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

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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

Thursday 28th September

Hey Lovelies,

How are you?

I wanted to pop up a tiny little diary entry tonight just to say a few things to you all. I’m currently in the process of trying to beat a huge procrastination problem. I seem to have all of these great ideas and plans in my head but can never seem to fabricate them into anything more than just thoughts.

Do any of you ever have this? What do you do to combat it?

I’ve been listening to a book by Mel Robbins called ‘The Five Second Rule’ which in the simplest of explanations means that when you have an idea you count down from five to one and then move to act upon that idea. Which seems like an amazing premise, I just can’t even seem to get the motivation together to do that. I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately, I’ve just been in this slump.

I’m upset that my blog and Instagram aren’t making any money (through affiliate links and adverts), and by worrying about that I know I’m pushing it further and further away from me. I mean, how do you trust that the universe has your back when it’s not delivering the things you want.

I’ve also been listening to an audiobook called ‘Get Rich, Lucky Bitch’ which talks about how to overcome your money troubles and move your mindset into a money making magnet. Again, this seems like a great premise but I just never sit down and listen to it. It’s like I have this problem with actually changing my life. Why, oh why can’t I be a doer.

It’s really getting to the point where I’m starting to feel sad, dissatisfied and distant from my blog and Instagram account.

The thing is, I LOVE writing, I love creating content that people enjoy, I really do. I just can’t seem to shift myself into that mindset and change anything about myself.

☹️

I want to do more, I want to be more. I’m just not sure how to overcome this issue and get into the mind frame of ‘Get Shit Done’

I’m sorry this isn’t a very positive post, Loves. I think sometimes I just need to let a few things out.

xo

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

Tuesday 29th August

Growing is hard. Growing means you have to look deep inside yourself and confront the bits that you despise. Growing is noticing how some things will always wind you up and trying to find the strength from deep down inside you to not react as you would always react.

At Twenty Seven years old, I can happily hold my hands up and admit everything that I love about myself, but for some reason I cannot muster the courage to admit and change the things I am not in love with. My mind has convulsed that ‘It’s just the way I am”.

I am far more comfortable with knowing that I can pick myself back up if I hit rock bottom again, than striving for anything above average. I’m scared to succeed.

Depression taught me to fear the negative thoughts inside my head, that if I start to think bad things then surely I’m spiralling downwards. To stay on the upwards peak, to appreciate all things good and abolish all things negative.

So, why is it that knowing I still have negative tendencies when it comes to change, can I not shake them away with a dose of positivity? Why do I dwell in the depths of despair. Waste my own time in worrying about all the things that could go wrong instead of bathing in all that could go right?