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

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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

What’s with the bracelets, Vicki?

Hey Lovelies, I wanted to write about the friendship bracelets that are currently available on my blog shop! Hopefully, this will give you a little more context as to what they mean to me.

First and foremost they are a way for us to feel more connected to one another. I see you ALL as my best friends, my lovelies, my homies even. You’re the people I talk to the most, who get to see my highs and lows. I want us to feel like one big family. But to me, these bracelets also have a deeper meaning. The way I see it, they are your shining beacon in a sea of lost hope. The knowledge that someone out there is there for you, no matter what! They offer comfort when you need it most.

Back in 2012 I tried to kill myself, it was one of the most isolated and depressing points in my entire life. I didn’t know who to turn to so instead I hide from the world. Having someone to talk to or just the knowledge that someone cared would have been enough. These bracelets provide the words you can’t quite say out loud. They are your source of strength and understanding, that little bit of what you need when you need it! By wearing yours, you are not only signalling that you are important, strong and loved. It also means you are a best friend in the VickiAmaya squad and that you offer care and love to others as well as being cared and loved yourself, by me!

One of the lesser known parts of my bad patch is the severity of self harming. I’m not about to talk in great depths about it today, but just know that I understand the relief it can offer when nothing else is helping. When I was scrolling the depths of Tumblr’s Depression hashtag (in 2012) I came across the elastic band technique. This to those that don’t know is the act of wearing an elastic band and snapping it against your wrist when you feel the urge to self harm. The snap stimulates the same part of the brain as physical harm but is far less destructive. Now, I know my bracelets aren’t elasticated and can’t offer the instant relief, but they can give you the strength to pick up your phone and send a message to some one you love to let them know how you feel.

If you’re ever looking for a sign that you have the strength to get through a difficult period in your life, I want you to look no further than your wrist. To see that bracelet and know that even if you have no one around you to talk to you can reach out to me, or take a quick look at some of these amazing websites (some offer apps too).

These sites can offer support when you need it!

7 Cups

Samaritans

Mind

So, without waffling on for much longer. The bracelets are available because I want you to feel like you’re worthy and loved. Regardless of your situation.

VickiAmaya
x

Falling In Love (With Yourself)

Hey Lovelies,

How are you?

I recently read a blog post by one of my beautiful followers and it instantly prompted me to start jotting this down!

As you all know, I was in a bad relationship for a little while. A relationship where I masked my feelings, shut out the sensible voice inside my head and twisted my every personality trait to suit him. I changed my clothes, my hair, my dress sense, my friends. At the end of it, I was a shell of the person I used to be and for what?!
I’ve seen it over and over again with family, friends and even people on the internet whom I’ve never met. We twist and turn ourselves to suit the recipient. We hide the traits we’ve had all our lives. Hide the quirks, the emotions, the rawness. Why? So we can pretend to be in love…

We put up with the arguments, the snide remarks and at the end of the relationship we are bitter. Bitter and miserable because we changed every aspect of ourselves to make it work for the other half.

Well, I want to tell you a secret. Real love doesn’t need you to compromise. Real love will accept every aspect of you and cherish it over and over again. Real love will keep you young, keep you safe and keep you full of happiness.

I urge you to learn to love, as you want to be loved. Be you, unapologetically. Unforgivingly.

I fell in love with myself at seventeen. I fell in love with the way my eyes caught the sunlight and twinkled a magnificent blue. I fell in love with the way my heart fluttered at each late night discussion with my best friend. I fell in love with my laugh, my breathy chuckle, which turns silent when I’m really humoured.

My impeccable ability to feel emotionally involved with every acoustic song ever created, as though they were handwritten love letters from my heart. My memory of insignificant moments that every one else has long since forgotten. The colour of people’s eyes, their birthdays, the sound of their voice. The smell of their clothes. The soundtracks of boyfriends and best friends and the greatest nights you could ever ask for.

I fell out of love with myself at twenty two. I couldn’t stand the sight of my face. The way I had convinced myself that I could love a man who didn’t care about me. For giving up on the things that I cared about. For not talking to my mum for an entire year. For losing touch with my best friend. For torturing my mind with a constant barrage of negativity. For self harming. For overdosing.

I rekindled a love for myself at twenty five. It was hard at first, but I remembered the way my heart sends out a warm sensation when its a sunny morning and i’m laying in bed with the sunlight streaming through the windows. I remembered how to look at my face with admiration instead of boredom. How I can recite the lyrics to almost any song with only a 5 second preview. The way I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who can pick up a guitar and play effortlessly. Then it started to happen more and more, I would love the way my hair would always fall flat after my uncountable efforts, elixirs and backcombing attempts. The way my cheeks will puff up when I smile. The way I will sing out of key when I can’t hit the notes in a song. The way my body has always stayed slim despite my lack of care for it. The way I can immerse myself into a book and let the world pass by.

You have to love who YOU are because no one will ever be able to make you feel as good as you can make you feel. You know you better than anyone else, so you have earned the right to give yourself all the love you can muster!

Now go and take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself OUT LOUD, one thing that you really love about you.

xo

Going Deep

Hey Lovelies,

How are you?

Let’s go deep with this one…

Life is as hard as you make it for yourself. You are responsible for all the bad things that happen to you (at least, that’s my personal opinion and experience), but you are also responsible for all the good things that can happen to you.

Life can be chaotic, soul crushing, painful and god damn frustrating at times but you can also experience so much pleasure from the little things. The thrill of passionately kissing your significant other in the dark hours of the night, the excitement of running fast, away from authority when you’re a teenager, laughing so hard that your stomach cramps up and you can’t breathe, the gentle rapping of rain from a storm on your bedroom window.
You only have to open your heart to let yourself start to feel these things. When you do, feel them with every fibre of your being. It won’t take you long to realise that for any bad, there is an unfathomable amount of good that can overthrow the darkness that sometimes engulfs us all.

I spent years and years in the dark, trying to convince myself that I could fit a square into a circular hole. Desperately wanting to make every job I gained, be the one that made me. Unapologetically pouring my heart into every boy I met, in the desperate hope that they would be the one to take me away from the world I had grown accustom to. Push me into some brand new, unknown mystery of love, acceptance and excitement. I wasted hours of my existence on the negative thoughts that others could have had about me. The unsaid opinions, the possible dirty looks, the suggestive sniggers and for what? To fit into a society that applauds the average, the safe bets and the low risk takers…

I didn’t know that to open my eyes and really experience life, I only had to learn who I was and what I wanted for myself. To stop filling the silence and allow the ‘little me’ a chance on the soapbox for a change. To be part of the world that I was so desperate to escape from. To live in harmony with it instead of fighting with all my might to be above it all.

There was a point in my life that I had convinced myself I couldn’t be put through any more negativity. That things were so painful, so gut wrenchingly bad that I physically couldn’t bear to take one more breathe. I mean, put yourself in that position for just a moment and try to picture desperately sobbing yourself to sleep every night because you cannot see any escape from your pit of self pity and depression. I hated myself, I hated my life, I hated how I was living, where I was living, I hated the experiences I had had. I wasn’t living, I was surviving. Breathing in and out for the only reason that I had nothing else to do. I knew no other way of life. In and out of sleep all night and all day, eating just to kill the pain of hunger, drinking to numb the pain of thirst. Crying so hard that your body spasms, lying on the floor with hatred for your own existence. Rocking back and forth over and over with your arms cuddling your knees to stop yourself from grabbing something sharp and ramming it across your throat.
For all the adjectives in the world, there are none that can truly express how depression feels.

I am only human, but my god – what a human I am now! I opened my eyes to everything life had to offer me at twenty five years old. I let the ‘little me’ shout from the rooftops, I embraced each negative action and reaction and I looked deep inside myself to find the root cause for all my sadness. After that, things just fell into place and I understood. I understood that sometimes people just have to go through something awful and soul destroying to find themselves; find the goodness and positivity that they know they desperately want but have struggled so hard to locate.

I had to go through every tear, every bad word, every judgemental look, every cut, every heartbreak, every false friend and every experience good or bad because without them, I wouldn’t be here, as I am. How and who I am.

I’m not a perfect example of a human, but I’m a human that is learning, growing and living each day with gratitude for each breath. I know that my life could have been completely different. I know that I may not have even had a life at all. With one action, it could have all been taken away and in its place, a void for friends and family to attempt to fill.

I wrote this with the intention of just getting my deep thoughts and feelings onto a page. To release some emotion and let my truly unedited mind seep out. You all know that I want to write a book about my experiences with depression and anxiety, so maybe this can be my foreword, my introduction to a book not yet written.

I love you guys, so much. Thank you for joining me on this adventure.

VickiAmaya

xo