Why you NEED a positivity playlist – VickiAmaya

To put it simply, because it makes you feel fucking good!

I’m currently sat on my bed, developing a tan, listening to one of my five absolute classics for my own positivity playlist songs. It’s so good that I’m having a little boogie, flipping my ponytail around, throwing my hands in the air, you get the gist…

If you don’t have five go to songs that can pull you straight out of a down day, then you can steal mine from below but I urge you to seriously personalise your positivity playlist.

I started my own (mental) playlist back in 2012 when I had my bad patch (read about that here). There was one song that would always pull me out of a deep, dark depressive day. I related to each verse and the chorus just nailed the resolution. I am of course talking about Shake It Out – Florence and the Machine. It’s one of those songs that just penetrates the soul and really gives you the pep talk you knew you needed!

Since then, I have slowly amassed a small anthology of songs that will perk me right up in four minutes or less (estimation). However, of all the songs there are five that really build me up and lift those dark clouds.

– The Playlist –

  • Shake It Out – Florence and the Machine
  • Darlin’ – Avril Lavigne
  • Fuck You – Sleeping With Sirens
  • My Heart Will Go On – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
  • Looking Up – Paramore

I mean, I do also sing these songs at the top of my little lungs so that probably helps. Each one has that perfect message for pulling you away from the downward spiral that you can get trapped in.

So, why not create your own positivity playlist and please feel free to throw it my way, I would love to add to the above with your suggestions!

Until next time lovelies,

VickiAmaya

Advertisements

Lets talk about anxiety

Alright so, Anxiety is something that plagued my life for years. I’ve had anxious thoughts and feelings from as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I used to get this feeling that something bad was going to happen.

I remember always feeling this snap decision in my head. Something in there was saying ‘No’. But, as hard as I tried to fight against it, it would always win. I couldn’t do something because of this ‘No”…

In my teens, I missed a lot of schooling and GSCE coursework. I was constantly at war with my mum, trying to get her to understand but also trying to figure it out myself. Why did I have some horrible voice that wouldn’t let me do the things everyone else could do?

What was wrong with me?

View Post

December 2018 Life Update – VickiAmaya

So, Hi. I’m back. It’s November (now December) and I haven’t written anything on here for around 4/5 months. I would apologise, but if i’m honest. I’m not really sorry.

A lot has changed for me this past year. I started the year exhausted and I leave it enthused.

So, 2018 was supposed to be the year I ‘Made It’. The year we got the hell out of dodge and saw the world. I held it with such a high regard and then let it all slip away.

The funny thing about dreams is that if you stop believing in them, they stop happening.

But instead of dwelling on the could have, would have and shouldabeens (I’m saving those for a rainy day). I’m instead going to write about what did happen this year. I feel like that’s a way better story than wishing I could start the year again.

Life Update:

I made new friends! I’ve written about this previously, but I feel its worth mentioning again. Jess, Kitty and Emily, you girls are my angels and  love you all so much. I can’t believe I went 28 years without having a bunch of inspiring, creative and caring girls behind me. You gave me a group of friends at a time when I had so few.

Moving away from home is always tough. Out of sight, out of mind… But I can’t complain because by loosing some old friends, I have made some life long ones. I didn’t realise how alone and isolated I had become until I started hanging out with this girl gang. Seriously, thank you babes!

I lost 5000+ Instagram followers and found my clarity. I was OBSESSED with the inner workings, the numbers, the upload schedule, the updates. You get the point. I had been consumed by the app and felt like it ruled my life. That was until I broke a light bulb and couldn’t upload anything new. I then took a spontaneous few months off. Honestly, if you’re trying to carve a living from your own little corner of the internet, then I applaud ALL of your efforts. This shit is hard af.

Since starting to post again, I have only lost followers and you know what… It sucks, it really does. But, I still have an amazing, caring following and I still want to help people so I’m just rolling with the punches. You’ve got to take the lows with the highs. You can’t just throw in the towel when the going gets tough can you. I’ve done that my ENTIRE life and it’s finally time to face the music. I know it will get better, I will get better and I can still make a career out of this. It just takes time.

My darling Adam and I made it to four blissful years together. God, I love him. He pulled me out of the depths of a deep, dark depression and showed me what love is supposed to feel like. I often ask him if he can find me again in the next life because I honestly cannot bare to be without him anymore. Did you know that, I was convinced that I would never meet my ‘true love’? I treated relationships like fashion trends. Fleeting between boys and not really putting any heart into them. That was until Adam came along. If you’re in love then you’ll know how this feels.

I never, ever knew I could feel so whole.

I went back to full time employment. Not a decision I took lightly, I’ll have you know. Within two months of being there I have also been offered one of three promotions. On thing I have always beaten myself up for is my inability to take pressure in a job and work my way up in a role. I have always cracked under the pressure of a full time job. I was convinced the other staff members hated me. Or, my home life was in shreds so I couldn’t handle keeping up appearances of having my shit together.

This time around, I did it right, I worked my ass off and it’s so nice to see the pay off.

I went a whole year without a mental breakdown. It sounds silly but it’s true. Every year prior to this one, I have had to have time off work because I’ve been unable to function. It has felt like a huge achievement to not take time off for stress or anxiety.

Am I a little sad that I’m not a millionaire business woman with all my dreams coming true? Of course I am but I’m also happy. I survived another year and I achieved some amazing things.

Everyone is on their own journey in life. We all peak at different things, in different ways and at different times. So, please don’t feel like you’re playing catch up with everyone else.

Lets see what the next year has in store, shall we?!

How To Get Your Blogger Mojo Back

VickiAmaya

Hello Lovelies,

How are you?

For those of you that didn’t realise, I’ve been on a little break recently.

As a Blogger and Instagrammer, my life used to revolve around creating content that I wanted you to love. However, I wasn’t creating content that I loved. I was constantly comparing myself to others. Constantly stressed, anxious and unhappy. Spending hours flicking through photos, assessing blogs and profiles to try and find out why certain people were so popular. I would check my Instagram account about 50 times a day, liking hundreds of photos, leaving comments and obsessing over analytics.

 On the 13th February 2018, I stopped posting content on my Instagram and blog. I finally let myself breathe.

Today I want to talk to you in depth about Blogging, Instagramming and how to beat the Blogger Overload that I’ve heard so many people talk about.

“Blogger Overload”

Constantly talking, thinking, viewing and creating for your social media channels with no downtime.

Before I dive head first into how to fix this dastardly dilemma, I feel like I should first explain what happened that tipped me over the edge.

I’d been thinking and feeling that my content wasn’t up to my usual standards. The theme wasn’t as white as I wanted it, the pictures weren’t coming out as I’d hoped. They didn’t look anything like the popular photos that have hundreds of thousands of likes. The outfits weren’t good enough. My figure needed to be tucked here, there and my skin smoothed out. One of those truly crummy moments where everything can and was scrutinised…

We needed a photo to post that evening as we hadn’t been out that day to take any. I was setting up my lighting to take a mirror shot when, I dropped the bulb and it shattered into a thousand tiny pieces. I stood looking at the little specks of white frosted glass for what felt like a lifetime and then the tears started to pour.

Was I  actually, really sobbing over a broken light bulb? Yes, I really was…

The broken lightbulb meant that I couldn’t upload a new photo that evening. I would have to do a re-upload and I was vastly running out of photos I even liked enough to feature again.

Adam ran up the stairs, saw my tear stained face, the glass on the floor and ushered me out of the way. I took five ginormous breaths and tried to compose myself. How could I not have any photos to upload? What kind of person was I? I’m a fraud Instagrammer. I’m not even a good Blogger. (Seriously?!…). All thoughts of self doubt and loathing that would have never even hovered in my mind not two years prior.

It was then that I realised I needed to stop. To take a break and re-evaluate what I’m trying to do with my accounts. I needed to get back in touch with the reason I got into this in the first place and why I love doing it. The reason I call myself a Blogger and Instagrammer!

It’s all about the little steps!

One of the first things I stopped doing was checking my social media apps every day. The Vicki before this cataclysmic event would have been scrolling through her feed constantly to make sure she liked EVERY photo from her followers list (You’re all welcome btw 😂). Instead, I have been going on, replying to a few messages from friends and then closing the app off again. I feel like this has really helped to clarify that my life does not depend on social media. After all, I am a fully functioning member of the non cyber world too! *I also just realised that I’m older than the internet, wow…*

Another tactic I adopted to combat this feeling of unworthiness was to unfollow any person that I was consistently comparing myself too (harsh but true). That way, I didn’t have the conscious or subconscious thoughts of not being good enough when seeing their posts! Whilst I can target the feelings of jealousy and envy without unfollowing people, it felt good to admit defeat with this one. I’ve never been a jealous person, so I find it helpful to understand the aspect of others successes that unsettles me. Something which I can continue to research and work on!

Another great stress reliever was to unfollow ANY brand that didn’t genuinely inspire my fashion choices. I mean, why follow any brand that doesn’t inspire you? There is no obligation to follow a brand just because they followed you. Follow them because you genuinely love what they do, otherwise its just clogging up your feed.

My purchasing habits were the next thing that needed to change. Where before, I would try to find things that I felt my beautiful followers would love and appreciate. I’m now buying things that I love and genuinely want to wear! The whole reason my account grew to such a following is because I was sharing my own style. Somewhere along the way and unfortunately so, my purpose got lost and the likes became more important than my style. Whilst my page exists to inspire and support every one that follows it. I also want to create an income for me through it so I can build my little empire of empowerment. If you want to learn more about that, click here to read my “All About Me” post! (Paragraph 12 for the lazy people here!)

Okay, Don’t use Social Media, unfollow some stuff and only buy shit you love…  what else?

I’m very glad you asked! Once you’ve spent a few days back in reality where social justice warriors can’t throw keys at you and where cats are just balls of fluff you’ll probably start to feel a little more inspired . After all, you’ve not been bombarded with ugly bulky trainers (sneakers), coffee body scrubs, an a line skirt and slogan tee on the streets of London or that fucking pink cake shop (sorry blogger friends).

Use that inspiration as a basis. Get some magazines and go old school with them, cut them up and make outfits you love. Get onto Pinterest and make some clothing boards! Go back to the high street and try on different styles that you love! Once you feel you’ve really tackled the drought and your creativity is flowing, go back into your wardrobe and start rocking your style again. At least, that’s what I did and I’ve been having the time of my life! I understand that this bit is specific to fashion bloggers, but you can apply it in every area of life.

If you’re constantly surrounding yourself with stale information or marketing ploys, how can you possibly feel inspired? Creativity comes from within. You can TOTALLY take inspiration from others, but go your own way with that inspiration otherwise you’ll just be another opinion with an internet connection…

VickiAmaya

x

Coping with Anxiety

VickiAmaya anxiety help

Coping with Anxiety can be tricky. It’s the little voice in the back of your head telling you everything is going terribly wrong. I used to suffer from anxiety and have had my fair share of niggling inner dialogue, so trust me when I say it won’t last forever and you can get away from it.

A Short Backstory – The Day I Caved!

Lets set the scene, it’s 2012. Post suicide, post medication and post giving a fuck. I was so fed up of feeling down and unsteady all the time. One sunny morning I had been getting ready to go out. It was one of those mornings where everything that could go wrong, had gone wrong. i’d woken up late. Mascara had been poked into my eye, onto my nose and into my eyebrow. Eyeliner flicks were fighting like magnets to escape symmetry. Life was just not going well.

Moving swiftly from make up to hair, I had started drying it and noticed that it still felt a little greasy. I thought maybe I’d put too much product on my hair and that it just needed to dry a little while longer. However when it has finished drying, shock horror, it was still greasy! (Now I’d just like to explain that to me, having greasy hair is a big deal. Its probably one of the few things that I find very hard to accept for myself.)

I had no dry shampoo, no talcum powder and about fifteen minutes to get out the house and get to where I was going… I sat on the floor in my temporary bedroom at my nans house and burst into tears. Massive sobs that hurt my chest. Then, because of the sobbing, I started hyperventilating. I’d worked myself into such a state that my mascara had ran, my foundation along with it and I now couldn’t breathe. There was no way I could leave the house looking like I did… The only thing I could think to do was lay down and sleep.

Okay, you don’t need to tell me how overdramatic I was being over (slightly) greasy hair but at the time, cleanliness was one of my few controllable factors. If my mind was chaos, at least my appearance was acceptable (by 2012 standards).

VickiAmaya Circa 2012

Like I said, Acceptable for 2012

So, What Did You Do?

Well, sleep offers a temporary fix. In the long term, you still have all the racing thoughts, sweaty palms and throbbing heart. So, after throwing a temper tantrum and swearing the illness dead to me, I dove straight into research!

The Rubber Band Solution

One of the first and most relatable articles I read at the time described to me (I can’t find it anymore), the rubber band solution. I have already spoken about this in my previous blog post which you can read here.

The rubber band solution is a specific way to target the urge to self harm, instead of harming you wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it when you really feel you need to harm. The snap provides the same physical stimulation as self harming but is less evasive. I only recommend this as a very temporary solution as in the long term, it can be just as addictive.

The Bad Thoughts Book

So that was the self harm dealt with, now I just had to tame the build up that happened when things started to go wrong and the voices kicked in. You see, coping with anxiety is much like looking after a plant! There is a lot you know you should do, but very little that you actually implement. My second port of call was learning to control the bad thoughts. I had this genius idea (if I do say so myself) to write down any of the thoughts as soon as they jumped in the driving seat. That way, I can tell the good from the ridiculous and start to tell the nasty buggers where to go!

A word of warning, this can be quite upsetting for friends or family to read so I would keep your book/paper somewhere super safe! I actually found my own ‘thought book’ a little while ago and was horrified at some of the thoughts I used to have. One entry has three pages of “I Hate Myself” written over and over again. What’s worse is at that time, I really did.

Bonus Trick – If you’re still not feeling better once you’ve written down the contents of your racing brain, try pulling out the pages and ripping them up into tiny little pieces. This is another great way to unleash some of that angst you’ve been carrying around.

The ‘Change the Record’ tactic

This is probably one of the most beneficial things I ever found out about. I still use it now from time to time. So, a scenario for you: It’s been one of those days where your mind has been particularly cruel, you’ve been on the brink of tears at least twenty times. You just want to feel something different, ANYTHING different!

Change the Record! Force your brain to think of something else! Think about how great it’s going to be to get home and give your pet a cuddle. How when you get in you can put on your comfiest pyjamas, close the bedroom door and drown out the sounds of the world with your favourite band. Your brain isn’t going to be thinking about how bad your day has been anymore, its going to think about getting back to your happy place instead!

By hijacking your brain as the bad thoughts kick in, you’re causing a thought diversion. It doesn’t have to be about something you’re going to do either. You could think about how great it was to see your best friends last week. What you’re going to wear to the cinema in a few days time. Hell, you could even plan a little get away trip for you and your partner. The main point is to let go of those bad thoughts and instead think of something good!

The Take Five Breaths strategy

Another step that I use almost every day. This one is fairly simple, can be done anywhere at anytime and is even good for your health!

Anxiety can come at any point of the day or night. For me, it was usually mid morning while I was getting ready to go somewhere, but just recently i’ve found it’s when I have a load of thoughts that I can’t organise. I get stroppy, snappy and selfish. That’s when I stop what I’m doing (unless I’m driving) and I breathe in as deeply as I can, hold it for eight seconds and then breathe all of the air back out. I repeat this five times and at the end, I feel a lot calmer and more clear.

If you feel yourself getting worked up or are starting to get pings of panic, please try this! It really does help to relax your mind and body. You can even try it now, just to see how tense you are. I guarantee you won’t have realised until you breathe in a few times that you’ve been carrying around some anxiety.

Okay, we’re up to number five. The last tip I have for coping with anxiety. I hope the previous four have been helpful so far. I know that some steps will be more relatable than others, but I wanted to give you all an equal chance to feel less anxious.

The Tidy Space, Tidy Mind Practise

This practice has been one of my go to mantra’s in times of stress, struggle or instability. I use the practise everyday at home, work and in my car! In essence, if your living/work space is tidy then so is your mind. Nothing is distracting you from getting on with everything you need to do.

I can hear you moaning at the thought of tidying up but trust me. Tidying away all of your clutter is a brilliant way to release some of that pent up emotion and REALLY cleanse your mind of all its troubles.

I’ve always found it easier to start off small, your wardrobe, the drawers under your bed, your car etc… first of all get rid of any rubbish lying around. I’m terrible with hoarding used baby wipes. I’ll put them down anywhere but in the bin. Then you can reorder the remainder of the items to make it more streamline and easy to get anything you need.

I always like to start a new day with a blank canvas and can really tell when I’ve let my work space (or mind) get too cluttered.

Coping with Anxiety is tough, but you are tougher!

You’ve got this, it’s a bad day not a bad life.

All My Love

VickiAmaya x