick up your mood.

Also if your in a panic most of the time i find it best not to be alone with my thoughts. Go out with some friends, hear about what is going on in their lives, chase their annoying little brothers with a super soaker lol it's great. Or if there is a family member you like to be with. Watch a cheesy reality show or a sappy Hallmark movie with your mom.
Heather
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Heather »

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Mo
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Mo »

This is a really soothing webpage that allows you to make some really lovely art in various colors, with radial symmetry or not, etc. It's like painting with smoke. http://weavesilk.com/
Kaizen
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Kaizen »

Ooh, pretty! That reminds me, there's also http://thisissand.com/, which is like filling bottles with sand except that you have your whole screen to fill! You can choose a single color or a gradient, and change colors as much as you want. As a bonus, the sound of the falling sand reminds me of ocean waves!
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Jacob »

I love these! My contribution is http://january.cc 16bit graphics, calming wind noises and catch snowflakes on your tongue to make music.
"In between two tall mountains there's a place they call lonesome.
Don't see why they call it lonesome.
I'm never lonesome when I go there." Connie Converse - Talkin' Like You
Kaizen
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Kaizen »

And that reminds me of http://www.seaquence.org/, which lets you create little buggy critters that swim around playing notes. You can adjust how high or low the notes are, how many critters you have, and various other stuff to make a little musical pool. Like Weave Silk and This is Sand (I haven't looked at January yet), you can take it very seriously and try to make something you like, or you can just click around and see what you end up with.
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Sam W »

In the vein of soothing websites, I really love this one: http://29a.ch/sandbox/2011/neonflames/

It lets you paint your own nebula!
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by IceResurfacer »

Oh yeah, I like the Nebula site! These other sites look good too and I'll keep this page bookmarked for reference.
I like drawing or sculpting when I'm stressed, and writing down my thoughts in random notepads.

I sculpted a pumpkin tonight which was really helpful! Sculpting clay and dough is nice too.
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Berry124 »

Drawing is a great way that I calm down and get distracted from stressful life. I draw anything that I want to draw :) I just look it up on my laptop and use the image to draw my 'art work' :D I have average art skills but it's a great feeling when you get so involved and focused whilst drawing and I love it :D
Heather
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by Heather »

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/01/p ... hael-grab/

I walked in on my partner watching this video the other day and was instantly MESMERIZED. Not only a fine distraction, but also a really, really beautiful one.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by kiki0802 »

i like to look up funny memes on google
adip0se
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Re: The Room of Great Distraction

Unread post by adip0se »

My favourite video meme is on YouTube, type in "Take a closer look at that snout"
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