5 Ways To Get More Active Readers

Everyone wants the interaction, but no one wants to make the first move and reach out. We enter The Inactive Ego Trap. Inactive because no one ends up doing anything about it. Egotistical because everyone expects the other person to be the first to reach out. And trap because with your mind in this cycle, it can be difficult to get out of.

You spend minutes, days, hours, years watching your activity feed in the hopes that something will happen that will suddenly make your blog popular. And yes you may get a like here, a like there, but it’s nowhere near as many as you’d like. And yet you are unsure how to increase your readership’s interaction with your blog.

Introducing, The Proactive Blogger.

With the following tips, you will get more comments, more interaction, more views!

  1. Leave comments
  2. Answer comments on your posts
  3. Ask for feedback at the end of posts
  4. Participate in memes
  5. Join a blogging community

But wait, there’s more! Let’s expand on these points a bit.


Leave Comments On Other Blogs

If you really want to see your blog grow, let go of your ego. Let go of the anxiety of socially interacting with others on the internet. Remove emotion from the equation and do things the way a sociopath would do things. Would a sociopath leave a comment on someone’s post with the express interest in seeing that person return the favor on their own blog? Absolutely.

This is all tongue in cheek. Don’t worry. I don’t actually mean act like a sociopath. My goodness, there’s enough of those heartless souls out there in the world already. That was just the jokester Kat having some fun. The serious Kat is here to tell you that the power to increase activity on your blog lies within you. Yes, within you! Be bold. Be courageous. Be the first one to reach out. You never know! The person you want to do a collab post with might want to do one with you too, but is just too scared to ask first! The person whose blog you just left a comment on might see it and it might make their whole day because it’s the first comment they’ve recieved in weeks!

Reaching out first means being a leader. If you can do that, then they will come. And they will interact. Act with confidence and people seldom question it. So go ahead and take the first action. Leave a comment.


Answer Comments On Your Posts

Make sure to answer the comments that people leave for you too. They don’t just say nice things to get a quick “like” on their comment. They took the time out of their day to read your post and leave a comment. Take the time to write back. This is how you can start converstations and really get to know your reader base. You can find out what they liked and didn’t like, and they often have wonderful critiques as well.


Ask For Feedback At The End Of Posts

But how does one get comments in the first place? The structure of a good blog post always has a call to action at the end. Ask your readers questions about the post and the content involved. Give them an opportunity to talk about themselves (everyone loves talking about themselves a little). Present them with a chance to link a blog post of their own. This is a great way to give their posts more views too while also getting to know them a little better.


Participate In Memes

You can also try your hand at internet memes and surveys. These are the fun little writing prompts or games that you can add to your blog for some easy reading. Many online memes give you a chance to tag others, much like the Sunshine Blogger Award. This spreads an interactive vibe that you can use to build a bridge between bloggers that you respect or want to get to know better. Remember, there is a person behind every blog.


Join A Blogging Community

Lastly, joining a blogging community such as a facebook group or pinterest board is a great way to interact with bloggers and get more interaction on your blog. For example, I am a member of Blogging For New Bloggers, where they host promotion fridays in which you can share a post or page you would like more interaction with. But these groups really work the best for you when you are an engaged participant. You can lurk around these groups and learn a lot, but when you begin to interact with your fellow blogger hobbiests, you would be surprised at how many people are just like you, looking for a deeper connection than just “follow my blog so I can get more views”!


Thank you for reading! Do you have any other suggestions that I may have missed? We’d love to hear from you. (See, call to action! Do the thing!!)

Stay up to date with new blog posts by following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Kat

Wrist Exercises For Carpal Tunnel & Tendonitis

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I work part time as a librarian. Before that I, like many of you, had some preconceived notion that librarians had relatively easy jobs. You shelved books, gave people library cards, and wore cardigans like they were going out of style. Well, all of these things are true, but I didn’t realize just how much physical stress was involved in the job.

Now, I’m sure there’s a difference in public libraries and reference libraries. I happen to work in a reference library, so I can’t speak for those public librarians out there, but the physical strain my arms, wrists, and hands go through in a days work is enough to have already caused some serious problems.

Librarians Do A Lot Of Heavy Lifting

What goes on behind the closed doors of a reference library might surprise you. No, there’s no scientific experimentations or yakuza headquarters, but there is a lot of physical work going on. When you request materials, the librarians go in search of your requests in the tombs of the archives. Sometimes this means lifting heavy boxes and books for extended periods of time. Doesn’t sound too bad, though, right?

Except that when you consider the angle one must use to pull a book from the shelves, you end up with your wrist at a very odd angle. An angle that wrists aren’t that accustomed to. Too much of this can lead to carpal tunnel or even tendonitis. Just imagine pulling endless amounts of heavy books off a shelf with little time in between to rest your forarms and wrists. I recently reorganized a few shelves of my library, moving book after book to different shelves, as well as incorporating new books into the collection. The next day, my wrists were killing me. They ached relentlessly, which left me massaging my forearms in hopes the pain would stop. Unfortunately my feeble attempts didn’t do much good. I knew I had to go in search of something better.

What Are Carpal Tunnel And Tendonitis?

According to OrthoInfo,

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm. The condition occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand — the median nerve — is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist.

In most patients, carpal tunnel syndrome gets worse over time, so early diagnosis and treatment are important. Early on, symptoms can often be relieved with simple measures like wearing a wrist splint or avoiding certain activities.

If pressure on the median nerve continues, however, it can lead to nerve damage and worsening symptoms. To prevent permanent damage, surgery to take pressure off the median nerve may be recommended for some patients.

while, according to HSS,

Tendonitis (also known as tendinitis or tenonitis) is a general term used to describe inflammation associated with a tendon. Tendons connect muscles to bone, and inflammation of these rope-like tissues is the most common cause of soft-tissue pain. Tendonitis differs from arthritis, which refers to inflammation of a joint. Common areas for the condition include the shoulder (which involves inflammation at one of the tendons of the rotator cuff), the elbow (tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow), the wrist, the knee (above and below the kneecap), the back of the ankle (Achilles tendonitis) and the foot.

The onset of tendonitis can usually be attributed to overuse of the associated area, but can also occur in areas where calcium deposits have developed.. As we grow older, repetitive motion can injure the tendon where it attaches to the bone, promoting an inflammatory response by the body. This inflammation can cause “pain on motion,” swelling, warmth, tenderness, and redness. This latter symptom is called “erythema” and refers to the dilation of the blood’s capillaries as part of the inflammatory process.

I’m sure there are countless ways in which a wrist could develope carpal tunnel or tendenitis. You can find cases of these wrist pains in secretaries, hairstylists, I.T. workers…the list goes on. And if you, like me, don’t know the proper stretches you can use to alleviate that built up stress, you could find yourself in a lot of pain!

What To Do About It?

First of all, let’s list the obvious ways to alleviate this problem, or at least make it more managable.


You can always try to:

Give it a rest
Wear a splint
Stretch the inflamed area
Avoid repetitive movements
Ask a medical professional


Sometimes these work, but you can’t always avoid repetitive movements if it’s for your job, and wearing a splint can make other tasks uncomfortable. It is always best advised to see a doctor if you are concerned you may be developing carpal tunnel or tendonitis. But I also understand that visits to the doctor can be expensive in this era and young professionals don’t always have the resources available to afford these costs. (Hello, this is why we need universal health care!)

I’d like to share with you some of the exercises I have found that helped ease those wrist pains to become more managable. My particular case of pain started in the lower palm of my hand, where it attaches to the wrist. The pain eventually spread to my thumbpad and the upper side of my wrist, encasing most of my thumb with a steady dull aching. I was having difficulties finding exercises for this particular area. These resources are the ones I have found most helpful.

After trying the very first exercise, I felt immediate relief. I couldn’t believe it! It still hurt, but the pain wasn’t a constant throb like it had been seconds earlier. Instead it only hurt when I moved my hand in a certain position. I continued to do this stretch and I do believe it triggered the exact tendon that was cramped, because the relief continued.

Afterwards, I found this video, and discovered that it stretched parts of my arms that I never really noticed were tight. I don’t know if this specifically helped my aching wrists because I couldn’t feel an immediate relief, but feeling the other muscles stretching in my arms, shoulders, and neck made me realize just how tight I was. I followed his instructions and my arms felt great afterwards. Of course it always feels good to stretch.


If anyone has any other suggestions, I would be so grateful for your input. If you are experiencing wrist pain, I urge you to contact your doctor if possible and practice self care by following some of the suggestions above. If you found this post helpful, please leave a comment, like, share, and subscribe!

Stay up to date with new blog posts by following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Kat

On Moving On…

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I don’t remember much of last winter. I was too buried in grief colder than any squall. The sharp bite of bitter wind was a welcome distraction from the sickness of my heart.

I put all the things he gave me in the back of my closet, not brave enough to throw them in the trash but not bold enough to keep them around either. Like all bad memories, I hoped they would just fade away.

I found things enough to keep me busy during the days, but the nights were filled with inescapable loops of all the things I could have done better. Of all the things I might have done wrong.

I don’t remember the first day after January 7th that I didn’t see his face every time I closed my eyes, but it must have come. Yes, it must have. Because the sick sinking feeling in my chest now feels like a faded picture.

I grasped for anything that might save me. Desperately, I entered entropy and let the world devour me with new experiences. And yet only within myself did I finally find healing.

For a late blooming flower, I found that each bruise he gave me wilted my tender petals. But those scars will grow a stronger bud come spring. Every beautiful rose wonts to be plucked. And every summer they bloom again.

Moving on is all about compartmentalizing. The pain never goes away. You just box it up and bury it somewhere in your mind and try to think of better things to come.

Wishing stops working after a while, when you realize that people don’t work like shooting stars. They don’t fall on command, and they have pasts that they can never outrun.

I walked into something karmic, and fuck that’s unfortunate, because you were the start of my journey, and I was only a distraction from yours.

Sometimes I remember the way he rolled his eyes while I drove us home one December night, and in that moment I knew there was no saving this. And it took all my strength of will not to burst into tears as we ate our blue cheese burgers while we tried to think of something, anything to talk about.


Here’s some prose from last winter, about my broken heart and learning to move on after that.

Bad things happen in life, but we shouldn’t view those as negatives. We learn much more from pain than we do from success. And sometimes a broken heart is just what we need in order to transform our lives into everything we’ve ever dreamed of. So thank those who have taught you the tough lessons, and pray that they someday find the healing they need as well. Forgive them, and find peace.

Stay up to date with new blog posts by following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Kat 

 

Sunday Pep Talk | Trust Yourself

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Hello, friends! I have a secret to tell you. I don’t actually have any new years resolutions yet. I know. LAME. But there are things I want to do more of, and less of. I just haven’t gotten around to setting them as goals that I will actively work towards achieving. I mean, I made blog goals, and intentions, but those aren’t quite as real as resolutions, which I take to be things you actively do in your life to change things. Just to recap, in 2018 I:

Made my bed every morning
Got my mental health under control
Started therapy
Began a new job

This year, the things I’d like to do are:

Take care of more plants
Monetize my blog
Take my photography business to the next level
Move into my own apartment
Buy a new car
Publish that book I’m sitting on

These are big things. HUGE things. Cars are expensive. Apartments are also expensive. But if I can get my other goals completed, that shouldn’t really be an issue. 2019 will be a year about learning I can do the things, and then just doing the damn things. I always make excuses for why I can’t be a professional blogger and photographer. Interestingly enough, grad school did not make it onto that list. It’s something I’ve been considering ever since I graduated from undergrad, but for some reason I just can’t commit to that. Maybe it’s because I feel like the surreptitious college scam is finally coming to light, the idea that you need college to make money, when really all they do is enslave you to student loans. Graduate school is a ton of money! Sure, I could do it, but would I be any better off than I am now? I may have a better job, but I’d be paying more on my student loans. It’s a giant catch 22.

So instead, I’ve decided that 2019 will be focused on what I can do for myself with my own God-given talents. Not everyone can write, or take pictures, or both. I know I can do these things, but 2019 will be about accepting that I can do them for money. It’s easy! And graduate school will always be there, right? I just have to trust that I am on the right path and that I will lead myself exactly where I need to go.

And you should too! Trust that you know what’s best for yourself. If that means totally changing careers or ending a relationship with someone who loves you but who you’ve fallen out of love with, do the damn thing. This is your life. You have the power to make it anything you want it to be. Remember that your feelings are just as valid as anyone else’s. So listen to yourself. Trust yourself!

5 Ways To Reach Higher Vibrations

Raising your vibrations seems to be a hot topic right now on the internet. No, this is not in reference to your favorite sex toys. High vibrations refer to the energy of highly successful and happy people. Everyone wants to be successful and happy, right? No wonder this is so trendy.

Everyone has their own opinion about how to raise your vibrations, from eating vegan to gong emersion meditation. There’s so much to filter through, so how do you know what works and what doesn’t?

What Are Vibrations?

Let’s start with what the heck vibrations are. A lot of people out there probably think the whole energy thing is a bunch of hocus pocus, but did you know that every human being has their own energy field? You radiate energy whether you are aware of it or not. People with higher vibrations have energy that vibrates faster, while people with lower vibrations have energy that vibrates slower.

What does this do to a person?

Have you ever seen someone who is constantly sad, negative, angry, or complaining? Their energy is low, they often get sick, they don’t seem to glow. This is because their vibrations are low. If you could imagine a little energy field around their person, it would be dark and unanimated, languid, lethargic.

And have you ever been around a person who is bubbly, talkative, assertive, successful, and happy? Their energy is high. They spend their free time exercising, eating healthy foods, and taking care of their appearances. This is because their vibrations are high. If you could imagine a little energy field around their person, it would be bright, fast, and warm.

If you are a person with low, slow vibrations, fear not. There are things you can change about your life that can increase your vibrational energy and make you a healthier, happier person. Below is a list of things I have found to raise my own vibration.


Stop worrying

Did you know that your thoughts have a huge impact, if not the BIGGEST impact on your vibrational energy? When your internal monologue is an epitaph of depressive speech, negative statements, and self-abuse, your energy levels decrease. Each negative thought you have lowers your vibrations, and as a result, you create a reality that is riddled with negativity. There is an old saying that says “your thoughts shape your reality”, and there has never been a truer statement.

Practice Affirmations

Replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. When you feel yourself slipping into that dark, sad place, practice positive affirmations. Below is a list of positive affirmations to practice.


Try these affirmations:

I am loved
I am safe
I am learning
I will do better next time
It wasn’t a failure if I learned something
My feelings are valid
I am strong
I am worthy
I am enough


Meditate

This is one of those key points that keeps popping up everywhere there is a mention of higher vibrations. Everyone praises meditation as a cure for low energy levels and vibrations. Why? Because it works! You know what they say; if it ain’t baroque….Nevermind. Meditation was one of the key practices that led to my path to higher vibrations. Your mind can become so bogged down by stress, regret, and worry for the future. Practicing mindful meditation helps clear those bad thoughts out of your mind and helps to create space for those positive affirmations mentioned above. Focusing on your breathing and presence here on this earth has a huge impact on your vibrations. For more information about meditation, check out my post on the benefits of meditation.

Surround yourself with positive people:

“Your vibe attracts your tribe.”

Think about it. If you spend your time hanging out with low energy individuals, it is much harder to raise your vibrations. This doesn’t mean people who are chill, calm, and level headed. By low energy, I am referring to people with low vibrations. Often people who are depressed have the lowest possible vibrations. This doesn’t mean you should abandon your loved ones who suffer from low vibrations, either. Just be aware that there is an energy difference, and if you feel yourself being pulled into their negative headspace, remember to recharge and nurture your own energy until you feel ok again. Alternatively, if you spend time around successful, happy people, the good vibrations can feel contagious. It is often inspiring, and is motivation to reach their same level. Those negative friends that you don’t enjoy hanging out with? Stop hanging out with them. That boyfriend that makes you feel used and underappreciated, dump him. Move towards people who will lift you up, not tear you down.

Exercise

What do you think the easiest way to start your energy moving is? That’s right, you are just a mass of molecules made up into some sort of carbon life form. By exercising, you encourage yourself, down to the tiniest atoms, to be more active, and therefore, higher in vibrational frequency. If you dance, your atoms dance, your energy dances. If you sit in one spot, those atoms sit too, becoming slow and low. So get out of bed and start moving! Your body, mind, and soul will thank you.


It should be said, however, that having high vibrations doesn’t mean you won’t have bad days. Of course you will still feel mad and sad sometimes, but raising your vibrations is the difference between wallowing and growing. Allow those negative feelings to come, but then release them. If you have lower vibrations, it’s harder to let go of all those negative vibes, like a giant spider web that ensnares them.


I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you have any practices that you feel help raise your vibrations? We’d love to hear from you!

Stay up to date with new blog posts by following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Kat

 


Starting A New Bullet Journal For 2019

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Are you interested in getting your life more organized? Are you interested in keeping track of habits and timelines? You may want to consider bullet journaling. It’s a wonderful time of year to get started, as we are coming up on a new year. I made a post about Bullet Journaling For Beginners, but I wanted to make a step by step post about how to start or transfer a journal specifically for the new year.


Transferring From An Old Bujo

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Are you transferring a journal from an old book to a new one? Some people choose to do this. They begin in one journal and decide to switch to another. This can be confusing if you’re unsure how to do this. Last year I ran into this problem. I had all my yearly trackers in one journal but ran out of room for the whole year, so I had to continue in a new journal, which left all those trackers behind in my old journal. I had to continuously switch back and forth between the two journals in order to keep track of my progress.

 

Starting A New Bujo

Or perhaps you are starting your very first bullet journal and need a little inspiration and guidance. That’s where this post comes in!

Firstly, if you are starting out brand new, you’ll want to find yourself a journal. I used a moleskine brand dotted journal for my first, but there are so many options to choose from. Some versions have numbered pages, hard covers, soft covers, place marker ribbons, and vary in length and weight. It will be a trial and error until you find one you really vibe with. But for me, I went to my local bookstore and picked up a moleskine because it was easy and readily available.

However, for the new year, I decided to try something a little different. I went with a Leichterm 97. The reason I decided to try this one out is because it has numbered pages and I wanted to make a front index, which is something I’ve never done before in my bullet journaling.


What To Include

 

Index

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This will be a new feature for me. If you don’t have numbered pages, you can number them yourself or skip this step. As I mentioned above, I didn’t have an index for the first year of journaling and this is something new I’d like to try.


 

Yearly Spreads

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Next, you want to list off the habits you want to track yearly. For me, I chose to track all the new people I’ve met, the books I’ve read, and new things I’ve done during the year, as well as adding in a bucket list. 


 

Future Log

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Following these spreads, you can include a future log, which is essentially every single month written out so you can see the whole year ahead. Leave space to write in your important dates like birthdays, vacations, and projects.


 

Months

Then you can get into your months. Mostly everyone separates their journals by months. You make a title page and then get into your monthly spreads. I tend to stick to the same spreads every month; calendar, to do’s, monthly goals, expense tracker, wishlist, daily gratitude, daily habits, mood tracker, notes, and reflection. You can check out many facebook groups for more ideas for spreads.


Design and Aesthetic

Besides all of the spreads, you might want to decide how you want your journal to look. Some people like to get artsy with it by adding colors, doodles, and sometimes full out sketches. I found that I could not stay consistent with the artsy stuff, and fell into a much more minimalist style. I do incorporate colors, but rarely add much else. But that’s what’s so great about it. You can customize your journal any way you like it!

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Essentially your bullet journal is a way to keep your life on track and keep your rooted in reality. So good luck with starting your bullet journal! Don’t worry about making mistakes. Have fun, and I hope bullet journaling helps get your life a little more organized.


Was this post helpful? Do you have any other spreads you always incorporate into your journals? Leave your comments down below!

Stay up to date with new blog posts by following me on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Kat