cutting myself a break

2020, creativity, mental health, writing

Hello!

I don’t know why every week in lockdown seems to be more difficult, but this week I’m really struggling and I can’t put a finger on why because nothing has changed.

Blogging is something I find really therapeutic – sitting down at my laptop with a blank page and just typing long, rambly posts that are eloquent and articulate and insightful makes me feel inspired and motivated, reminding me that words are my creative tool and I fall in love with writing all over again.

But on the other hand, when I’m not feeling that inspiration or I don’t have anything important to say, the blank page feels daunting in a way that takes me by surprise. Structure and schedule has always helped me – whether it’s productivity or consistency in content, having ‘upload days’ has always made me a better blogger.

Whenever I reach a point where I think ‘yeah, I don’t need a schedule, I’ll blog when I feel inspired to share something’ I go quiet for months. Without the plan to post a blog post on certain days, the ideas just don’t come to me! Routine and structure works for me but when I don’t feel passionate about what I’m writing then it’s stilted and forced and it just becomes another element for stress (even though I really shouldn’t let it be).

I’m going through a lull right now and I need to respond to that. Earlier this year I went through a period of only uploading once a week and I felt so creatively motivated that I increased it back up to two, but I don’t think I have enough creative or mental energy for that right now.

Did I need to write a whole blog post about why I’m going from two blog posts a week down to one a week? Absolutely not – I doubt anyone would have questioned it or noticed. But getting it out of my system is therapeutic for me and in essence; this post is as much about asking too much of ourselves as it is my personal relationship with my blogging schedule. If I’ve helped reassure one person that they’re not the only one struggling, especially creatively, as lockdown gets longer and longer, then I’ve used my platform for a purpose. If it doesn’t ‘help’ anyone in the way I see influencers talking about all the time, then it’s helped me, and that’s enough.

So I’m going to go back to one blog post a week. Because lockdown is getting to me and my creativity is shaky at best anyway.

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

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Treasured in… May

2020, books, creativity, film, lifestyle, student

Hello!

As we come to the end of our second full calendar month in lockdown, little posts like this full of things I enjoyed and want to share are more important than ever. Everywhere I look people are complaining about the government, singing the praises of the NHS and arguing about what are appropriate social distancing activities (though how anyone could defend packed beaches I really don’t know) so having this little list of happy things will be a nice little mood boost for me as well as you!

Here are my the things I treasured in May!


blog post:

I really made more of an effort to read more this month – I’ve been on the hunt for bloggers that don’t exclusively talk about beauty, fashion or other stereotypical ‘successful blogger’ categories. I really want to find people like me who don’t necessarily blog for income, writing about the ramblings trapped in their heads and talking about all their random hobbies without limiting themselves to a ‘niche’.

I’m still hunting, but these two blog posts from YouTube influencers I follow were topical and well written.

recipe:

I don’t think I’ve tried anything that particularly blew me away this month – I made this creamy chicken chorizo pasta bake which was nice but we’re not rushing to make it again. I’m still really enjoying the bacon and pea risotto that I linked last month, I’ve somewhat rediscovered a good jacket potato and we made a really nice lasagne but it all came out of jars so it wasn’t anything to do with my ability to cook!

Top tip for ‘homemade out of jars lasagne’ – use a Mac and Cheese sauce rather than a white sauce, it worked really well for us and is making me hungry just thinking about it!

online course:

Again, this month I didn’t find anything new – I had one last big assignment to finish off my semester 2 work for my masters and with lockdown and a generally not good course, my friend and I who were working together on it (group project, not cheating I promise!) spent more time teaching ourselves than knowing what we were doing.

So I learnt a lot about the Maya animation software, modelling environments, materials, different animation types and multi-camera set ups, but I didn’t find a course online to take myself.

Next month I’ll be starting all the self-teaching I have to do for my dissertation project so I’ll be rambling all about designing a video game, making a 2D animation and writing scripts for both!

music:

The only time I really listen to music is when I’m cooking – when I’m trying to write or work, it means I can’t concentrate and if I’m knitting or doing my cross stitch I use it as an excuse to catch up on YouTube videos (I’m 300 videos deep on my watch later…).

With everything that’s been going on, I’ve been craving a bit of nostalgia so my partner has been finding playlists on Spotify along the lines of ‘year 6 disco’ and ‘the best of the 2000s’ and we’ve been listening to everything from S Club 7, Steps, Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers to Bob The Builder’s ‘Big Fish Little Fish’. Thoroughly recommend a throwback disco if you need a little boost!

YouTube video:

Most of the YouTubers I’m subscribed to are vloggers, so watching vaguely ‘normal’ home life vlogging has been most of what I’m watching and it’s been nice to feel that little bit ‘normal’ by watching the creators I’ve been following for years just living their daily lives.

So I’m going to use this section this month to talk about one of my own videos – it’s currently unlisted on my channel because it’s for a uni assignment and I always feel funny about publishing my work while it’s still being marked (so it’s a fun little secret for my blog!). But this is the animation my friend Agata and I made for our assignment – the main character is animated from motion capture data and we built pretty much everything in the environment ourselves.

I’m so ridiculously proud of this little animation and I loved working on it with one of my best friends (even if we did the majority of the work in the three days before it was due…), so here is Life After Lockdown; a little topical comedy animation for our  assignment.

books I’ve read:

loved this book – this take on life after death and the way the characters have conflict without antagonising each other (except Evie’s mum, she was actually evil). It was one of those books that made you think about what life after death really is like – I genuinely think this is a pretty good idea and worth a read in these challenging times.

I read this because my boyfriend loves the Game Grumps and recommended it but it wasn’t for me – I didn’t find it funny but it felt like they were trying way too hard to be funny, the murder mystery was a bit too Scooby Doo for me, but it was entertaining enough.

This book is taking me actual weeks to get through – I like the writing style, but it feels almost non-fiction and there are so many characters that Pomerantz clearly expects the reader to remember who they are, how they were relevant and details about their life and career. It’s about a plane crash and it’s really depressing and long and there’s not much of a story yet and I’m about 75% through? I think the main thing putting me off is that on the back it declares that this back will become a classic but… it definitely hasn’t and I just can’t vibe with someone arrogant enough to assume their work deserves to become a classic. But I’m nearly done and a review will be on my Instagram when I do!

snack: 

I never thought I particularly liked minty chocolate – I can appreciate a few After Eights at Christmas and maybe a packet of softmints every now and then but not big on mint. I thought I’d prefer plain chocolate aero bubbles to the mint aero bubbles but my boyfriend opened my eyes and I have to stop myself buying them or I will eat the entire packet.

I also picked up a packet of Tesco’s own Salted Caramel Munch Bars thinking it would be an easy breakfast option – they’re really good but they’re so not good for you in any way that I’d be better off going back to a slice of toast in the mornings. But they’re really yummy and if you’re not really a breakfast person then something is better than nothing right?

visual entertainment: 

I’ve not watched any new TV this month but my mum, my sister, my boyfriend and I have started a remote film club using a 52 Week challenge book my mum picked up on Amazon – 52 challenges, divided by 4 people means 13 categories each. This month we watched Pulp Fiction, Eighth Grade, Dumbo (the live action one) and Top Gun and I’m really enjoying the excuse to watch all the ‘classic’ films I haven’t seen but should have as well as some newer films that I want to see.

Pulp Fiction was an interesting choice and having done a unit where one of my lecturers tried to teach us artsy-fartsy film theory (when he shouldn’t have been) it did make it more interesting to think about the decisions the director made, but then I thought about if a film makes you think about the decisions the director made and takes you out of being fully immersed, is it really a well made film? Either way! Eighth Grade was fun and a really accurate portrayal of life as a 13 year old, Dumbo was alright but I prefer the original (and Colin Farrell’s character was literally useless) and Top Gun was an action for the sake of action, ‘put it on in the background’ kind of film that really proved that Tom Cruise literally only plays one character in all his films.

Other than that I’ve watched a lot of Kim Possible on Disney+…

wedding planning update: Before lockdown, I attended a couple of wedding fairs and one of them was near my old hometown. There we spoke to a lady who was representing the most beautiful venue near a lake that my boyfriend and I are very sentimental about. It was beautiful, it’s a great location and it makes me feel a little bit emosh just thinking about it! We’re 90% sure it’s the venue we want to go with but we don’t have the deposit money yet. However, with two months of lockdown, people are re-planning weddings for years to come and our date of November 2022 is looking like it’s going to get infringed on quite quickly, so I want to contact the venue and at least get our foot in the door for our date so we don’t lose it. Otherwise, there’s nothing much more I can do in lockdown other than coming up with more and more ideas on Pinterest…

So I’ve not done any wedding planning this month but we have reached this decision, so there’s a bit of progress there!


On the one hand, I hope that the country is safe enough for some restrictions to be lifted in June so we can do more things, I can visit my family etc, but I really don’t want restrictions to be lifted early just because people are getting grumpy about not having their hair cut, so I’m apprehensive.

I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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what makes a blogger?

2020

Hello,

I go through phases with feeling inspired in what blog posts I want to write – sometimes I’m bursting with ideas and I plan a whole month’s worth of content in one go, sometimes I end up turning to Google searching for ‘blog post ideas’ (which never works) or searching for what other people have been blogging or making videos about to try and spark some inspiration.

But the crux of it all is that I want to write about something insightful – sometimes it’s just indulgent, diary-like posts, writing about the things I’m excited about and showing my pictures from recent trips but I try not to do those too frequently. People turn to blog posts for education (in a way – stick with me!) – a new recipe, a new skincare product recommendation, tips and tricks to achieve something whether it be working for home or having a better sex life. The trouble is I don’t feel like I know enough about anything to be able to contribute anything about a particular topic.

And that’s not to say that every blogger has to be an expert in anything – finding someone who’s learning something along with you and documenting their progress can be encouraging to watch. This year I’ve been really into reading and I hit my goodreads goal for the year in March, then I noticed that a creator I already follow The Anna Edit was reading at roughly the same pace as me as documented on her Instagram page so I’ve loved comparing my progress to hers and making more book related content online.

But then I don’t want anyone who stumbles across my blog to think that I’m writing a post about the basics of cross stitching from a point of reliable information. I don’t know anything! The first cross stitch I did, I realised far too late that I was meant to separate the thread into smaller strands and that’s why I ran out of thread and had to improvise – I’m not qualified to teach anyone anything! And I’m an awful teacher.

With all that in mind – why do I blog at all? I love writing, that’s the point; I love rambling and getting my thoughts into words and sharing it, but who am I to think that it needs to be shared with other people?

The conclusion? It doesn’t – if I stopped blogging no one would really miss it, I could carry on writing my personal, diary-like, introspective posts in a journal without having to share my life on the internet, but I can’t stop? I love blogging, I love looking back on where I’ve been and what I wrote about when I was 20 and thinking about what I might write about when I’m 26 if I still have time to blog then. I’ve been doing this for almost six years – I started trying to write really formal news style pieces and reviews, then in 2015 I did a 365-day blog writing challenge (successfully, whilst being out the country and away from technology for a month, might I add).

My blog isn’t huge – it’s never going to be my career and I don’t have the energy to put in the effort to make it successful, nor do I have a specific enough niche or knowledge to write anything useful.

So I’ve managed to write a whole blog post about how I don’t know what to write, I don’t know why I write and how I’m not going to stop – success! Sometimes these ‘stream of consciousness’ posts are my favourite to write. I’m sure I’ll think of something to blog about by next week, but until then I’ve spent 9 weeks in quarantine and I’ve got a new found love for cross stitching, so I’m going to get back to that.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Creator Corner | My Favourite Creators right now!

2019, creativity

Hello!

Between ‘follow Friday’s, Instagram story shoutouts and #likeforlike left, right and centre sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming on social media between who you want to follow, who you feel you have to follow and who you follow to support the blogging/creator industry.

I’ve never been the ‘if you like my blog post then I’ll like your blog post’ kind of person because I think that’s really un-genuine – I’d rather someone liked my blog post because they enjoyed the content and not because they wanted more hits on their own posts.

With that in mind, I thought it would be nice to shout out my favourite creators at the moment! All three are YouTube Influencers but two are published authors and one is a twitter Queen if I do say so myself.

You’ve probably heard of them all, but I thought it’d be nice to share the people who’s content I’m really enjoying at the moment!


Anna is a Brighton based fashion, beauty and lifestyle creator and is the perfect example of someone I watch not because of what she talks about. I don’t dislike what she talks about but luxe make-up and expensive beauty technology is never going to be something I engage with on a financial level, but I just think Anna has the nicest personality and that’s more important to me regarding the creators I engage with.

She talks really genuinely, she’s funny, her relationship with her husband is just the sweetest and her videos are great to put on in the background while I scroll through Instagram (because I definitely don’t do that really regularly). Her content is also fantastic, really varied, covers a lot of basis and her style is just so on point.


I’ve followed Hannah for years and years now and watching her grow and develop her business while talking so openly about so many topics that a lot of people are afraid to talk about online (including sex, disability and how she makes money on YouTube) and all round she’s bubbly, full of opinions and got sass to boot.

I’m so excited to see more of what she does with her second channel More Hannah – whilst I find the sex education side of her channel interesting, it’s one of those things that isn’t my go to because I’m an awkward hermit, essentially. However her second channel where she talks about organisation, lifestyle and basically anything else is my jam.

Most creators I’m subscribed to I engage with because of who they are as people (or at least, how they present themselves online) more than their content – it’s like having a one-way conversation with a friend, it’s a friendly voice in the background whilst I’m doing my make-up or eating dinner or writing a blog post… (I’m actually not watching YouTube right now, lol). Hannah is constantly growing and developing and has a really strong identity of how much she shares and how much she keeps private online and I think she’s brilliant both as a viewer and I look up to her as a business woman.


If you’re here for sarcastic, self-deprecating humour from an Essex girl with fashion to boot, Fab Han is your girl.

I first found Hannah on an article of ‘if you like Zoella you’ll like these channels’ on Shout magazine’s website or something and I was drawn in by a video she made about short hairstyles and I’d just got my hair cut short so I was drawn in! I’m utterly baffled that this girl is like two years younger than me because she’s so on it and I love her style.

Her vlogs are so funny, her clothing hauls are really cute and overall, I think Fab Han is such a girl boss and she deserves so much more attention and love than she has. This girl is going to take over the world and I am here for it!


Apparently my favourite creators at the moment all have names that sound like ‘Anna’ and y’know what? I’ll go with it!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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a day in Newton Abbot | diary 4

2019, lifestyle

Hello!

I wouldn’t say the ‘diary’ posts on my blog are a series per say, but every now and then I like to take a step back and think about blogging at it’s roots – a web log, an online journal, a “Dear Diary” of sorts and I want to get back to that a bit! I properly love the content I’m making at the moment and focusing on being the most genuine me has really helped me nail what I want to do so I thought I would tell you about my day. Why not, right?

My alarm went off at 6.30am as normal, except I woke up in a Premier Inn in Newton Abbott and not my bed at home, so I’m on a different side to usual and my phone was where my boyfriend usually is, so in all that confusion my first alarm properly woke me up in a way that the second two alarms normally do.

But as we’re away and not in our usual home setting, I didn’t rush out of bed – I saw Louise Pentland posted in her ‘Wilde Readers’ Facebook group (which I absolutely adore might I add, thoroughly recommend joining if you love reading!) and accidentally made her day, which was a pretty perfect start to the morning.

When I did roll out of bed about 7am, I went to the bathroom and used one of the Garnier Moisture Bomb eye masks because I’m kind of a little bit on holiday and I had one so I wanted to use it to treat myself this morning.

Eye mask on, I set myself up at the little desk in our hotel room, plugged my hard drive and SD card in because I might not be at home but I still want to keep up with my blog/YouTube schedule so I sat down to edit and schedule my video for this week where I talked about how everyone wants subscribers – because it was for YouTube I made it about subscribers but it applies to anyone who makes content online really. Bloggers want followers and views, artists want people to like their art on Instagram, heck I’m sure even people on tiktok want an audience and it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while! If you’ve got 8 minutes to give it a watch and leave a comment that would mean the world!

And at 8.30am I started the ball rolling on this blog post, because I’ve actually made the sensible decision to add to this post as I go along today rather than trying to remember it all tonight!

Once I finished my YouTube edit and starting drafting this blog post (it all suddenly feels very meta), I got dressed and did my hair and make-up. I’m in Newton Abbott for a wedding but that’s not till tomorrow and I’m not involved in any of the rehearsals or anything so today is just a day to explore somewhere new!

I had an appointment at a nail salon at 10.15am but I didn’t exactly know where I was going so my boyfriend and I took a stroll towards the town leaving at 9.30am to give ourselves plenty of time to get there.

After a little bit of confusion and calling the salon because Google Maps was wrong, I went for my appointment, nails were done (kind of average but I booked last minute so it wasn’t awful and it was available!), then I found Lucas again and we went to a Wetherspoons for lunch (always had a soft spot for a Spoons) which was lovely.

Then our walk home from town was really casual and chilled and we were back in the hotel room by quarter to one. This afternoon we don’t really have any plans – the rest of my family were arriving for the wedding, I wanted to upload my video and add to this blog post and get on with some other bits so I don’t have to think about them tomorrow.

I spent most of the afternoon starting February’s spreads in my bullet journal (and having a minor freak out about how I’m going to survive financially, but whatever) and desperately trying to upload this YouTube video.

When one of my cousin’s arrived at the hotel we went down to help him bring all the babies stuff up to his room and spent some time chatting to him and his girlfriend, then my sister arrived so we helped her check in and then we decided we would all go to dinner together at 6pm before going over to the hotel where the wedding is to see the rest of the family in the evening!

Lucas and Lexie, causing trouble

After an hour or so seeing all the family (which was just so lovely, I love it when we have the whole family together) my boyfriend and I got a taxi back (one of the most expensive taxi’s I’ve ever had) and then I had a quick shower before settling down for bed watching Taskmaster.

And that was today!

I’ve genuinely enjoyed writing this so much – I’ve made it a real focus of mine to make the most genuine content I can because there was a point last year where I started to feel so disingenuous and fake and I wanted to strip it back. Long rambly posts are so much more ‘me’ than trying to be concise because someone says blog posts should be 300-400 words. Some people like the long posts and I’m one of them!

What have you done this weekend? Have you got any plans? I’d love to hear all about them!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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an accidental week off, but that’s okay

2018, lifestyle, mental health

Hello!

This week has been my biggest week since I finished uni – I’ve barely been at home and I’ve definitely not had the time or energy for creative projects as usual.

So days went on and the weekly vlog hasn’t been uploaded, I didn’t post a blog post on Wednesday, I couldn’t film, edit or upload a second YouTube video and my usual Saturday blog post was a mere dream.

I wanted to post something just to acknowledge it – I don’t think anyone’s on tender hooks waiting to see why I haven’t uploaded but on two sides I wanted to say something and I needed to write about it for my sake and for anyone reading.

I’ve felt a bit flat this week, but I always do when I don’t feel productive and I don’t get everything on my list done, but I need to train myself out of it because at the end of the day? Not forcing myself to write, film and edit late into the night was better for me in the long run and practising the self care to not be bothered is more important than beating myself up about missing deadlines I set for myself.

Obviously if you’re at uni or work this isn’t as flexible because deadlines are important, but similarly if something goes wrong and things have to change, deadlines need to get shifted then letting yourself be emotionally invested and be negatively effected by those things isn’t worth the heartache.

I’m still astounded by the positive impact the mentality of ‘everything is hard, make it worth it’ and the coil have done for my mental health and positive outlook – months, even years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to decide not to let anything effect me like this but with positive mental practice, I’ll be able to take changes like this in my stride and won’t beat myself up for it.

Especially over a hobby like blogging and my YouTube channel – this super busy week has shown me what a working week might look like and has shown me that maybe I won’t be able to sustain this creative outlet when I do get into working full time but being aware of that and allowing myself flexibility is a good step for preparing for that. But that’s more of a 2019 problem!

I’m excited for the new year and applying my new mindset to what I do – 2019 is going to be the year that everything changes and I’m not going to sit around and wait for it to happen.

And I’m not going to waste my time getting hung up on missed blog posts and dwindling subscriber counts! (Still working and not caring about that one, but it doesn’t matter and that’s what I need to remember)

Give yourself a break, you’ve achieved a lot.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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friend break-ups

2018, lifestyle, mental health

Hello!

I’ve been thinking about writing a post like this for a while and then yesterday, I uploaded my ‘things I’d tell my teenage self’ video and I touched on this subject and I wanted to make a full blog post about it, because I have a lot to say.

I want to emphasise this with obviously this is only one side of the story – there’s always a part of my brain that when I talk about friends I’ve lost that screams that maybe I’m the one in the wrong, maybe I’m just an awful friend and the problem here is me. I’m aware of this, but with that said let’s get on with it.

Losing a friend is the worst – there are songs and films and books about relationships and break ups but if you really listen to the message of those mediums you’ll find that in most cases you can empathise in a similar way about friend break-ups.

I seem to make friends with a lot people who don’t put the same effort in as I do or don’t reciprocate or value my friendship in the same way I do, maybe it’s because they just don’t like me that much and yeah that crosses my mind a lot. But it’s when someone tells you that they love having you around and then still don’t really show it is when I start to get upset.

And this is the point where I test it. So maybe ‘testing’ friendships isn’t the healthiest approach, but the way I test it is I stop being the one to reach out first – I don’t start a conversation, I’m not the one to arrange going for a coffee or whatever. And that’s when I know that testing it was worth it because I never hear from that person again. Maybe they’re just grateful that I finally stopped bugging them but in some cases, years later, they’ve messaged me again and said ‘it’s been years since we talked!’ and I’m like yeah, I wonder why that is. At that point I don’t reply.

On the other side, sometimes a ‘friend’ will message me first but it’s only when they’re sad or something bad has happened and they want someone to boost their ego and I’m happy to be a person to talk to, but in a world of mental health problems if they’re going to lean on me so heavily when they’re sad I need to be able to lean back and I couldn’t, so I was ignored and I crumpled.

(that metaphor went surprisingly well)

But this isn’t a pity party! I’m not trying to say that I’ve never had a good friend, I do have friends that are very close to my heart and I’m very grateful to call my friends. I’m not trying to evoke sympathy or portray myself like a victim or anything.

What I’m saying is if you’re the person being leaned on – stop letting them lean, don’t use your precious emotional energy, passion and love helping someone else feel better when it wouldn’t even cross their mind to do the same for you. Focusing on the people that really care about you will be so much more fulfilling and make your heart so much happier.

Letting people go is hard, really hard, especially when they turn to you in dark times and leaving them there feels like the worst thing in the world and makes you feel like an awful person but you’re not, sometimes for your own sake you have to prioritise yourself.

It hurts, and you can justify mourning a lost friendship in the same way people mourn relationships – sometimes it’s someones fault, sometimes it’s on mutual terms, sometimes for your own sake you just have to let them go but just like relationships, it does get better. You don’t spend your entire life being sad about that person, you find new people, better people and life goes on.

Just to disclaim again, I’m aware that every story has two sides and whilst on one side this is how I’ve interpreted it, I could be wrong and my brain tells me basically every day that I’m an awful human and everything’s my fault anyway ha ha #lol (covering up my sadness with sarcasm as per).

I do have a handful of incredibly close friends and I wouldn’t trade them for anything – I know I could message them whenever and I hope they feel the same about me. I don’t want them to feel invalid because of what I’ve written about other people in this post so to clarify: I don’t think this of all the people I at one point or another called friends.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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top 5 self care tips

2018, mental health

Hello!

I’ll be honest, this week has already been tough and it’s only Wednesday – I won’t go into details but it has made me think about what I need to do to look after myself, and I’m working on listening to my body more and making sure I was doing something that wasn’t detrimental for me in the long run.

The thing with self-care is that it’s all very personal – you can watch a hundred different self care videos and read blog posts but none of them will be a quick fix or perfect for you, not quite anyway. But they can give you ideas – something to try that maybe you hadn’t thought of, different things work for different people but sharing what works for an individual might be useful for someone else, which is why we should share!

I’ve made a video on this before – it was about a year ago and things have changed since then which is why I want to talk about it again.

(But here it is in case anyone fancies a watch!)

So this is my new list of self care practices that I’m using right now!

  1. Properly resting – not keeping myself busy, or trying to tick something off my to do list. Not necessarily sleeping but taking time to just watch TV or YouTube without doing anything else – not trying to multitask. Giving my brain a break and not trying to max out productivity at all time. And also sleeping more regularly – I go to bed about 10pm and get up between 7am and 8am and that’s working quite well for me at the moment.
  2. Spending time cooking – I find cooking really therapeutic and when I’m making something that doesn’t involve just chucking it in the oven and serving it, when I really cook and make something from scratch it’s just so satisfying. Especially where I’m really trying to focus on my diet and losing weight at the moment (which is proving quite the challenge for my mental health, I’m incredibly self aware of dark though patterns, it’s draining) so cooking with lots of vegetables and knowing exactly what’s going in to what I’m eating and it makes the diet a bit easier on the brain. But spending an hour so a night on making dinner just really helps me focus and relax.
  3. Talk to someone supportive – this is quite a personal one, as I’m aware that not everyone is lucky enough to have someone supportive in their circle that they trust to talk to when they’re feeling down, but I’m so glad that I have someone that does. But there are some people that are the opposite of supportive – they make you feel like a literal pile of poo because they don’t understand, saying things like ‘it’s fine just calm down’, ‘just cheer up’ or even ‘you don’t have depression or anxiety, stop attention seeking’ (all real life examples) and those people 1) aren’t worth your time and 2) when you’re feeling low anyway, just don’t surround yourself with these people if it’s possible. Seek support in the people that really love and care about you.
  4. Spend some time outside – a gentle walk (as opposed to an exercise walk, I’m very unfit so walking is exercise for me), just sitting in the garden or even sit near an open window if that’s what works for you but just being near fresh air, taking a deep breath and having a few moments of calm can be really beneficial, especially if you’re in a moment of panic. Maybe meditate if that’s your jam! I’d like to be at a point that exercise is my go to when I’m feeling low or anxious but I’m not there yet, because I’m very unfit but the wheels are in motion and it’s officially a work in progress.
  5. Listen to your body – sometimes, all you want to do is lie in bed and sob uncontrollably and not have dinner because you messed up a new recipe and the thought of eating is scary and makes you feel physically ill (cough cough), this probably isn’t the healthiest tip but sometimes, you need to just let yourself be sad. The important bit of this part is if you’re going to let yourself wallow, is that you don’t continue it – it’s a short term thing! Let yourself be sad and not eat (just, an example) for that one night or one day and then the following day, eat properly, get some stuff done, get back to it. Letting yourself wallow in feelings isn’t a bad thing as long as you know it’s temporary and short term. Maybe you won’t feel better the next day but the wallowing is done.

I’m not a mental health professional and I don’t recommend that anyone takes any advice from this, I know that I like engaging with content like this because talking about mental health is important and should be talked about. I don’t know if this will help, but I’m trying.

Mental health is a tricky topic – it’s incredibly individual and what works positively for one person might not have the same effect on someone else, so it’s about working on listening to your own body and figuring out what makes that ache in your chest go away.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Is blogging ‘dying’?

2018

Hello!

As someone who is looking for a career in social media, I’m quite analytical of how I and others use social media and what different platforms are offering.

I read a really interesting article (or it might have been Hannah Gale’s insta stories?) about how ‘microblogging’ on instagram is becoming more popular, both with creators and getting more response from an audience, in terms of writing longer captions that have a theme and may or may not be in any way related to the picture it’s captioning.

The primary difference I find between my blog and my instagram is how much more immediate Instagram can be – stories are instant and in a way people have started using it to daily vlog, Instagram TV looks like it’s trying to rival YouTube (though I’m not sure how well that’s going…) and making posts and writing out long captions is a way of short form blogging.

A lot of people use Instagram in different ways – some people post fun pictures of good times and don’t think too much about what they post, it’s like a scrapbook or a memory. As opposed to the more ‘blogger’ or influencer approach, where photos fit with a theme and whilst making creative content is important, it’s also about reaching as many people as possible by making the photos fit well together (like having a theme), engaging with the human experience in the caption and making the most of hashtags and reaching people that don’t follow you yet as much as captivating their followers too.

That’s not to say that there will be a day where we can say ‘ah yes, blogging is officially dead, RIP blogging’ – there will always be a community of people who like to blog, in the same way that people still read newspapers and listen to the radio. New media and old media are often in competition and trends come and go, but so far it’s all somewhat balanced in their audience size.

I don’t think blogging will ‘die’ so to speak, not in the way snapchat did anyway, but it’s interesting to see how the medium develops and where the majority of an audience is. Instagram is a huge marketing tool for brands, businesses and even content creators that are just starting out. The rise of the influencer started on YouTube and Instagram (to my knowledge, anyway!) and lots of companies and ‘#ad’s are on Instagram as much if not more than they are on YouTube, because audiences are potentially more likely to engage.

Obviously I’m not a marketing expert (yet, I’m looking for courses), this is just coming from my own observations and interest in social media, but I’m really intrigued – what do you think? Are you still a big fan of blogging or would you rather scroll through Instagram’s multitude of content? I’d love to know!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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blogging vs youtube | creativity crisis #2

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello,

Having been running my YouTube channel for nearly 4 years and in September, I will have had my blog for three years. In that time, maintaining both platforms has been somewhat of a challenge – to have them compliment each other without stepping on each others toes or overlapping isn’t easy.

But recently, I feel like I see YouTubers who started at the same time as I did sky rocketing into hundreds and thousands and millions of subscribers and I just don’t know if bloggers are getting the same hits? Or maybe it’s just my blog?

In the first two years of my YouTube channel I steadily built a following of nearly 600 subscribers, it’s diminished a little bit recently but in my nearly three years of blogging I find I have a much more consistent audience on YouTube. Is YouTube where I should be putting my focus? To my understanding (and from what I see on social media) people seem infinitely more interested in video content than blog posts, articles and words. It’s easy to watch a video but reading takes that little bit more concentration so if I want to pour my heart and soul into one of my platforms surely I should make it the one that’s more likely to be more successful?

Is YouTube more influential than a blog? Does it matter? If I like making both forms of content should I just carry on doing both? Or do I sacrifice one to put all of my heart into the other?

This is literally the entire point of the ‘creativity crisis’ series – so that I can have a ramble about things that stress me out sometimes.

I really love YouTube and I really love my blog, for a very different set of reasons – but it’s so disheartening when I work so hard and put so much of myself out online to be put to shame by those who spend more time putting repetitive flatlays with open lipsticks and fake flowers lying on a rug on Instagram (I refer you to creativity crisis #1: social media).

Maybe I do need to focus more on social media, or maybe I need to make more of an effort to post content more regularly, or maybe I take a step back and work on writing, filming and editing what I feel truly expresses my creativity.

The conclusion to all of these creativity crisis rants I feel is going to be I just need to stop freaking out and make what I want and whilst everyone can say ‘it doesn’t matter about views’ or ‘it doesn’t matter about subscribers and followers’, it’s also hard not to notice when you’re so invested in what you make and you want it to do well and you want to show it off to the world so it can be stuck on the metaphorical fridge.

That took a different turn to what I was expecting, but what I mean is that I love YouTube and I love making videos and I love editing but I also love writing with all of my heart. I love how I could make a video and a blog post about the same topic and it would take such different turns and be presented in such different ways and to such different communities and I think that’s what I like about being a blogger and a YouTuber – that I can try and bring those communities together.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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